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Scotty McCreery mourns the loss of a dear friend and music great Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The entire country music community, including North Carolina native Scotty McCreery, is mourning the loss of an influential member of the radio industry and a true campion of the format.

Lisa McKay, a longtime executive and air personality at Raleigh, North Carolina, station WQDR, passed away Jan. 14 after a brief battle with cancer.

Lisa was an award-winning Curtis Media executive, director of programming and host of the afternoon drive slot at the popular country station. Just two days prior to her death, the station announced that Lisa would be taking a leave of absence to attend to her medical condition.

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The radio station’s website then broke the heartbreaking news on Sunday, saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our fearless leader Lisa McKay. She passed away this morning (January 14th), surrounded by family, following a very short battle with cancer. We ask you to send your love, support and prayers to her family and friends during this difficult time.”

Following the news that Lisa had succumbed to bile duct cancer, Scotty, who hails from nearby Garner, North Carolina, took to social media to express his personal grief and share his sympathy with both her professional family and her relatives.

“Don’t really have the words but I am so shocked and saddened to hear of Lisa McKay’s passing,” he wrote. “She meant so much to so many people. She played such a huge [role] in the soundtrack of my life and so many others here in N.C. She was kind, she was loving and she poured her heart and soul into 94.7 QDR. She always believed in me, even when some others didn’t, and that truly meant the world. She will be so sorely missed, but her legacy will absolutely carry on. Please join me in praying for her family and everyone over at QDR. Love you Lisa.”

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Under Lisa’s guidance, WQDR championed Scotty beginning back when he was a contestant on “American Idol” in 2011.

Fellow North Carolina country artist Jason Michael Carroll also shared a photo on Instagram and wrote, “Beyond words tonight for the loss of one of the most influential women I’ve ever met in the music business. Lisa McKay was one of the most stern in the business and could seem difficult at times to some people, but she knew her business, she knew songs and how to work them and I always knew where I stood with her. She was a friend. Rest easy Lisa. My prayers are now for your journey and with your family because your pain is gone. Love you. #InTears #RIP #LisaMcKay @947qdr #CancerSucks”

Lisa had been with the radio chain for about 15 years and had won multiple awards, including the CMA for Large Market Station of the Year. She was also very active in raising money for local animal shelters, and WQDR is suggesting that the best way to honor their beloved co-worker’s memory is by donating to those facilities.

Our hearts are with the staff of WQDR and Lisa’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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