When news broke that Earl Thomas Conley passed away Wednesday (April 10), country stars spoke out about their memories of the legendary country singer.
Earl found success as a singer with the 1981 No. 1 hit “Fire and Smoke.” His unique vocal style put him on a chart topping streak in the 1980s that started with “Your Love’s On the Line” and included his signature smash, “Holding Her and Loving You.”
Blake Shelton broke the news with his tweet, paying homage to his “all time favorite singer.” Toby Keith, Clay Walker, Kix Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Josh Turner and more used the moment to share their feelings about the big loss country music is experiencing.
My heart is absolutely destroyed today… I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest… pic.twitter.com/W75ZVV6fbe
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) April 10, 2019
An all time great. Earl Thomas Conley passed away today. Huge influence on me. Loved him. Prayers to his family. -T
— Toby Keith (@tobykeith) April 10, 2019
Earl Thomas Conley was the reason i became a country singer. Holding Her and Loving You. He was the most soulful singer country music has ever known. My thoughts are with his family,especially his children. Thank you Earl for blessing us all who love this wonderful music we live.
— Clay Walker (@ClayWalker) April 11, 2019
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) April 10, 2019
So sad to hear #EarlThomasConley passed away today. He was a huge influence on my style and songwriting. I studied his records like text books and could play every note of every song. Truly one of the all time greats in country music. #RipEarlThomasConleyhttps://t.co/IRwrhcPf2p
— John Rich (@johnrich) April 10, 2019
I’m saddened to hear about ETC’s passing. He was a great singer and made some classic country hits that we’ll love forever. I met him a couple times and you never had to wonder how he felt about things. I think that’s how we all want to be.
— Josh Turner (@joshturnermusic) April 11, 2019
RIP Earl Thomas Conley… sad day for country music pic.twitter.com/bxgEIlbSJU
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) April 10, 2019
ETC – what a voice- Holding Her And Loving You #missingyou RIP – another great gone
— Kix Brooks (@KixBrooks) April 11, 2019
I am so sad to hear this news. ETC you will be greatly missed. 💔 https://t.co/K9RWGmAujK
— Trisha Yearwood (@trishayearwood) April 10, 2019
The hardest thing I’ll ever have to do
Is holdin her
And lovin’ you
RIP Earl Thomas Conley
— Parker McCollum (@ParkerMcCollum) April 10, 2019