Tony Rice, bluegrass music legend, dead at 69
Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines for December 26
Fox News Flash top entertainment and celebrity headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking today in entertainment.
Tony Rice, known as one of the leading bluegrass music legends of the 1970s, died on Christmas Day at age 69.
The International Bluegrass Music Association confirmed the news in a statement provided to Fox News.
"It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to one of the most iconic voices and musicians in bluegrass history. David Anthony 'Tony' Rice passed away at his home in Reidsville, N.C.," the statement reads in part. "For those of us lucky enough to know and hear Mr. Rice, it is an impossible task to put into words his infinite skill and influence. As a singer, songwriter and guitar player, there are few that will ever match his impact on bluegrass and acoustic music."
The artist's former label, Rounder Records, further eulogized the music legend in a statement on Facebook.
"We were all deeply saddened by the news of Tony Rice’s sudden passing on Christmas Day, and we offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones and his many fans. May he Rest In Peace," the post reads.
Rice was perhaps best known for playing with the band the New South alongside Ricky Skaggs. Skaggs was among the cadre of musicians to share their thoughts on Rice’s career and influence after news broke of his passing.
"Tony Rice was the single most influential acoustic guitar player in the last 50 years. Many if not all of the Bluegrass guitar players of today would say that they cut their teeth on Tony Rice’s music. He loved hearing the next generation players play his licks. I think that’s where he got most of his joy as a player," Skaggs wrote on Facebook.
Bluegrass legend Tony Rice died at age 69 on Christmas Day.
(Stephen A. Ide/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
He continued: "Not only was Tony a brilliant guitar player but he was also one of the most stylistic lead vocalists in Bluegrass music history. When I joined the group The New South in 1974, I knew I’d found a singing soul mate with Tony. Our voices blended like brothers. In 1980, we recorded the album 'Skaggs And Rice' for Sugar Hill as a tribute to our duet heroes with just the simplicity of guitar, mandolin and our voices. All these years later people tell me how much the purity of that record still touches their heart. That’s who Tony was, a singer from the heart."
According to Variety, Rice was a member of J.D. Crowe’s New South in the early 1970s before joining Skaggs. He would later perform with a myriad of groups and even fronted a few such as The Tony Rice Unit. He was also noted for his work with banjoist Bela Fleck and Jerry Garcia.
The outlet reports that Rice’s 2013 induction into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame was the last time he publicly played guitar because of a medical condition that made playing his beloved instrument difficult for him. He had not sung live since shortly after being diagnosed with muscle-tension dysphonia in 1994.
It didn’t take long before other country artists took to social media to pay their respects to Rice.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
"I’m beyond heartbroken to hear about the passing of Tony Rice. No one has had a more profound impact on my musical world. His playing, singing, writing, and arranging broke the bluegrass mold and will eternally attest to the fact that music can take you anywhere, from anywhere," wrote Chris Thile.
"Playing with Tony was like climbing aboard a magic carpet," added Fleck. "His rhythm playing set you free…"
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
"Tony Rice inspired so many including a kid like me from East Tennessee who was in awe of the way he sang and played Me And My Guitar. I’ll never forget seeing him sing that at the IBMA Bluegrass Festival in Owensboro, Ky. It’s printed in my brain forever! Rest In Peace Tony Rice," wrote Kenny Chesney.
Source: Read Full Article