James Otto shared some sad news with fans on Sept. 21, writing a post about his grandfather, Pete Lee, who had not been doing well.

"Today is a bit of a tough day," Otto said on Facebook. “It sounds like my grandpa Pete may pass away today. I’m praying for a painless and peaceful passing for him. He seems ready to go. I think he’ll be happier on the other side with my grandma.”

The next day, he posted a touching photo of himself hugging his grandfather with the caption “RIP Pete Lee, 1929-2015."

Though he had been dealing with his own sorrow over his loss, Otto also took the time to write a kind note about Eddie Montgomery's (Montgomery Gentry) tragic loss of his teenage son.

“Saying prayers for my friend Eddie Montgomery, [whose] 19-year-old son passed away,” Otto shared on Facebook Sept. 27. “I can’t imagine anything worse.”

Forty-one-year-old Otto has been working on a new record with Blaster records, the label that picked him up after the building success of his self-released single “Somewhere Tonight.” Blaster is home to artists like Montgomery Gentry, Chuck Wicks and Jack Ingram.

“I’m so excited about this new partnership with Blaster,” Otto said previously. “I’d taken some time off to reflect on my life and my career, and it gave me some great perspective and inspiration. I know a bunch of those guys, and I knew it was the right fit for me."

“Somewhere Tonight” will also serve as the lead-off single to his new album. Otto says the song is just about taking a break from all the stresses of everyday life and getting away from it all.

“With all the things that happen in life, sometimes you just need to break out, and that’s exactly what this song is about,” he explains. “It’s saying, ‘I just want to go somewhere tonight. I wanna forget about all the stress and pressure at work and the busy schedules. I just want to get out and have some fun.’”

The song is his first release since “Soldiers and Jesus” five years ago, but his most recognizable single is "Just Got Started Lovin' You."

Country Artists Who Passed Away in 2015

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