Chris Stapleton paid tribute fellow Kentucky country artist Troy Gentry Friday night playing the Montgomery Gentry hit “Hillbilly Shoes” during his show at Cincinnati’s Riverbend.
Gentry died Friday afternoon in a helicopter crash in New Jersey. He will be honored with a celebration Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, followed by a private service and interment.
In video of the performance posted on YouTube, Stapleton mashes up the defiant Montgomery Gentry tune, with fans joining in singing, and his own “Nobody to Blame.”
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Stapleton was not the only artist to honor Gentry on stage. At a show in Holmdel, New Jersey, Jason Aldean recalled from the stage Gentry and Eddie Montgomery taking him under their wings when he was starting out, and he played Montgomery Gentry’s “Lonely and Gone,” saying, “this is one I used to play in the clubs before I had any hits of my own.”
Other country stars took to social media to pay tribute to Gentry, including Blake Shelton, who was just in Lexington Sept. 3 for the final night of Red, White & Boom. On Instagram and Twitter, Shelton posted an old photo of himself and Gentry and said, “I am heart broken.”
Charlie Daniels recalled telling Gentry and Eddie Montgomery they were going to become members of the Grand Ole Opry.
For its own part, the Grand Ole Opry posted a video of Gentry performances writing, “Our stage will never be the same.”
Rich Copley: @copiousnotes.