Death is an inevitable truth for all people, but somehow it's even more tragic when it's unexpected, as was the case with these country singers who died before their time. Justin Townes Earle's death on Sunday (Aug. 23) at the young age of 38 reminds us of all of the stars who left before we were ready to see them go.

Some were victims of tragedy, while others lost health battles and even more played a role in their sad fate. Mindy McCready was just 37 when she took her own life. Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves both died in tragic plane crashes, while Eddie Rabbitt left the world as a result of a hard battle with lung cancer.

While these country legends are gone, they're so legendary because their music will live on forever. No future generation of country fans will ask, "Who is Hank Williams?" because he's a man who — even though he died in his 20s — shaped the face of the genre. Find him and others on this list of 16 artists who died too young.

17 Country Stars Who Died Too Young: