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Country Artists Who Have Died in 2016

The country music community suffered some difficult losses in 2016; throughout the year, fans have had to say sad goodbyes to some of the genre’s most influential names.

Musician Red Simpson, who helped develop the influential “Bakersfield Sound,” passed away early in 2016. The loss of the 81-year-old happened shortly after the unexpected loss of Backroad Anthem‘s Craig Strickland, who went missing during a duck hunt in late December and whose body was discovered on Jan. 4.

Joey Floyd and Paul Gordon — both highly-respected, multi-talented musicians — passed away this year as well, along with Steve Young and Country Music Hall of Fame member Sonny James. But perhaps the genre’s two biggest losses of 2016 were Joey + Rory‘s Joey Feek, who died after her fight against cervical cancer, and the great Merle Haggard, who passed away on his 79th birthday.

Flip through the photo gallery above to remember all of those we lost in 2016.

In Memoriam: Remembering the Country Artists Who Died in 2016

NEXT: Country Stars Who Died in 2015

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