The music industry is mourning the deaths of US country music stars Don Williams and Troy Gentry, who have both died on the same day.
Don Williams, an award-winning country singer with love ballads like I Believe in You, has died. He was 78.
A statement from his publicist Kirt Webster said he died Friday after a short illness.
Williams, nicknamed "the Gentle Giant," had a rich voice, gentle delivery and storytelling style. His hits included I Believe in You, Lord I Hope This Day Is Good, You're My Best Friend, Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, Till the Rivers All Run Dry and Back in My Younger Days.
"Don Williams offered calm, beauty, and a sense of wistful peace that is in short supply these days," said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, in a statement Friday.
"His music will forever be a balm in troublesome times. Everyone who makes country music with grace, intelligence, and ageless intent will do so while standing on the shoulders of this gentle giant."
I was saddened to hear of Don Williams passing today.His simple music, gentle voice & beautiful songs will live on forever. RIP Gentle Giant
— Ricky Skaggs (@RickySkaggs) September 8, 2017
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
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) September 8, 2017
Just heard the news about Don Williams and Troy Gentry. Country music lost a hero and a friend today. My heart goes out to all.
— Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) September 8, 2017
What a sad day for country music. Don Williams was a legend, and for good reason. So many beautiful songs.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) September 8, 2017
The news of Williams' death comes as Troy Gentry died in a helicopter crash.
Gentry, 50, was killed hours before the band was set to hit the stage - a second home for the singer and guitarist from Kentucky.
The helicopter carrying Gentry crashed in a wooded area near the Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey, around 1pm local time Friday. Montgomery Gentry was supposed to perform Friday in Medford.
Gentry was born on April 5, 1967 in Lexington, Kentucky, where he met bandmate Eddie Montgomery, known for his signature hat. Later, they formed a group based off their last names.
Montgomery Gentry had success on the country charts and country radio in the 2000s, scoring No. 1 hits with Roll With Me, Back When I Knew It All, Lucky Man, Something to Be Proud Of and If You Ever Stop Loving Me. Some of the songs even cracked the Top 40 of the pop charts.
"Troy Gentry's family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time," a statement read.
Several country singers wrote touching words on social media about Gentry's death on Friday.
Sad about Don Williams but Troy Gentry was my friend. I had great times with him. I'm stunned, angry and upset at the moment. I'll miss you.
— Shooter Jennings (@ShooterJennings) September 8, 2017
2 legends lost at once. Troy Gentry and Don Williams will be missed so much. Praying for their families and may they rest in peace.
— Big & Rich (@bigandrich) September 8, 2017
The band and I so sad to hear about Troy Gentry. We were just with them boys two weeks ago. God bless him and his family and band family.
— SammyKershaw (@SammyKershaw) September 8, 2017
Troy Gentry is someone I considered a friend, and we are all absolutely numb right now. Sending love to his wife Angie and their children.
— Terri Clark (@TerriClarkMusic) September 8, 2017