Troy Gentry of country duo Montgomery Gentry dies in helicopter crash

Troy Gentry, of the country band Montgomery Gentry, was killed in a New Jersey helicopter crash Friday just before the duo was set to perform. He was 50.

The band confirmed his death in the crash in Medford, N.J. about 1 p.m. ET, but had no details of why it happened. 

The band's tweet said Gentry's family thanked fans for "kind thoughts and prayers" and asked for privacy.

The Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford announced in a Facebook post that the popular band's show for Friday night had been canceled. The airport also houses a resort, where the concert was going to be held.

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The Courier-Post in New Jersey reported that an aircraft went down at the Flying W Airport with two people on board. The Associated Press reported the pilot of the helicopter also died.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration told the Courier-Post a Schweitzer 269 "crashed in a wooded area off the end of runway 1," and that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board would soon begin an investigation into the incident.

TV stations tweeted pictures of the crash scene. 

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Montgomery Gentry had been a duo for more than two decades, starting out on a bar stage in Lexington, Ky., and evenutally becoming members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Gentry was born in Lexington, but called Nashville home, according to The Tennessean. He was married with two children.

On the duo's website, Gentry said their popularity was due to the "chemistry" between Gentry and Eddie Montgomery.

"It's a chemistry that's worked for years," Gentry said. "We have two separate singing styles that when they come together, they're very identifiable. It doesn't get old or get sterile. The back and forth between our vocals definitely keeps you listening and keeps you interested in the song."

Gentry and Montgomery were one of the most identifiable Southern rock/country duos in country music, with hits like Hillbilly Shoes and Headlights, My Town and Something to be Proud Of.

Their website describes their sound as the product of their "outlaw-meets-gentleman sensibilities, their yin and yang personalities and their intensely energetic live performances."

A review of one of their performances, in Roanoke, Va., in June, by the Roanoke Times said the duo had scored a dozen hit country singles.

"But the past few years have been tougher, with lower sales and fewer hits in a country music world that in recent years has skewed in directions both poppier and more hard-rock than the Southern-fried and bluesy era from which this act emerged," the review said.

In 2013, in an interview with the Des Moines Register, the singers said that after 20 years together, they were still having fun.

"I reckon we're like a married couple, sort of," Montgomery said. "You hear horror stories all the time about duos, but we've always just been friends having fun and making music."

© 2017 ABC News


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