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We remember Troy Gentry in this flashback holiday performance  YouTube/Jen K

By almost anyone’s measure, 2017 was a difficult year riddled with some difficult losses for country music. But one of the hardest to bear was the unexpected passing of Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry, who died in a helicopter crash in September.

Since then, the country music community, artists, and fans alike have rallied around Troy’s wife, Angie, daughters Taylor and Kaylee, and his M-G duet partner, Eddie Montgomery, recalling sweet memories of the pair and their successful career.

With the Christmas holiday here, we couldn’t help but resurrect one of our favorite seasonal Montgomery Gentry memories.

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Back in 2000, Eddie and Troy released their cover of iconic Texas country star Robert Earl Keen’s tongue-in-cheek salute to the traditional—albeit dysfunctional—holiday celebration, “Merry Christmas From the Family.” The country duo would pull the song out, with Troy on lead vocals, throughout their December shows, including this 2011 date at City Stage in Springfield, Massachusetts.

While they weren’t biologically family, both Troy and Eddie grew up in Kentucky and formed their first band together with Eddie’s brother, country star John Michael Montgomery, in 1990. Although the band eventually disbanded, Eddie and Troy managed to reconnect to form their duo, which landed its first recording contract in 1999.

Together Montgomery Gentry released eight studio albums and dinged the bell at the top of the country singles charts eight times. They also regularly saw their names featured as Duo of the Year nominees at the ACM and CMA Awards, and earned both of those trophies in 2000.

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After Troy’s untimely death, Eddie and the duo’s team released “Better Me,” a cut from the album Montgomery Gentry was in the process of finishing at the time of Troy’s passing. That album, “Here’s to You,” is now set for a February 2 release, and Eddie recently shared the news that he would tour in 2018 in support of the album.

We lost Troy far too soon when a helicopter he was taking a tour in crashed in Medford, New Jersey, on Sept. 8. Sadly, country music legend, Don Williams, passed away on the same day, delivering a double blow to the country music community. Troy was 50 at the time of his death.

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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