The memory of Joey+Rory’s Joey Feek will live forever. Just a month after her tragic passing, the country music community honored Joey at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 3, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The late country singer succumbed to Stage IV cervical cancer on March 4, 2016.
Darius Rucker and Martina McBride presented the touching tribute while a photo of a smiling Joey Feek flashed on the screen.
“A few weeks ago, we lost a member of our country music family with the passing of Joey Feek,” Rucker said.
“Joey was more than a wonderful singer and an ACM winner along with her husband, Rory — she was a beloved mom, daughter, family member, and friend,” McBride said remembering her fellow country musician.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) April 4, 2016
Rucker urged the audience to pay tribute to Joey with a big round of applause that night.
“Of all the different ways we could honor Joey, we think that what would mean the most to Joey and her family is just one more time for all of us – all of her fans and all of us who loved her – to give her a big round of applause.”
The heartwarming tribute received a standing ovation from the star-studded audience who eagerly gave the late country singer a deafening applause. McBride ended the short homage to Joey by sending prayers to the Feeks. Although Joey’s husband, Rory Feek, was not able to attend the event, her stepdaughter, Hopie and close friend, Julie were at the awards ceremony.
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) April 4, 2016
“Joey’s daughter, Hopie and her friend, Julie are here with us tonight” McBride revealed. “God bless them, and God bless you, Joey.” Hopie is Rory’s daughter from a previous marriage, and was said to be very close with the late songstress.
Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, said he spoke to Rory before the ACM awards season and confirmed the country singer had no plans of attending the prestigious music awards.
Joey’s fans, who were moved by the country music community’s gesture, immediately took to Twitter to pay tribute to the inspirational singer, while country music organizations honored her on social media afterward. “Standing ovation for Joey Feek. @joeyandrory #ACMs #InMemory,” the Grand Ole Opry official Twitter page tweeted.
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) April 4, 2016
The Taste of Country official Twitter page also posted a short and sweet shoutout for Joey. “We’ve got our hands together for you, Joey Feek. RIP Sweet angel. #ACMs.”
The husband-and-wife duo was nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year, a recognition given to Florida Georgia Line on Saturday.
Rory began chronicling their journey on his personal blog, This Life I Live, in which he shared his last days with her through heartbreaking blog entries and photos.
Joey Feek passed away at age 40 after a long and painful battle with terminal cancer. She stopped her treatments and entered hospice care at their home in November, where she spent her final weeks surrounded by family. Before she died, she and her husband, Rory were able to release their final album together. Joey also got to spend Christmas, and daughter Indiana’s second birthday in February with her family and close friends.
— Los Angeles News Now (@lanewsnow) March 5, 2016
On Saturday, April 2, Rory uploaded a photo of Joey Feek’s gravesite on his social media account. The sad Instagram snap was captioned “…a bright sunrise will contradict the heavy fog that weighs you down,” a line from their last song together, “When I’m Gone.” In the photo, the sun is casting a warm glow on Joey’s gravesite, which was marked by a wooden cross, at their family farm in Tennessee.
A photo posted by Joey+Rory (@roryandjoey) on
[Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]