Originally published on the Nash Country Weekly website.
Nash Country Weekly is saddened to learn of the passing of Joey+Rory’s Joey Martin Feek.
Joey died March 4, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. in hospice in her hometown of Alexandria, Ind., after a two-year battle with cancer.
Joey’s husband and duet partner, Rory, made the announcement on his blog, This Life I Live, stating in part: “My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in heaven. The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry.”
Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer shortly after the birth of her and husband Rory Feek’s daughter, Indiana. After an initially succesful treatment, her cancer returned and spread aggressively. Further chemotherapy was unsuccessful and she passed with husband Rory and other family members by her side.
Joey was born Sept. 9, 1975, in Alexandria, Ind. She grew up performing with her family’s band before moving to Nashville in 1998 and signed with Sony Records, where she recorded an album that was shelved after leadership changes at the label. She also recorded a solo album for Rory’s Giantslayer Records before the official formation of Joey+Rory in 2008.
The charming duo with the rural roots became nationally known after appearing on CMT’s Can You Duet in 2008. After the competition, in which they placed third, they signed to Sugar Hill Records. Their debut album, The Life of a Song, came out in 2008 and featured the sassy “Cheater, Cheater.” They were tapped, as a duo, to star in a series of commercials for Overstock that were shot in and around their Pottsville home. Their second album, the aptly titled Album Number Two, hosted their collaboration with Zac Brown Band, “This Song’s for You,” and the more pensive single, “That’s Important to Me.” Both albums drew great critical acclaim and the couple was named Top New Duo at the 2010 ACM Awards. In 2011, they released their holiday collection, A Farmhouse Christmas and, in 2012, their third album, His and Hers, came out, featuring the singles “When I’m Gone” and “Josephine.” They also launched The Joey+Rory Show on RFD-TV in 2012, which, like their Overstock commercials, was filmed around their hometown and featured live performances, clips of their daily life, fun stories, recipes from Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse—which Joey co-owned and worked at with Rory’s sister, Marcy Jo—and annual coverage of their Bib & Buckle Fest.
Off the road, Joey enjoyed being a mom and homemaker, nurturing a thriving garden on their small farm. She and Rory have not only been known as gifted songwriters but also as devout Christians and an inspiring couple to many. They married in 2002, after meeting at a writers night in Nashville, and welcomed a baby girl, Indiana, in Feb. 2014. Following his wife’s cancer diagnosis, Rory chronicled her battle in his This Life I Live blog, and even used it to rally friends, family and fans in a national prayer vigil held on Nov. 5. In December 2015, Joey + Rory earned a Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Peformance, and in February 2016, their new album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Nash Country Weekly sends heartfelt condolences to Rory and family.
photo by Angela Talley