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Joey Feek Dies at 40 Following Cancer Battle

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Joey Martin Feek of the country duo Joey + Rory has died. The beloved singer was just 40 years old.

Feek passed away on March 4, 2016 after battling cancer for much of the last two years. Rory shared the news at this This Life I Live blog:

My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven.
The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior.

At 2:30 this afternoon, as we were gathered around her, holding hands and praying.. my precious bride breathed her last. And a moment later took her first breath on the other side.

She was originally diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 and underwent surgery that summer. In June of 2015 she and her husband Rory received the news that her cancer had returned, followed by a devastating diagnosis that the disease had reached Stage 4.

She subsequently underwent extensive surgery and an aggressive round of chemotherapy and radiation, and the couple’s hopes were high that she would respond to treatment. Tragically, on Oct. 23 Rory revealed that doctors had given them the news that there was nothing more they could do. The pair made the hard decision to stop treatments.

“So we did what you do when the medicine isn’t working, and the doctors are at a loss…and when the ‘statistics’ say you can do more chemo, but it will only buy you a little time …” Rory wrote. “We came home. Not to die. But to live.”

Joey Martin was born in Alexandria, Ind. on Sept. 9, 1975. According to Billboard, she made her first public appearance at age 6, performing Dolly Parton‘s “Coat of Many Colors” at a first grade talent show.

She moved to Nashville in 1998 and signed to Sony Records in 2000, recording a debut album that got shelved after changes at the label. She recorded a second album, Strong Enough to Cry, in 2004, which was also shelved, though it did see eventual release as a download.

Joey and Rory Feek married in 2002, and in 2008 they came to national attention when they paired up and placed third on CMT’s Can You Duet? They released their debut album, The Life of a Song, in October of that year, scoring a Top 40 hit with its lead single, “Cheater, Cheater.” Joey + Rory released a total of six studio albums encompassing country, bluegrass, gospel and Christmas songs. They also starred in a variety show on RFD-TV.

The duo recorded an album of traditional gospel hymns during the time that Joey was receiving treatment for her second bout with cancer, realizing a lifelong dream of hers.

Joey Martin Feek is survived by her husband, Rory, and their 2-year-old daughter, Indiana. It was Joey’s dying goal to live to see Indy’s birthday, and soon after achieving this, the singer decided to slip away, telling her husband: “I have no regrets… I can honestly say, that I have done everything I wanted to do and lived the life I always wanted to live.”

Beautiful Photos of Joey + Rory

See 5 Unforgettable Joey + Rory Songs

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