Walker Montgomery told fans outside the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field Saturday morning that “it’s been a hard two days for my family and Central Kentucky as a whole” because of the death of country musician Troy Gentry.
“He was always one of those kind of guys that was willing to help you out, support you,” he said in a brief interview before the show.
Gentry, of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, died Friday in a helicopter crash before a performance in Medford, N.J.
Walker Montgomery is the son of country star John Michael Montgomery and the nephew of Eddie Montgomery, the other half of Montgomery Gentry.
“I’m 18 and I’ve known Troy for 18 years,” he said before the concert. “There’s nobody like him. …He supported me 100 percent.”
The aspiring singer is also a UK student majoring in integrated strategic communications.
He emerged the winner among eight local musical acts that competed in fan voting on Twitter to play the first Kentucky football pregame concert of the season, UK said in a news release.
“I’m a huge UK football fan,” he said. “I’ve missed, like, three home football games since 2007. I’m kind of obsessed.”
He said he was performing the pregame show in honor of Gentry.
“Hopefully he’s looking down and smiling right now,” Montgomery told the crowd.
UK plays Eastern Kentucky University at noon Saturday.