Jack Martin, the father of late Joey + Rory singer, Joey Feek, passed away suddenly on March 21, her husband and musical partner has announced. Martin was 73 years old, and died of a heart attack.
Breaking the news to fans in a heartfelt blog post, the singer-songwriter and author said his father-in-law’s death came as another shock to a family who’ve already suffered greatly. It comes five years after the passing of his daughter, Joey, who died at 40 after a harrowing battle with cancer.
“On Sunday, my wife Joey got to see her daddy for the first time in five years,” said Rory Feek. “On her side of heaven, I’ll bet there was a lot of rejoicing going on. On our side, there were lots of tears, but not many of them happy ones.”
Feek wrote passionately about Joey’s death in blogs, books and ultimately music, confiding in fans and well wishers with admirable and articulate honesty. He’s now done the same for the man he called “dad” for 20 years, noting that Martin and his wife were on a flight to Las Vegas for some sight seeing at the Grand Canyon, when the heart attack happened. The flight was diverted for an emergency landing, but Martin could not be revived.
Feek went on to say Martin will be buried next to his son, who died in a car accident in 1994, and that he and Joey’s 7-year-old daughter, Indiana, will take the news especially hard.
“Sometimes it feels unfair, like too much for one family to bear,” the singer said. You can read the full blog post here.
Joey + Rory charted a number of songs after breaking through on CMT’s Can You Duet, including “Cheater, Cheater,” and “When I’m Gone.” Their final album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, was released just a few months before Joey’s death in 2016 and debuted at Number One on the Billboard Country chart. Rory is reportedly working on a new solo album.