Arguably one of the greatest and most moving voices in all of country music, the Kentucky native was taken away from us way too quickly. Succumbing to a battle with severe alcoholism, he passed away in the prime of his career (1989), at the age of just 33.
His brief country music career saw tons of success, boasting hit songs like “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing at All,” “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” “Miami, My Amy,” and plenty of others that we all came to know and love.
“When You Say Nothing at All,” “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” and “Don’t Close Your Eyes” all peaked at number one on the Country Billboard charts.
The man was one of the original leaders of the “Neo-traditional” country sound and played a huge role in the genre’s rise in popularity in the mid to late ’80s. His career has proved to be an inspiration for many, and you’d be hard pressed to find an artist today (at least a good one) that wouldn’t call him a massive influence on their career.
So here’s to you, Keith Whitley. May your musical legacy continue to forever live on forever.