Troy Gentry of the Country Music duo Montgomery Gentry performs on the Rebels On The Run Tour in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2013. (AP file)

Troy Gentry of the Country Music duo Montgomery Gentry performs on the Rebels On The Run Tour in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2013. (AP file)

Stars honor country singer Troy Gentry at Opry memorial

Country singer Troy Gentry, who died Sept. 8 in a helicopter crash, was memorialized Thursday.

By Kristin M. Hall / Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country singer Troy Gentry of the popular duo Montgomery Gentry was memorialized Thursday by friends and Grand Ole Opry singers as funny and kind, an artist with a huge appetite for life who loved his family, his music, his band and his fans.

During a public celebration of his life held at the Opry, friends reminisced about Gentry’s big personality, his flashy smile and his jokes. They sang songs he loved to sing, along with some about his home state of Kentucky.

Gentry, 50, died Friday in Medford, New Jersey, in a helicopter crash. The pilot, James Evan Robinson who was also killed, reported shortly after takeoff that the aircraft was having mechanical problems.

Gentry’s own voice, on an unreleased song from a forthcoming album, closed the ceremony. “Better Me” featured Gentry singing about how he was a bit older and a little less reckless, and had turned a page on his wilder days.

“I ain’t saying I am perfect, but I am working on a better me,” he sings in the ballad.

Little Big Town, Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels and Trace Adkins were among the stars who gathered at the service to sing songs like “How Great Thou Art,” ”Wayfaring Stranger,” and “My Old Kentucky Home.” Gentry’s casket was placed in the famous circle in the middle of the Opry stage, where he often stood to sing with duo partner Eddie Montgomery, and was surrounded by sprays of white and red roses.

Gentry and Montgomery were inducted into the Opry in 2009 after a string of No. 1 country hits and platinum albums with their mixture of Southern rock and country. Some of their hits included “Roll With Me,” ”Back When I Knew It All,” ”Lucky Man,” ”Something to Be Proud Of” and “If You Ever Stop Loving Me.”

Montgomery Gentry was the only duo to interrupt the win streak held by Brooks and Dunn in the Country Music Association’s vocal duo category between 1992 and 2006 when they won in 2000.

Gill was remembered for his charity work for the T.J. Martell Foundation, and the USO, his love for Halloween and Christmas holidays, Elvis Presley and Disney movies.

Gentry is survived by his wife, Angie Gentry, as well as his daughters, Taylor and Kaylee.

Talk to us

More in Nation-World

A woman reacts as she prepares to leave an area for relatives of the passengers aboard China Eastern's flight MU5735 at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Guangzhou. No survivors have been found as rescuers on Tuesday searched the scattered wreckage of a China Eastern plane carrying 132 people that crashed a day earlier on a wooded mountainside in China's worst air disaster in more than a decade. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
No survivors found in crash of Boeing 737 in China

What caused the plane to drop out of the sky shortly before it was to being its descent remained a mystery.

In this photo taken by mobile phone released by Xinhua News Agency, a piece of wreckage of the China Eastern's flight MU5735 are seen after it crashed on the mountain in Tengxian County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday, March 21, 2022. A China Eastern Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in a remote mountainous area of southern China on Monday, officials said, setting off a forest fire visible from space in the country's worst air disaster in nearly a decade. (Xinhua via AP)
Boeing 737 crashes in southern China with 132 aboard

More than 15 hours after communication was lost with the plane, there was still no word of survivors.

In this photo taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Street fighting broke out in Ukraine's second-largest city Sunday and Russian troops put increasing pressure on strategic ports in the country's south following a wave of attacks on airfields and fuel facilities elsewhere that appeared to mark a new phase of Russia's invasion. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Ukraine wants EU membership, but accession often takes years

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request has enthusiastic support from several member states.

FILE - Ukrainian servicemen walk by fragments of a downed aircraft,  in in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. The International Criminal Court's prosecutor has put combatants and their commanders on notice that he is monitoring Russia's invasion of Ukraine and has jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. But, at the same time, Prosecutor Karim Khan acknowledges that he cannot investigate the crime of aggression. (AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak, File)
ICC prosecutor to open probe into war crimes in Ukraine

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet confirmed that 102 civilians have been killed.

FILE - Refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Ukraine arrive to Zahony, Hungary, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians seek refuge in neighboring countries, cradling children in one arm and clutching belongings in the other, leaders in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania are offering a hearty welcome. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi, File)
Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees — others, less so

It is a stark difference from treatment given to migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

Afghan evacuees disembark the plane and board a bus after landing at Skopje International Airport, North Macedonia, on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. North Macedonia has hosted another group of 44 Afghan evacuees on Wednesday where they will be sheltered temporarily till their transfer to final destinations. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
‘They are safe here.’ Snohomish County welcomes hundreds of Afghans

The county’s welcoming center has been a hub of services and assistance for migrants fleeing Afghanistan since October.

FILE - In this April 15, 2019, file photo, a vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles. An unwelcome trend is emerging in California, as the nation's most populous state enters its fifth year of broad legal marijuana sales. Industry experts say a growing number of license holders are secretly operating in the illegal market — working both sides of the economy to make ends meet. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
In California pot market, a hazy line between legal and not

Industry insiders say the practice of working simultaneously in the legal and illicit markets is a financial reality.

19 dead, including 9 children, in NYC apartment fire

More than five dozen people were injured and 13 people were still in critical condition in the hospital.

15 dead after Russian skydiver plane crashes

The L-410, a Czech-made twin-engine turboprop, crashed near the town of Menzelinsk.

FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook prematurely turned off safeguards designed to thwart misinformation and rabble rousing after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 elections in a moneymaking move that a company whistleblower alleges contributed to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, invasion of the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram in hourslong worldwide outage

Something made the social media giant’s routes inaccessable to the rest of the internet.

Oil washed up on Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. A major oil spill off the coast of Southern California fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Crews race to limited damage from California oil spill

At least 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) of oil spilled into the waters off Orange County.

YouTube will remove videos with misinformation about any vaccine

The ban covers claims vaccines are dangerous or lead to chronic health outcomes such as autism.