As the country world reels from the unexpected death of Troy Gentry (Montgomery Gentry), many artists have felt compelled to acknowledge the loss publicly, including Jason Aldean.

Aldean played a show in New Jersey Sept. 9, the day after Gentry’s death, and took the opportunity to pay tribute to the country mainstay by playing one of the duo’s songs. He introduced the cover by first sharing with the crowd his relationship with Montgomery Gentry, whom he said acted as mentors to him when he was beginning his career.

“Those guys were always really cool to me coming up when I was a new artist, they kinda took me under their wing and were really cool to me and I hated to hear that,” he said of Gentry’s passing. The crowd cheered in memory of Gentry.

“One thing I know about Troy is he always loved a good time. He always had a smile on his face and liked a good party, and tonight’s a good party, so here’s to Troy Gentry,” Aldean toasted.

Too Many Singers Have Died in Plane Crashes

Aldean told the crowd, if it was alright with them, he’d like to sing a Montgomery Gentry tune.

“This is one I used to play in the clubs back in the day before I had any hits of my own,” he commented before launching into “Lonely and Gone,” which appeared on the duo’s debut record, Tattoos & Scars, in 1999. It was the second single from the album and hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash near the Flying W airport in New Jersey on Sept. 8, as was the craft’s 30-year-old pilot James Evan Robinson. According to the Courier-Post, the helicopter crashed just south of the airport where the duo were scheduled to perform a concert that night, as there is a resort on the property.

Gentry was 50 years old.

Several other artists have spoken out in grief about Gentry’s death, including Old Dominion, whose lead singer Matt Ramsey choked up about the news during a tribute on stage. Blake Shelton said he was “heartbroken” to learn of Gentry’s passing, and Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia Line even expressed deep sadness from personal experience of his father’s death in a helicopter crash.

Troy Gentry Killed in Helicopter Crash — Learn More