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Country Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert Despite Fan Trying To Revive Him

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 20 Jan 2020 08:55
Country Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimCountry Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimMusic City Roots/YouTube

Country singer David Olney has died while on stage following an apparent heart attack, despite a fan’s efforts to revive him. 

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The 71-year-old was performing at 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, on Saturday, January 18, when he suddenly apologised to the audience and closed his eyes.

A doctor who was in the audience attempted to revive the singer-songwriter but sadly Olney didn’t respond.

Country Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimCountry Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimScott Housley/DavidOnley.com

Amy Rigby, an artist who was also performing at the festival, took to Facebook to break the sad news and described his passing as ‘graceful and dignified’.

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Her post read:

David Olney, a beautiful man, a legend, a songwriting poet died last night. I was sitting next to him in the round, had been so honored and looking forward to getting to trade songs with him and Scott Miller.

Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologized and shut his eyes. He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket we laughed about because it was raining like hell outside the boathouse where we were playing- I just want the picture to be as graceful and dignified as it was, because it at first looked like he was just taking a moment.

Scott Miller had the presence of mind to say we needed to revive him. Doctors in the audience and 30A folks were all working so hard to get him to come to. It’s hard to post about this because I can’t really believe he’s gone.

I am so sorry for his wife and family and friends and all the people who loved him and his music. Even those who never heard of him. We all lost someone important last night.

Country Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimCountry Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimDavid Onley/YouTube

Olney moved to Nashville in 1973 and formed a band called The X-Rays. The band recorded two studio albums before breaking up in 1985, with Olney going on to pursue a solo career.

As as solo artist, he made more than 20 albums during his four-decade-long career and was seen as a ‘key member’ of Nashville’s music community.

Following the tragic news of his death, fans have taken to social media to express their condolences.

Country Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimCountry Singer David Olney Dies On Stage Mid-Concert After Fan Tried To Revive HimDavidOnley.com

One person commented on Amy Rigby’s post saying:

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So very sad. I first heard of David when I heard Emmy Lou sing 1917. That song crushed me! Then I heard Steve Earl introduce him as “the greatest songwriter you’ve never heard of”. RIP David.

I’m sure many will find peace in knowing the 71-year-old singer-songwriter died doing what he loved.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Music, 30A Songwriters Festival, Amy Rigby, Country Music, David Onley, Nashville