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Country music legend Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys dies at 76

The music world is mourning the loss of Joe Bonsall, a member of the legendary country and gospel group, the Oak Ridge Boys. Bonsall, who was 76, died of complications from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). His death comes six months after announcing his retirement from touring due to failing health.

Bonsall was a respected figure in the music industry, with his contributions earning him a place in the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. In a heartfelt message earlier this year, he expressed his gratitude to the band, crew and staff of Oak Ridge Boys for their unwavering support throughout his career. He also thanked his followers for their constant prayers and encouragement.

The Oak Ridge Boys, originally founded in 1943 as The Oak Ridge Quartet, have seen many members come and go. The most successful lineup included Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden, bass Richard Sterban and lead vocalist Duane Allen, who contributed to the group's heyday in the 1970s and 1980s.

In addition to his musical career, Bonsall was also an accomplished author, with 11 books written. Her latest work, a memoir titled “I See Myself,” will be published in November. Despite his many passions, Bonsall's priorities were always clear: his faith and his family came first.

Bonsall is survived by his wife Mary Ann, daughters Jennifer and Sabrina, granddaughter Breanne, grandson Luke, two great-grandsons, Chance and Grey, and a sister, Nancy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph S. Bonsall Sr. and Lillie Bonsall. In lieu of a funeral, Bonsall asked that donations be made to The ALS Association or the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center. The family has asked for privacy during this difficult time.

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