Country music singer Troy Gentry dies in helicopter crash just hours before concert
Country music singer Troy Gentry has died in a helicopter crash just hours before a concert, it has been confirmed.
The singer, one half of Montgomery Gentry, was 50 years old.
A statement shared on the band's website and Twitter page said: "It is with great sadness that we confirm that Troy Gentry, half of the popular country duo, Montgomery Gentry, was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1:00pm today in Medford, New Jersey.
"The duo was scheduled to perform tonight at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford. Troy Gentry was 50 years old. Details of the crash are unknown.
"Troy Gentry's family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time."
Stars of the country music world rushed to pay tribute to him, with Blake Shelton sharing a picture of the pair together, writing: "Found this picture of me and my old friend Troy a few days ago.. I am heart broken."
Chase Bryant wrote: "My heart goes out to the family and friends of Troy Gentry. We are all incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. Your music will live on!"
Chris Young added: "Just heard about Troy Gentry... I literally have no words. Have known him for years and played so many shows with him and Eddie... #prayers."
Jake Owen paid tribute to Gentry and Don Williams, who also died on Friday after a short illness.
He wrote: "Sad day for country music. Troy Gentry and Don Williams have passed and that makes my heart hurt. Don was my hero and Troy was my friend."
Lee Brice added: "The world changed today. Country music lost both a Friend and a Hero. Troy Gentry and Don Williams, you both will be dearly missed."
The Country Music Association added: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."
Gentry was born on April 5, 1967, in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met bandmate Eddie Montgomery and formed a group based on their last names.