Bell had been reported missing for several days before he was found dead on Monday 29 August in Tuscon, Arizona, where he was believed to be playing a concert.
His death was confirmed by a close friend, Matt Kinman, to Saving Country Music, which described Bell as “one of the most authentic and magnetizing artists to grace the country music art form in the modern era” as he “captured a bygone era, aura, and mood in country music.”
The singer, from Cody, Wyoming, first came onto the music scene in 2014 with his debut album, Don’t Mind If I Do, before his self-titled record in 2016. That same year, the acclaim those releases had brought him led to him signing a record deal with respected Nashville label Thirty Tigers.
Praise and critical acclaim aside, Bell often struggled with mental health issues, with Saving Country Music reporting on the face he was “hiding as severe battle with bipolar disorder that he ultimately would never shake [sic].”
As a result, Bell stepped in and out of the limelight, cancelling a tour on one occasion. He did, however, win the Best Honky Tonk Male at the Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis, Tennessee in 2018.
It’s such aspects of his career and music that fans of Luke Bell and country music as a whole will now be cherishing. The Saving Country Music blog ends by saying: “Luke Bell’s struggles are now over, but the legacy of his music remains.”
“And hopefully, like so many troubled troubadours before him, Luke Bell is just beginning to find its audience, his worthy appreciation, and his deserved legacy.”