Joey Feek is continuing to lose strength as her battle with terminal cancer stretches into another month, but the country singer could also be one week away from the biggest moment of her career.
Feek, one half of country duo Joey + Rory, was diagnosed last year with terminal ovarian cancer. She entered hospice care in the fall, and has seen her health deteriorate steadily over the course of the past few months.
While it has been a difficult time for Joey and her husband Rory, it is also a chance for the pair to reach a new height in their career. In December, the pair was nominated for a Grammy Award for best country duo/group performance.
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It was a joyous but ultimately bittersweet moment for Joey Feek and her husband.
“[I] woke my bride up this morning with a baby in my arms and the news that our version of ‘If I Needed You’ was nominated for a Grammy,” Rory wrote in a Facebook post. “As her excitement and tears flowed into mine, she said, ‘How can that be?’ ”
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Rory said the Grammy nomination came as a huge surprise given that the song “received no radio airplay… no press… no critical acclaim.”
At the time of the Grammy nomination, it seemed questionable that Joey Feek would make it long enough to see the Grammy Awards. Rory posted frequently on his website that Joey’s health was declining rapidly, telling fans that she needed help walking.
But now, with just one week until the Grammy Awards air on February 15, Joey Feek is still around and still battling cancer.
Rory added in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that they were thrilled to be among the nominees, though they didn’t exactly feel deserving.
“Those artists are stars — at least to us, they are,” Rory says. “Joey and I feel like we’re just regular folks — the kind that buys and listens to those artists’ records. So to be nominated for an award like this with them is such an honor.”
Rory Feek said the song has a special importance, with their 21-month-old daughter Indiana starring in the music video. Rory said that the video was made just after Indiana was born as a way to “share this special gift that God had given us with others.” Rory said that he and his wife see it not just as a music video, but “a piece of our life set to music.”
Rory Feek has taken the opportunity to reminisce about how he and Joey found fame in the music indusry. In a blog post dedicated to friend Aaron Carnahan, Rory recalled how it was Aaron’s advice that helped Joey find her big break.
Some time later, when Joey’s music career wasn’t going anywhere and she was working as a waitress and about to give up on her dream… Aaron and I drove to Best Buy and bought an inexpensive video camera. We read the directions and over the next couple of days made a homemade audition video for Joey to submit to CMT’s upcoming TV show “Can You Duet”. That video was how we got on the show and it launched our music career and completely changed our lives.
That youtube video is also how Overstock.com found us and came to make the tv commercials we made with them at our farm.
Even with Joey Feek in the final days of her battle with cancer, she may have one more career high point other than the Grammy Awards. She and Rory Feek have put together one final album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, that will be released just three days before the awards.
[Image via Rory Feek/This Life I Live]