The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall, Dead At 76

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (CelebrityAccess) — Joseph S. Bonsall, a tenor vocalist and longtime member of the country/gospel group The Oak Ridge Boys, died on July 9, 2024. He was 76.

His passing was announced by his publicist who said that Bonsall died from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a neuromuscular disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A native of Philadelphia, Bonsall joined the Oak Ridge Boys in 1973 and continued as a tenor with the group until he announced his retirement from touring in early 2024.

Bonsall recorded numerous top ten songs with the Oak Ridge Boys, including seminal hits such as “Up On Cripple Creek,” “Bobby Sue,” “Dream On,” and “Ozark Mountain Jubilee.”

Bonsall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with the other members of the Oak Ridge Boys in 2015.

Along with music, Bonsall was the author of eleven books, including his most recent, a memoir entitled I See Myself, which is due in November.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, daughters Jennifer and Sabrina, granddaughter Breanne, grandson Luke, two great grandsons, Chance and Grey, and a sister, Nancy. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph S. Bonsall Sr. and Lillie Bonsall.

At the request of Joe, there will be no funeral. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The ALS Association or to the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center.

After news of his passing became public, friends and colleagues from across the industry shared their thoughts on the late country star.

“When I think of the Oak Ridge Boys and their place in Country Music history, the image of Joe with his huge smile and boundless energy comes to mind so clearly. His commitment to serving others while developing Country Music into a worldwide sensation will never be forgotten and our industry has been made better because of him. Today, we lost an incomparable energy and voice in music. He will be missed greatly by all who were fortunate to know him.” said Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO.

“Every single one of us at the Grand Ole Opry absolutely loved Joe Bonsall. The fans in the seats marveling at his on-stage energy. —Those tuned in around the world listening to his unmatched vocals as part of his beloved Oak Ridge Boys. —And all of us backstage laughing out loud at his antics and counting our lucky stars to have been in the orbit of such a loving, talented, wonderful human being. Safe travels, buddy. You are so loved.” n Dan Rogers, Senior VP/Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry.

“God love you, Joe Bonsall. You have been an inspiration to fans, friends, and family, especially to me for 52 years. This is a very rough day.” – stated Jim Halsey, longtime manager of the Oak Ridge Boys.

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