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Last week, it was announced that country music singer Luke Bell had unfortunately passed away. Bell was loved by those that knew him, and he was heralded as one of the most authentic country artists in a time when the industry has become overrun by generic pop-country tunes. Who was Luke Bell, and how did he pass away? Read on below to find out.
Who was Luke Bell?
Luke Bell was an American country singer-songwriter who was born in Lexington, Kentucky and raised in Cody, Wyoming. Bell released three studio albums between 2012 and 2016 and had slowly become less active in the music scene since his father’s death in 2015. During his career, Bell opened for acts such as Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Dwight Yoakam and Hayes Carll.
Bell played and sang in an old-school country style that appealed to classic country fans as well as younger listeners. He was praised and described as “[playing] classic honky-tonk with a wink and a yodel that summons the sleeping ghosts of country better than any voodoo spell ever could.”
Bell’s music career
Luke Bell moved from Wyoming to Austin, Texas in 2012, where he produced and recorded his self-titled debut album by himself.
In 2014, Bell briefly moved to New Orleans, Louisiana and spent time performing on the street to make money to fund his music career. Afterward, he moved back to Cody to begin working on his second studio album. He received funding for the album, titled Don’t Mind If I Do, through a crowdfunding campaign. He launched the campaign through a fundraiser concert, entitled “No Dough Medicine Show,” in his hometown of Cody.
After releasing his second album, Bell moved to Nashville, Tennessee. He released his third studio album, again self-titled, in 2016. The album was a mixture of songs from his first album and new songs. The album was received well by listeners and the media and helped him receive attention from both NPR Music and Rolling Stone.
Bell was in Tucson, Arizona at the end of last August, and was reported missing on August 20th. He reportedly disappeared while his friend, country musician Matt Kinman, went out to eat, and he was not seen for six days.
Bell suffered from mental illness, including bipolar disorder, which made his family and friends even more nervous when he was reported missing. After his death, Bell’s family stated that he had changed medication for treatment for his bipolar disorder prior to his death.
How did Bell die?
Nine days after his disappearance, Bell was found dead in midtown Tucson, close to the location he disappeared from. Tucson police have said that the investigation remains ongoing, and any additional information would be helpful for the police and the family.
Bell’s family and friends have not yet released information about Bell’s cause of death. At the time of his disappearance, the family speculated that the new medication might be affecting him, but they haven’t publicly said anything more about it since he was found.