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Bluegrass Musician Billy Joe Foster Dead at Age 51

Billy Joe Foster
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During an over 20-year career, Billy Joe Foster worked with the biggest names in bluegrass. He shared the stage with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder and Bill Monroe and Country Gazette, and was a regular on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. After a battle with multiple sclerosis, Foster has died. He was just 51 years old.

BluegrassToday.com reported the news of Foster’s death on Wednesday (Jan. 23). Early indications are that he was battling pneumonia before his passing. Fans have begun to express their sorrow at the multi-instrumentalist’s page on Facebook.

“We’re gonna miss you Billy Joe, the world just lost a great individual,” one supporter writes.

According to his official website, Foster played in all 50 states and 15 countries including shows for princes, kings, and presidents. In 1991, he played a private concert at the G8 Summit. He played fiddle for Monroe, bass with Country Gazette and many instruments with Skaggs.

The Duncan, Okla. native was active up until the end, having played as recently as October 2012 at the Chisholm Trail Opry. Services are scheduled for Saturday (Jan. 26) in Duncan, Okla.

Next: See Other Country Artists Who've Passed in 2013

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