Joey Feek Dead at 40
Joey Martin Feek, of country duo Joey + Rory, has lost her battle with cancer. Feek passed away on Friday (March 3), at around 2:30PM. She was 40 years old.
“My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven,” Rory Feek writes on his blog, This Life I Live. “The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased, and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior.”
Joey Martin was born on Sept. 9, 1975. She grew up in Alexandria, Ind., a small farming and factory town, as the third of five children. Her father Jack was a Vietnam War veteran and played guitar, and her mother June sang gospel music; needless to say, music was in her blood.
Feek’s very first performance was at a talent show in first grade; she sang Dolly Parton‘s “Coat of Many Colors” as her father played the guitar. She loved horses, and after graduating from high school, she worked as a veterinarian’s assistant before moving to a small farm town south of Nashville. There, she continued her work with horses — and worked on her musical dreams.
Feek married the love of her life, Rory Lee Feek, on June 15, 2002. After working as a solo recording artist and a songwriter, respectively, for several years, the Feeks began singing together as Joey + Rory and finished in third place during the first season of CMT’s Can You Duet. From there, they signed with Sugar Hill Records and released their debut record, The Life of a Song, in 2008.
Joey + Rory’s appropriately titled sophomore disc, Album Number Two, came in 2010, followed by A Farmhouse Christmas in 2011 and His and Hers in 2012. In 2013, the duo announced that they had recorded a gospel album, Inspired: Songs of Faith & Family, and the talented couple released their fifth studio album, Made to Last, in 2013. Joey + Rory also dropped Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage in May of 2014.
In addition to music, Joey Feek opened up a restaurant, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, with her sister-in-law in Pottsville, Tenn. The Feeks also starred in the 2012 television show The Joey + Rory Show, which chronicled their life on their farm, performances, restaurant business and more.
On Feb. 17, 2014, the Feeks’ daughter Indiana Boone was born. Just a few months after Indy’s birth, Joey Feek was diagnosed with cervical cancer; however, it was caught early, and after a hysterectomy, she was pronounced cancer free.
Sadly, in June of 2015, the Feeks were told that Joey Feek’s cancer had returned — and it had progressed to Stage IV. She underwent surgery and an intense five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, proving that she was a fighter and accepting the tough road ahead with her usual grace and hope.
Feek finished up her first round of treatment at the beginning of October and was scheduled to continue with another round later that month, but on Oct. 23, Rory Feek shared some devastating news with fans: Joey Feek’s cancer was coming back despite the treatments. There was nothing left to do. So, rather than continuing with her scheduled treatments, the Feeks went home to Tennessee — “not to die, but to live.”
Joey Feek entered home hospice care in November, but in the four months since, she got celebrate so many big milestones and moments: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s; Indy’s second birthday; a nomination for Best Country Duo / Group Performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards; an honor from the state of Indiana; and incredible chart success with Joey + Rory’s newest (and final) album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, among others. However, on Feb. 29, Rory Feek informed fans that his wife had been asleep “for a few days now” and likely only had “a few more days … at the most.”
“In the time that God gave her … I believe Joey’s given all she could give. She’s loved all she could love and lived all she could live,” Feek says. “And her faith … yes, it’s strong enough to save her. I know she’s done Him and all of us proud … in the time that He gave her.”
The Boot sends our deepest condolences to Joey Feek’s husband Rory, daughter Indiana, stepdaughters Hopie and Heidi and the rest of the friends, loved ones and fans that she leaves behind.
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