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Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall dead at 76 from ALS complications


The Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall has died following complications with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Fox News Digital can confirm.

A member of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, Bonsall was 76.

Six months ago, the tenor announced that he was retiring from touring due to a decline in health. “Many of you know I have been battling a slow onset (over 4 years now) of a neuromuscular disorder,” he wrote to X in January. “I am now to a point that walking is impossible so I have basically retired from the road. It has just gotten too difficult.”

JOE BONSALL, OAK RIDGE BOYS MEMBER, ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM TOURING DUE TO HEALTH: ‘WALKING IS IMPOSSIBLE’

Six months after announcing his retirement from touring, Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall died from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“It has been a great 50 years and I am thankful to all the Oak Ridge Boys band crew and staff for the constant love and support shown to me through it all,” he wrote. “I will never forget and for those of you who have been constantly holding me up in prayer I thank you and ask for you to keep on praying,” he added.

The Oak Ridge Boys are currently on their farewell tour. Bonsall had previously been seen singing from atop a stool.

Joe Bonsall in a red shirt and jeans holds on to a microphone stand and sings with The Oak Ridge Boys

Joe Bonsall was pictured performing in 2022 atop a stool. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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The country and gospel group, originally founded in 1943 as The Oak Ridge Quartet, has had many members over the years. The foursome that saw the most success consisted of baritone William Lee Golden, tenor Bonsall, bass Richard Sterban and Duane Allen, the lead vocalist, during their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s.

Last week, Golden’s son, Rusty Golden, passed away.

Rusty Golden in a brown shirt smiles for the camera

Rusty Golden, son of The Oak Ridge Boys’ member William Golden, died at 65 last week. (Photo by Kris Rae)

A press release for Bonsall said that the singer was “also the author of 11 books including his latest, a memoir entitled ‘I See Myself,’ which releases in November. Joe loved to sing. He loved to read. He loved to write. He loved to play banjo. He loved working on the farm. And he loved the Philadelphia Phillies. But Jesus and his family always came first—and we will see him again on the Promised Day.”

Bonsall had requested there be no funeral and that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The ALS Association or the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center.

Oak Ridge Boys Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban perform on stage (all standing) in Nashville

From left to right, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, members of The Oak Ridge Boys, perform in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2019. (Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

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“He leaves behind his precious wife, Mary Ann, daughters Jennifer and Sabrina, granddaughter Breanne, grandson Luke, two great grandsons, Chance and Grey, and a sister, Nancy. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph S. Bonsall Sr. and Lillie Bonsall,” the statement read.

The family has asked for privacy.

Joe Bonsall with his hands together sitting down in a brown shirt

Joe Bonsall requested there be no funeral. (Photo by Jon Mir)

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