We see them as idols, immune to the tragedies of life. But despite fame, fortune, and adoration, they are not. Like their fans, stars still struggle with the same horrors of life, and deal with some of the most tragic events life can offer.
At only 13-years-old, Jennifer Strait died in an automobile accident after being ejected from a car. The first child of George and his wife, Norma, her death immediately changed George. For several years following, he gave no interviews and didn’t record much. It’s speculated that his song “Baby Blue” is about Jennifer.
Her memory lives on in the Jennifer Lynn Strait Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to children’s charities in San Antonio.
You might remember Gary Allan from his some of his hits, such as “Right Where I Need to Be” and “Her Man.”
Just three years into his marriage, he survived his wife’s suicide. At only 36-years-old, Angela Allan killed herself in the couple’s home with a pistol. In an interview he gave many years later, Gary revealed the guilt he still carries. Allan said he knew she had migraines that would trigger depression but had no idea she was contemplating suicide. He said that music was part of his healing.
This singer/songwriter lost an entire band and her tour manager in a plane crash. Due to illness, Reba stayed behind rather than fly out with her crew.
The singer had enlisted two chartered planes to fly from California to Indiana for a performance. The first crashed into a side of a mountain. All on board were killed: Chris Austin, Kirk Cappello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kay Evans, Jim Hammon, Terry Jackson, Anthony Saputo and Michael Thomas, as well as pilot Donald Holms and co-pilot Chris Hollinger.
Reba recounted the devastating loss and its impact on her in her 1994 autobiography, Reba: My Story. She also dedicated her next album, For My Broken Heart, to those lost.
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Death and tragedy know no bounds. They don’t seek you because you aren’t rich or ignore you because you are. But the resilience of the human spirit is just as powerful as the death that takes loved ones away. All of those stars show us that.