Singer Joey Feek (September 9, 1975-March 4, 2016), who formed the award-winning country duo Joey + Rory with her husband, songwriter Rory Feek, found success following their 2008 appearance on the Country Music Television singing competition “Can You Duet?” Their first album, “The Life of a Song,” which featured a plainspoken style and Joey’s sweet, smoky voice, was a hit. Their blended voices and deep bonds made them beloved by fans of traditional country music. In addition to performing, the two opened a restaurant, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, inside an old general store in Pottsville, Tennessee, that became a community center.
“We’re experiencing everything together,” Joey told The Associated Press in 2010. “That’s been the highlight of it all.”
Rory Feek documented their life together on his blog, thislifeilive.com. He would later write about his wife’s diagnosis of cervical cancer, in 2014, which continued to spread despite multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Last fall, Rory wrote that they had decided to end treatment.
Even after the diagnosis, the couple continued to record, and an album of hymns topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in March. Their song, “If I Needed You,” was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the Grammy Awards, and they are also nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards in April.
“Though this is, and has been, a time of many tears of sorrow, it has also been a time of countless tears of joy,” Rory wrote.