George Strait drummer Mike Kennedy killed in car crash

Drummer backed Strait for 30 years

George Strait’s longtime drummer Mike Kennedy has died in a car crash in Lebanon, TN. The Tennessean reports that 59 year old Kennedy was killed on I-40 in Wilson County after Kennedy’s GMC hit a tractor-trailer as it merged into another lane on Friday (Aug 31st) afternoon. The tractor-trailer then hit a Chevrolet Silverado. Investigators say traffic was backed for hours.

Kennedy was the only one injured in the crash and wasn’t wearing his seat belt. The Tennessee State Highway Patrol says the seat belt wouldn’t have saved him anyway.

“The heart beat of our band is gone,” George Strait’s production manager Paul Rogers shares in a tweet. “Not sure how we will get back on stage without him. But we must. Much love and respect my dear friend Mike Kennedy.”

On Sunday (Sept 2nd), George Strait released the following statement on Facebook.

“Hard to put into words how much Mike’s passing has affected us all. Our hearts are broken. It’s going to be very strange not being able to look over and see him there in his spot on stage and very emotional as well I’m sure for all of us and also his fans. The band will never be the same. A part of us is gone forever. We all loved Mike and will miss him terribly. He was just as solid a friend to us all as he was a drummer, and that was damn solid. Our hearts and prayers are with his family. The Lord has him now. Rest In Peace my friend.”

Kennedy was Strait’s drummer for 30 years, joining his Ace In The Hole band in 1987. Kennedy’s credits also include Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, Barbara Fairchild, among others.

No other details were available as of press time. Our thoughts go out to Strait, Kennedy, the Ace in the Hole Band and their families.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.