And now, according to KGUN9, the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office in Tuscon, Arizona, has confirmed that the country singer “died from fentanyl intoxication.”
He had initially gone missing near Tucson, where he had traveled with his friend Matt Kinman to work and play music.
Luke had a history of severe bipolar disorder, however his manager Brian Buchanan told Saving Country Music at the time that he had been doing well for the past year and a half, and the two were still in contact.
The family of the late singer had issued a statement following his death explaining that Bell had been battling mental illness for years and that despite the support of loved ones, he was unable to receive the help he needed.
“Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father’s death in 2015.
Luke was supported through his disease by a community of loving family and friends. Despite this, he was unable to receive the help he needed to ease his pain.”
Country music fans, and the general public, speculated that his death may have been by suicide, but we now know that is not the case with the official autopsy report from the medical examiner.
It’s just devastating news, seeing as Bell instantly turned heads in 2014 with the release of his album, Don’t Mind If I Do, and the follow up self-titled project in 2016.
Gaining traction with country music fans, and the industry as a whole, Luke quickly became one of the most promising acts in the business, opening for the likes of Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Jr.
However, right as his music career appeared to be taking off, he, for the most part, disappeared. Known to hop trains and travel around, he perfectly captivated the drifter lifestyle, spending time in Kentucky, Wyoming, Austin, Texas, Nashville, and Tucson.
He played some shows here and there, but for the most part, country music fans have spent the better part of the past five years wondering when he might put out another project.
He will be greatly missed.
RIP Luke Bell
Luke was also recently featured on Martha Spencer’s new album Wonderland.