Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox speaks out about the passing of his dear “hunting buddy” Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: (L-R) Eddie Montgomery, Troy Gentry and Gary LeVox attend the NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot hosted by Blake Shelton at Nellis Air Force Base on April 2, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sept. 8 started off as just a normal Friday. In the afternoon hours, many country music fans had already begun preparing for a late summer weekend with family and friends. And for Montgomery Gentry, it was a time to get ready for their show later that night in New Jersey.

And then the news hit.

Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry had been in a helicopter crash, and despite the efforts and prayers of many, he would be pronounced dead at a hospital soon after.

Troy was just 50 years old.

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In the days since his death, country music fans have had to learn how to get used to a life without Troy Gentry in it. Yet perhaps, it was his fellow country music stars who were the most shaken by his death, including Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox.

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“Troy and I were hunting buddies,” Gary said in a recent interview with “Las Vegas” magazine. “I just saw him a couple of weeks ago at the [Grand Ole] Opry. We were sitting there talking about deer season getting ready to start.”

He also recalled the early days for both bands, which came up through the ranks together. “We started at the same time Montgomery Gentry did,” he said of Rascal Flatts. “We were out there beating the streets up trying to get a song on the radio, all together. We were kind of the class of 2000-’01.”

Our hearts remain with the family, friends and fans of Troy Gentry.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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