George Strait’s Longtime Drummer Killed In Car Wreck

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– George Strait with Mike Kennedy
George Strait with the Ace in the Hole Band on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour at the XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut, February 23, 2013, Clockwise: George Strait (vocals and acoustic guitar), Benny McArthur (lead guitar and fiddle), Rick McRae (lead guitar), Mike Kennedy (drums), Terry Hale (bass), Marty Slayton (backing vocals), Joe Manuel (acoustic guitar), Thom Flora (backing vocals), John Michael Whitby (keyboards), Ron Huckaby (piano), Mike Daily (steel guitar), and Gene Elders (fiddle and mandolin).
The longtime drummer for country music star George Strait has been killed in a car wreck outside of Nashville.
Strait spokeswoman Ebie McFarland confirmed 59-year-old Michael A. Kennedy of Baxter, Tennessee, died Friday.
A report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Kennedy was driving on Interstate 40 in Wilson County on Friday afternoon when he merged into another lane. Kennedy’s vehicle collided with a tractor trailer, which then hit a pickup truck. No one else was injured.
Authorities say Kennedy was not wearing a seatbelt, but it likely would not have made a difference.
The Tennessean reports Kennedy had been the drummer for Strait’s Ace in the Hole Band for nearly 30 years. The paper quoted Strait’s production manager Paul Rogers as saying “the heart beat of our band is gone.”