Mike Kennedy kept the beat steady as a member of George Strait's Ace in the Hole Band for 30 years, he was killed in a car accident in Tennessee on Friday, August 31st. He was 59.

Kennedy was driving his GMC Sierra on I-40 in Wilson County when he hit a tractor-trailer before colliding with a pickup truck. Of the three people involved, Kennedy was the only fatality.

Kennedy has been a member of Strait’s backing band, the Ace in the Hole Band, as well as a drummer for Ricky Skaggs, Barbara Fairchild and Jamey Johnson.

On Sunday, September 2nd, George Strait addressed the loss:

“Hard to put into words how much Mike’s passing has affected us all. Our hearts are broken,” George Strait said. “It’s going to be very strange not being able to look over and see him there in his spot on stage and very emotional as well I’m sure for all of us and also his fans. The band will never be the same. A part of us is gone forever. We all loved Mike and will miss him terribly. He was just as solid a friend to us all as he was a drummer, and that was damn solid. Our hearts and prayers are with his family. The Lord has him now. Rest In Peace my friend.”