Bluegrass musician J.D. Crowe dies at 84 in hospice care at his home

Legendary bluegrass musician J.D. Crowe died Friday while in hospice care at his residence, according to Bluegrass Today. 

The legendary musician, known for his skill on the five-string banjo, was 84.

Son breaks the news

On Christmas Eve, Kentucky Country Music released a message on its Facebook page stating that it learned from Crowe’s son, David, that his father had passed away.

“Earlier this morning, we received the news of the passing of J.D. Crowe, as confirmed by his son David,” the Facebook post read.

The site continued with a tribute to Crowe.

“You could not have found a nicer guy in the world of bluegrass than Crowe,” the post read. “One of the hardest working guys in the music business, he was also a hoot to be around.”

What exactly led to Crowe’s death is unclear. Reports indicate that he had been recovering after recently behind hospitalized, and it appeared that he was going to be able to return home for Christmas, but then, things must have taken a turn for the worse. It is known that Crowe had suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the past, but it is unclear whether this played a role in his death.

Crowe’s legacy

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Crowe enjoyed a long career as a Bluegrass musician that began in the 1950s, when he was still a teenager, and spanned more than five decades.

Early on in his career, he played with Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys. But he would go on to form the Kentucky Mountain Boys, which, in 1971, became known as The New South. Members included Tony Rice, and the legendary Ricky Skaggs.

Crowe was highly regarded both for his banjo playing and for his innovations in Bluegrass music. In 1983, he won a Grammy in the category of Country Instrumental of the Year for his song Fireball. Later on, in 2011, he won the Bluegrass Star Award.

Crowe finally decided to retire in 2012, over 50 years after beginning his career. But, he only really retired from rigorous touring. After his retirement, he would still play at concerts and festivals, and he also recorded and released new albums.

Tributes to Crowe have been pouring in on social media. As Bluegrass Today stated: “It might be best described by saying that people loved J.D. Crowe… they truly loved him, and many more than his family and close friends feel his loss today.”

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