The country music community in both Texas and Tennessee are heartbroken after singer-songwriter Kylie Rae Harris was killed in a three-car accident in New Mexico as she traveled to the Big Barn Dance music festival in Taos.
According to the Taos News, Kylie, along with a 16-year-old San Cristobal teen, perished in the accident, while the third motorist was uninjured.
In a statement to Billboard, Kylie’s management said, “We are heartbroken to confirm that Kylie Rae Harris passed away in a car accident last night. We have no further details to share, and ask for privacy for her family at this time. Everyone that knew Kylie knew how much she loved her family and, beyond that, how much she loved music. The best tribute to her unmatched enthusiasm for both is to spread as much love as you can today, and listen to music that fully inspires you.”
The 30-year-old singer and songwriter hailed from Wylie, Texas. She had released two albums and, most recently, her self-titled EP, which includes the song “Twenty Years From Now” (written with Jon Randall) that many of her fans are referencing on social media for its message to her six-year-old daughter, Corbie.
Many country fans have expressed their heartbreak and grief on social media, including fellow Texan Maren Morris who shared an image of Kylie on her Instagram stories and wrote, “Damn, I just heard the news and I’m in shock. @klierh, you have always been so sweet and supportive of me. Your soulful voice and Texas beauty was always jaw-dropping, even when we were teenagers…”
Del Rio, Texas native, Radney Foster also shared an emotional post on Twitter saying, “I am devastated by the loss of my friend Kylie Rae Harris. When she sang, joy and soul ached out. She was full of life and love. Words are hard to come by, tears are not.”
I am devastated by the loss of my friend Kylie Rae Harris. When she sang joy and soul ached out. She was full of life and love. Words are hard to come by, tears are not. Godspeed, Kylie Rae pic.twitter.com/bjrmrwLwBc
— Radney Foster (@RadneyFoster) September 5, 2019
Frequent tour partner, Wade Bowen, also posted a heartfelt tribute to his friend, writing, “To say music was her passion is an insult. It went way beyond that.” He also said, “We’ll leave a mic up for you, girl.”
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You always answered my call. Every time. Whether it was to share the stage, open a show, sing for my charity event, or just simply grab a drink and hang. She answered every time and was always there and ready to be her best. And she was always that. She prepared and took music as serious as anyone I know. She had her few little weaknesses (as we all most certainly do) and, looking back, most of those revolved around her wanting to always be there, be around others, be around music. To say music was her passion is an insult. It went way beyond that. My most recent favorite memory of her was the day of @bowenmusicfest. It was a long day. She woke up that Sunday morning and played a 2 hour set with @djangowalker and I for our Gospel Brunch. Then sat in with us that night for the jam for a 3 hour set. The band and I were blown away at how hard she had worked to learn over 30 songs, words and harmonies. Not an easy task. And then had enough left in the tank to jam after the festival for another 3-4 hours in our late night jam. She played music that day for over 15 hours. And of course she continued to laugh and have a relentless persistence for a good time every step of the way, as long as the music was around. She was happy. She was my damn friend. I will miss her for many reasons. I never felt the need to seek out our hangs. They always just happened. And we always picked up right where we left off as true friends always do. I guess I always thought we would be able to do that. For a very long time. Continue to pick up where we left off. Cause she always answered. We will go on with our lives cause that’s what we do. But no doubt a piece will be missing. And the next time we all are hangin, jammin together on stage I will always have a void knowing she should be there. She always knew she was welcome on our stage, invited or not. And that brings me great joy knowing she still knows that. We will leave a mic up for ya girl. Miss ya always! And thank you for always answering.
True to his word, at their show in Seattle later that night, Wade and fellow Texas artist, Stoney LaRue, left an unattended microphone on stage to honor their friend.
Last night in Seattle, Wade and Stoney dedicated their show to Kylie Rae. Stoney got a Kylie tattoo that is so fresh you can still see the tape on it. And Wade left an unattended mic onstage and remarked, “She's always hopping up on stage anyway.”
Photos by: Rick Priest pic.twitter.com/bSQ1IsuMz0
— Galleywinter (@galleywinter) September 6, 2019
Just a few hours before the accident, Kylie had posted a haunting and emotional Instagram story about traveling to New Mexico and the family members she had lost there. But, as Kylie was known to do, she found magic in the moment.
A GoFundMe page has been established to help provide for Corbie’s college education, and multiple musical events are being arranged to raise money and celebrate the beautiful star’s legacy.