March 6

A Look Back on March 4, 2016: The Day “A Prayer Warrior”, Joey Feek, Died

A Look Back on March 4, 2016: The Day “A Prayer Warrior”, Joey Feek, Died 1

Childhood and Career

Joey Feek was a country and bluegrass singer, the lead vocalist to the musical duo Joey + Rory. Born to musically inclined parents in Alexandria, Indiana, Joey inherited her singing talent from her mother, a gospel singer. Her first performance was when she was six years old at a first-grade talent show where she sang “Coat of Many Colors.” Her father strummed his guitar beside her. Raised in a supportive farming community, she loves traditional country music and admired singer Dolly Parton, as a little girl.

She boarded on a career as a country singer and met fellow singer, Rory, with whom she fell in love. The couple married and started performing as the duo Joey + Rory. The couple first rose to fame following their participation in a ‘Can You Duet’ competition of Country Music Television (CMT) in 2008.

Her Married Life and the End of Her Days

Joey and Rory Feek’s story started in 2002 when the two country musicians married, forming a perfect pair of singing and songwriting. Together, their career grew to include a weekly television show, The Joey + Rory Show and The Joey + Rory Radio Show. Their story extended as they welcomed their daughter, Indiana, who was born with Down Syndrome, in 2014. Just months after Indiana was born, Joey and Rory received a sad news: Joey had cervical cancer. She underwent aggressive treatment.  But soon, Joey and Rory Feek’s innate sweet, southern charm led to sorrow when cancer hit again earlier this year. And they learned it had spread to her colon. In November 2015, Rory announced that Joey had terminal cancer and they were stopping all treatment. Following the disclosure, fans of the duo started campaigning to get a song to the top of the iTunes charts.

When I’m Gone, A Prediction

Joey + Rory Feek recorded a song titled “When I’m Gone,” for their His & Hers album in 2012. Their friend, Sandy Lawrence, wrote the heartbreaking tune as a way of dealing with her own emotions as she was caring for her dying mother. Joey sang lead on the track, which is written from the perspective of someone who’s dying. The song assures the loved ones they leave behind that they’ll be okay after they’re gone. When the couple shot the video, the director proposed Joey sing the song to her husband on film. At first, Rory resisted the idea. In the end, Rory understood that it was what was right for the song.

A couple years later, the song took on a very personal meaning. After two years of courageously battling cancer, she joined our Lord. Rory believes that the song is a gift. He also hopes that it has the power to do what they always hoped it would, to heal hearts, even his.

Seeing us from above and singing the sincerest of all gospel songs, Joey is surely singing this song to us. Her death is a big loss to Country Music. We will always remember Joey and all the sweet memories she shared while she was still with us.


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