Oak Ridge Boys singer Joe Bonsall dies at 76 months after announcing retirement during tour : News : Music Times

Oak Ridge Boys singer Joe Bonsall dies at 76 months after announcing retirement during tour : News : Music Times

Joe Bonsall, the longtime tenor who rose to fame as a member of The Oak Ridge Boys, has died. He was 76.

The iconic country and gospel group confirmed Bonsall’s passing in a statement, saying the musician died on Tuesday, July 9, from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His family also released a separate message to share the news with fans.

“Joe loved to sing. He loved to read. He loved to write,” the statement said. “He loved to play the banjo. He loved to work on the farm. And he loved the Philadelphia Phillies. But Jesus and his family always came first — and we will see him again on the Promised Day.”

Before his death, he reportedly requested that no funeral be held for him. Donations can instead be made to the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center or The ALS Association.

Bonsall is survived by his wife Mary Ann, daughters Jennifer and Sabrina, two grandchildren and two great-grandsons. The family has asked the public for privacy.

CMA Country Music, musicians, fans and colleagues of Bonsall paid tribute to him online following the loss.


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Bonsall’s death came after he announced his retirement from touring with The Oak Ridge Boys. He spoke to People at the time about taking a step back and prioritizing his health, years after receiving a diagnosis he didn’t disclose at the time.

“Many of you know that I have been battling a neuromuscular disorder of slow onset for four years. I am now at the point where walking is impossible, so I have essentially stopped riding,” he said in January. “It has just become too difficult. It has been an amazing 50 years and I am grateful to all the crew and staff of the Oak Ridge Boys band for the constant love and support they have given me.”

He worked with The Oak Ridge Boys for over 50 years and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry membership. Before his death, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

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