Several country artists gathered at the Grand Ole Opry House on Wednesday night (Feb. 5), to honor their late friend, Troy Gentry, as part of the second annual C’Ya On the Flipside benefit concert. The event, which supports the Troy Gentry Foundation, featured performances by Abby Anderson, Terry Clark, Rhett Akins, T. Graham Brown, Tracy Lawrence, Eddie Montgomery, Justin Moore, Mark Wills, and more.
Before taking the stage, Montgomery, Clark, Akins and others, shared heartwarming stories of Gentry, who was widely known for being one half of the award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry.
“We played hundreds of shows out on the road together. And, we turkey hunted a lot together,” Akins told Country Now and other media at the event. “If you knew Troy, you knew how good of a friend he was, and you knew he’d do anything for you.”
“It’s etched in my mind the last time I saw Troy,” Clark shared. “I was at the Kentucky Derby, and we were saying goodbye, and he was just so loving. He looked at me and said, ‘I love you so much.’ He was such a sweet man, and he just loved everyone. I think the foundation that his friends, family, and Angie [Gentry] started is just a wonderful thing because it represents so many facets of his life and who he was.”
Gentry’s widow, Angie, who lost her country star husband to a helicopter crash back in 2017, helped launch The Troy Gentry Foundation as a way to keep Gentry’s legacy and personal beliefs, “Love God, Love Others,” alive. She, too, shared a particularly humbling story about a time when her husband and his duo partner Montgomery earned their first-ever touring jackets.
“[Troy] had just gotten his first tour jacket, this big leather tour jacket from Sony. He was walking down the street, and there was this homeless guy out there, and it was cold,” Angie began. “He couldn’t stand it, so he turns around and takes the first tour jacket that he ever got in Nashville, and he gives it to a homeless guy. He’d do a lot of stuff like that. Anything he could do to help somebody, he was more than willing.”
“He was a really good guy with a really big heart. He had a lot of friends,” she added. “He didn’t know a stranger, and he was willing to stick his neck out for others and give the shirt off his back.”
This year, the C’Ya On the Flipside benefit concert, co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Storme Warren and country star Tracy Lawrence, raised over $200,000 for various charitable organizations. The evening benefitted the T.J. Martell Foundation, Make-A-Wish, The Journey Home Project, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and music education in Kentucky schools.
“It’s very humbling, and it also warms your heart to know that the person that you loved has affected that many people,” Angie said. “I think about him and what he would think if he were here. I think he would just be flabbergasted that all the friends and people are coming out to show up and support the organization with his name on it.”