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5 Country Stars Who Overcame Incredible Tragedy

Country music isn't always about sunshine, drinking beer and riding in a tractor. The genre is full of heavy ballads that sadly come straight from the artist's life experience. While many of country music's biggest stars may live a life of luxury now, all that fame and glory hasn't protected them from horrible tragedies in their lives.

From difficult childhoods, to huge personal loss these stars have to overcome the unthinkable in their lives, even when the spotlight was directly on them.

Reba McEntire

While you may always see the country superstar with a smile on her face, behind the infectious humor and good nature lies a tragedy,  

On March 16, 1991, while on tour for her Rumor Has It album, McEntire lost eight members of her band, as well as her manager, the pilot and co-pilot in a plane crash near San Diego.

McEntire and her husband were not on the doomed flight, which crashed only minutes after leaving the airport, due to poor visability.

The songestress went on to dedicate her sixteenth album For My Broken Heart, to her deceased road band.

Johnny Cash

While it's no secret that Johnny Cash suffered from his own personal demons before his death in 2003, his history is something that may surprise you.

During his public life he struggled with drugs and alcohol, but his true hardships began before he was a legendary singer.

When Cash was only 12-years-old his favorite brother, Jack, was accidentally pulled into a saw mill while he was working. He suffered for more than a week due to his injuries before passing away at the age of 15. Cash felt tremendous guilt over his brother's death, because he was out fishing with another one of his brothers that day.

He cites his brother's death to be a big influence over his work.  

Gary Allan

After debuting his first album in 1996, his thriving career came at a great personal cost. He ended up pouring himself into his career after a tragic incident that occurred in 2004.

Allan was married to his third wife, Angela Herzberg, for three years before she committed suicide on October 25. Angela had been suffering from depression and migraines. When Allan came home from touring he found his wife physically ill from her migraines.

He was with her in their bedroom, before she asked him to go check on their kids. When he said that he had just done that, she got him to leave the room by asking him to go get her a coke. While he was in the kitchen, he heard the gunshot go off from their bedroom. Angela had killed herself with the pistol he kept locked underneath the bed.

His pain and loss came out in his 2005 album, Tough All Over.

Shania Twain

Although she has had a majorly successful career, she had a very tough upbringing.

Twain grew up in a very poor family, and by eight years old she was already singing in bars to help with the income generation. To make matters worse, her step-father was absuive towards her mother.

By 21 years old Twain lost both her mother and step-father in car accident. She ended up moving back home to raise her two youngest siblings.

Luke Bryan

While he may be known for his broad smile and light-hearted nature, Luke Bryan has had to deal with extensive personal tragedy and loss.

Just before Bryan was set to move to Nashville at the age of 19, to begin his music career, his older brother, who was 26-years-old at the time died in a car accident. This caused Bryan to delay his move and stay close to home instead.

Years later after Bryan finally moved to Nashville, and was enjoying the success of his first hit All My Friends Say, his 39-year-old older sister, Kelly, died suddenly for an unknown cause.

"My only older siblings... gone from the world, in a flash in two, two different crazy, tragic manners, that... we'll never know, and never understand," he said.

Unfortunely tragedy struck again, when his late sister's husband, Ben Lee Cheshire also died unexpectedly at the age of 46.

Cheshire left behind their three children, and after his death Bryan and his wife Caroline took in the youngest kids.

Did any of these surprise you? Share in the comments below.

Source: Fame 10