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Keith Whitley
Keith Whitley


34 Years Ago Today, Country Music Legend, Keith Whitley, Passed Away From Alcohol Poisoning

One of the greatest to ever do it.

34 years ago, today, one of the most iconic Country singers passed away in his home at the young age of 33. Still new to Country music before his death, Keith Whitley had only released two albums, but hits like “When You Say Nothing At All,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” and “I’m No Stranger To The Rain,” as well as his distinct tone, instantly made him a huge star.

In 1989, Whitley passed away from alcohol poisoning, with a blood alcohol content of more than 5X the legal limit. At the time of his death, Whitley was unaware that he was just three weeks away from an official invitation to become the next member of the Grand Ole Opry (back when it was still a big deal).

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Lorrie Morgan, Keith’s wife and label-mate, discussed his addiction struggles and what it was like being married to him; “It was like a ticking time bomb. I knew all this going into the relationship….I feel in my own heart I kept Keith alive a lot longer because I was there all the Time. Every time the phone would ring it was in the back of my mind that there was somebody calling to tell me he’s been in a wreck or died of alcohol. it was a living hell. I was on pins and needles when he was on the road.

Back in October of last year, Whitley was officially inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame (it only took 33 years) and wife Lorrie, introduced by Garth Brooks, accepted the honor alongside her and Whitley’s kids.

Check out a video of them discussing Keith after his Hall Of Fame induction, as well as his last ever performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

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