Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery has offered his first words on the death of the duo's Troy Gentry and their new song "Better Man."

In the 53-year-old's first statement since the Sept. 8 helicopter crash that took Gentry's life, Montgomery starts by thanking everyone for the support and prayers.

"Our world was turned upside down in an instant and nothing could have prepared us for this," he says. "Over the past few months me and T-Roy have been working on what I think is the best record of our career. In the last few weeks we had been talking about what our first single would be. Then on September 8, none of that mattered."

The note came in an emailed media notice about Montgomery Gentry's new song "Better Me." The song was played to close Gentry's public celebration of life on Sept. 14. It's a story of redemption and of rising up to be what loved ones deserve.

"'Better Me' is a song we all loved and Troy sings his ass off on it," Montgomery writes. "It speaks volumes about his life and who he had become and everybody he touched and how much he loved his family. I am so proud of this song and also to call him my friend, my family, my brother for 30 years."

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Previously Montgomery's wife Jennifer had offered a statement thanking fans for their support. Twitter accounts belonging to Montgomery and Montgomery Gentry have been mostly quiet since the crash, with only a few words confirming Gentry's death and his memorial. The 50-year-old Gentry was touring the area around the duo's Medford, N.J., performance venue at the time of the crash. An investigation indicates the helicopter suffered a mechanical issue before crashing just off the runway.

Along with Gentry, pilot James Even Robinson was also killed. Montgomery Gentry had been planning to release a new album on Average Joe's Entertainment in 2018 and while the single was released through Average Joes it's not clear what the future of the group will look like.

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