Joey Martin Feek of the popular country and gospel duo Joey + Rory has passed away. The “Cheater Cheater” singer’s husband, Rory, broke the news to fans via their official Facebook page.
According to People, Feek died on Friday in her hometown of Alexandria, Indiana, following a battle with cervical cancer. She was 40-years-old.
— Country Music Assoc. (@CountryMusic) March 5, 2016
In a blog post on This Life I Live, Rory Feek shared that his wife’s “greatest wish” has finally come true.
“The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior. At 2:30 this afternoon, as we were gathered around her, holding hands and praying.. my precious bride breathed her last. And a moment later took her first breath on the other side.”
In the post, Rory also mentions another dream of Joey Feek’s that came true. As reported by the Inquistr, famed country artist Dolly Parton reached out to the ailing singer in a surprise video tribute. Joey was a huge fan of Dolly all her life, singing the songs by her music idol since age 4.
Said Rory Feek, “‘Coat of Many Colors’ was a regular part of our show and at home she loved to put on Dolly and listen to ‘Hello God’, ‘When I Sing For Him’, ‘Me and Little Andy’ and many others.”
— CMT (@CMT) March 5, 2016
Determined to respect Joey’s memory, her husband put together a tribute of his own. Rory, writes USA Today, was looking through old pictures when he happened across a song they had made a few years ago. Although the tune never made it on an official Joey + Rory album, “In the Time You Gave Me” was now of huge emotional significance.
“I could barely listen or watch at first,” Rory confessed.
It’s not surprising. That he and Joey would unknowingly craft a touching song with so much relevance to their love and tragedy seems practically unfathomable. And yet, Feek shared that the longer he listened to the song, he “smiled more and cried less.”
He’d previously shared that one of the last things Joey Feek told him, before drifting into a deep sleep, is that she “had no regrets.”
“I can honestly say, that I have done everything I wanted to do and lived the life I always wanted to live.”
Using the song “In the Time You Gave Me,” Rory Feek put together a video of Joey, featuring various images of her during their life together in the time that she gave him. You can watch the moving video below.
As news of Joey Feek’s death spread, celebrities emerged to share their condolences and offered words of comfort to her family and friends. People quotes singer Chris Young as remembering the many shows he played with Joey + Rory.
“Thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the Feek family,” said Young, “Have played shows with Joey and Rory before and it’s so sad to lose her amazing voice.”
Country music celebrities Carry Underwood and Blake Shelton also tweeted out kind words in memory of the singer.
Praying for the family & friends of Joey Feek. A beautiful soul moved into heaven today. A beautiful legacy she left behind. @joeyandrory
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) March 5, 2016
So sad to hear about Joeys passing.. https://t.co/SjIlECXOPQ
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) March 5, 2016
Joey Feek and her family spent four and a half months in her hometown of Alexandria. She went into hospice care in November after learning that despite a brave battle with cancer, there was nothing else that could be medically done. Joey slipped into a coma in late February, and her family knew that her time on Earth was nearing an end.
Now that Joey Feek has passed on, husband Rory shared that the plan is to take her home to Tennessee to be buried.
“After four-and-a-half months in Indiana, we will soon be back home in Tennessee. Me, and our little one, with our older daughters. It’s hard for me to imagine being there without Joey, but at the same time… it is where she wants us to be.”
Joey Martin Feek touched the many lives of those who followed her music and journey. She is survived by a loving husband and three daughters.
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/File/AP]