Luke Bell Died From Accidental Fentanyl Overdose
Country singer Luke Bell's cause of death was an accidental fentanyl overdose, according to a new report.
People reports that the Pima County Medical Examiner's autopsy, which local news outlet ABC 9 KGUN Tucson obtained, states that a passerby found Bell at the scene of his death, unresponsive and with drug paraphernalia also at the scene.
KGUN first broke the news of Bell's cause of death on Tuesday (Sept. 20).
The US Sun reports that Bell also had arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and his blood alcohol level was 0.076 at the time of his death.
Bell went missing on Saturday, Aug. 20, when he was last seen in Tucson, Ariz. Saving Country Music reported that Bell was found on Aug. 29, near the location where he was last believed to seen. Bell's close friend and fellow musician, Matt Kinman, told SCM that Bell had been diagnosed as bipolar, voicing concern that a recent change in his medication regimen might have "played a role" in his disappearance.
The Wyoming native first formed a band and began actively performing while attending the University of Wyoming. After dropping out of college, he relocated to Austin in order to pursue music, and he regularly performed gigs in honky-tonks across the city. He spent a short stint in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, then returned to Wyoming before moving to Nashville.
Bell signed a record deal with Thirty Tigers in 2016 and released his self-titled album later that year, earning critical acclaim. His traditional country sound earned him support slots for Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Hayes Carll, as well as his own set of fans.
"To be honest, I live in the day, and I count smiles," Bell told the Boot in 2016. "That's it. Listen, half the time, I end up drinking beer with my neighbors. Life's not that bad. The downside, in some ways, is I don't have a wife and kids, but at the same time, it's pretty ideal right now. I just travel around to other cities and hang out with other people ... The goal is to have high hopes and low expectations and have a good time."
Bell's career seemed to take a sudden pause within months after that interview, as he released no new music, his performances were few and far between and his social media stagnated.
In 2021, he surprised fans by sharing a new single, "Jealous Guy." Although many assumed the track was a signal of more new music to come, it ended up being his final release.
Bell's family stated they were "heartbroken" about his death in a statement to People in early September of 2022, calling him a "beloved son, brother and friend."
"Unfortunately, Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father's death in 2015," the family explain in the statement. "Luke was supported through his disease by a community of loving family and friends. Despite this, he was unable to receive the help he needed to ease his pain."
"Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected by mental illness who, like us, understand the devastating disappointment of a system that consistently fails to provide caring solutions to those who suffer," they add.