Country Artists React to Waylon Jennings’ Death (2002)

photo courtesy Webster PR

Originally published in the March 19, 2002 issue of Country Weekly magazine. 

Country was hit hard by Waylon’s death. Here are a few reactions from the stars whose music he influenced – and whose lives he touched. 

JOHNNY CASH: “Waylon was a dear friend, one of the best, of 35 years. I’ll miss him immensely.”

KENNY CHESNEY: “He proved you could go outside the lines, stick to your guns and be successful. Any time any artist wonders about their path, they just need to think about Waylon Jennings.”

TRAVIS TRITT: “My heart is broken. I consider myself fortunate to have known the man, and hope to carry on the legacy that he inspired.”

MARTINA McBRIDE: “He didn’t just open doors, he knocked down doors for all artists who want to break the mold and have their own sound.”

KIX BROOKS: “Waylon was one of the reasons I got into country music. I wish there were more like him.”

TROY GENTRY OF MONTGOMERY GENTRY: “Waylon Jennings was just the baddest there ever was.”

EMMYLOU HARRIS: “He had a voice and a way with a song like no one else. He was also a class act as an artist and a man.”

CHRIS CAGLE: “I hate to say this, but the night he died I was so upset I went out and got drunk. Just toasted him all night long.”

 

MARK CHESNUTT: “I’d always call Waylon when I was ticked at someone at the label or my management. He’d listen, then say ‘To hell with ’em, you just go tell ’em to kiss your butt!’ Then I’d say ‘Aw, Waylon, I can’t do that – you’re the only one who can get away with that!’”

JOE DIFFIE: “He always stood up for the rights of the artist when it came to making music. He will be missed, but his music and renegade spirit will always be with us.”

ANDY GRIGGS: “Waylon’s friendship to me was as big as his music. I’m gonna miss ya, hoss.”

GEORGE JONES: “I’m just so sad personally, and it’s a great loss for country music. We ran together in our early days, and remained in touch.”

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON: “Waylon Jennings was an American archetype: the bad guy with a big heart.”

CHUCK BERRY: “Although we came from far different backgrounds, I have always enjoyed his music. I thought his lyrics were very poetic, and I consider him a brother songwriter.”

GLEN CAMPBELL: “What was wonderful about him is you could take him at his word. If he said a hog weighed five pounds, then you could wrap it up. In the country, we call that an honest person.”

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