How did Luke Bell die? Country singer-songwriter, 32, found dead week after he was reported missing
Luke Bell’s unique sound and style earned him comparisons to the late, great Waylon Jennings, who inspired country music’s Outlaw Movement
TUCSON, ARIZONA: Famous rising country singer-songwriter Luke Bell has died more than a week after he was reported missing in Tucson, Arizona. He was 32 at the time of his death. The musician's friend Matt Kinman confirmed the news to Saving Country Music on Monday, August 29. The Tucson Police Department told the New York Post that the Glory and the Grace singer's body was found where he disappeared. The singer reportedly went missing on August 20.
A cause of death remains "unknown" at this time as the investigation continues, authorities told the publication. According to Saving Country Music, Luke Bell was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and recently his "mental state took a turn for the worse." The Tuscon-based Coroner's Office has confirmed his date of death as August 26. After the news broke, fellow musicians paid tribute to Bell on social media.
"Man…Luke Bell…what the f—k. RIP to a real one. Been a long time since I saw him and I was just talking about him the other day wondering what he's been up to," Joshua Hedley wrote on Twitter. "Truly a sad night for country music."
Man…Luke Bell…what the fuck. RIP to a real one. Been a long time since I saw him and I was just talking about him the other day wondering what he’s been up to. Truly a sad night for country music.— ʎǝlpǝH ɐnɥsoſ (@JoshuaHedley) August 30, 2022
Margo Price also shared her condolences, writing, "Goddamn, rest east to our dear friend, Luke Bell 💔."
Born in Lexington, Kentucky, on Jan. 27, 1990, and raised in Cody, Wyoming, Bell dropped out of the University of Wyoming and moved to Austin, Texas, to pursue a career in country music. He regularly performed at honky-tonks and saloons across the Lone Star State’s capital, before doing a short stint in New Orleans, the Boot reported. He then made his way to Wyoming before ending up in Nashville. Acording to The Boot, Bell gained notoriety after releasing his debut album Don't Mind if I Do in 2014. He went on to sign a record deal with Thirty Tigers in 2016 and release his self-titled album later that year. The musician also collaborated with Price, Alabama Shakes, and Langhorne Slim, and played support slots for Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam, the publication reported.
goddamn, rest east to our dear friend, Luke Bell 💔 https://t.co/oeUMmRpipg— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) August 30, 2022
In a 2016 interview with The Boot, Bell opened up about life on the road. "To be honest, I live in the day, and I count smiles," he said. "That's it. Listen, half the time, I end up drinking beer with my neighbors." He continued, "Life's not that bad. The downside, in some ways, is I don't have a wife and kids, but at the same time, it's pretty ideal right now. I just travel around to other cities and hang out with other people... The goal is to have high hopes and low expectations and have a good time."
With his untimely death, Bell leaves behind a legacy as one of the most “authentic” country artists in modern times, with tunes that capture a bygone era. The singer’s unique sound and style earned him comparisons to the late, great Waylon Jennings, who inspired country music’s Outlaw Movement. Band Mike and the Moonpies penned a moving Facebook tribute. “Word just came down on the passing of Luke Bell and we’re heartbroken over the news,” they wrote. “I can vividly remember the first time I met Luke at Hole in the Wall over a decade ago, down to the clothes on his back.” They added, “The man and his music left an impression. He was a real deal traveling troubadour out there on that lost highway. Do yourself a favor and put on some Luke Bell tunes tonight in his memory. Rest In Peace, friend.”