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Margo Price shares heartfelt tribute to Billy Joe Shaver, says outlaw country icon was 'a hero of mine'

'I covered a lot of his songs, Black Rose, Ain’t No God I’m Mexico, those were the kinds of songs that gave me the blue print to write country songs,' Margo Price wrote in an Instagram post
Margo Price, Billy Joe Shaver (Getty Images)
Margo Price, Billy Joe Shaver (Getty Images)

Country singer Margo Price took to her social media to share a heartfelt note on her friend, personal "hero", and country outlaw legend Billy Joe Shaver on Thursday, October 29.

Shaver passed away on October 28 at the age of 81. According to reports, the 'Ride Me Down Easy' singer suffered a massive stroke at Ascension Providence Hospital in Waco, Texas.

"I was driving in my truck this morning when I heard the news on sirius xm outlaw country from Dallas Wayne that Billy Joe Shaver had passed," Price wrote on Instagram, sharing a black-and-white picture of a young Shaver with a beer in hand and cigarette in his mouth. Two more pictures were included in her post which featured Price and Shaver closely hugging for a photo together and one with Shaver on stage with Price at one of her shows where she performed with headliner Tanya Tucker at the historic Ryman Auditorium. "He was one of the only people that really lived the life of an outlaw," she said.

"Billy lost his all fingers in a sawmill accident but still learned how to play guitar. He lost his mother, his wife and son in the same year- 1999 and then had a heart attack on stage @gruenehall but it didn’t stop him. He told Waylon to stick a hundred dollar bill where the sun don’t shine when Waylon tried to pay him off and told him to beat it but Billy made him listen to all his songs- which he then cut and made Honky Tonk Heros. He was the honky tonk hero, an original. He once shot a man and got away with it and then wrote a song about it," the post further added. 

Margo Price then continued on a more personal note, "Hearing the news today choked me up, thinking about how I’ll never see him sing again, how I’ll never shoot the s**t with him in a some gravel parking lot and maybe pass a bottle of wild turkey while the buses wait to leave. So many heros, gone, and Billy Joe really was a hero of mine, he was a hillbilly poet. I covered a lot of his songs, Black Rose, Ain’t No God I’m Mexico, those were the kinds of songs that gave me the blue print to write country songs. Songs with dirt, with guts, and missing gods and dominicker hens. His songs have been running through my head all day, but the one that always haunts me is Ragged Old Truck. I must have accidentally ripped that song off a hundred times."

Price then concluded her post with an ode to Shaver and a note about the Ryman concert. "I don’t drink bourbon anymore but I’m havin a little nip of it for Billy tonight. Thanks @chrisphelps for that third pic the last time I saw Billy at @thetanyatucker show at the Ryman."

Fans on Instagram were touched by Price's tribute. "A beautiful tribute to a true legend," said a fan while another called it a "Perfect tribute", adding "RIP BJS 🙏🏻." One fan said, "Beautiful words Margo 🤎🙏🏼 he’ll be missed but legends never die." 

Another fan added, "We called him the Tony Iommi of country due to the finger accident." Price's post also drew the attention of another artiste, River City People's singer, Siobhan Maher Kennedy, who wrote, "I’m reading all his texts to me - they were always in caps ! Loved him to bits and always felt like he didn’t get the recognition he truly deserved."