Mike Kennedy (George Strait’s Drummer) Killed in Car Accident

George Strait Drummer

photo: YouTube

Mike Kennedy, the long term drummer for George Strait, was killed in a tragic traffic accident.

George Strait’s drummer (Mike Kennedy) was killed in a tragic traffic accident east of Nashville, TN on Friday afternoon around 4:00 PM.   The accident occurred on Interstate 40 in Wilson, Country.  Mike Kennedy was just 59 years old and was a long term member of the Ace in the Hole band.  Mike played with Ricky Skaggs for 5 years and served as drummer for George Strait over the past 28 years.

According to the Tennessee Highway patrol, Kennedy’s 1999 GMC Sierra hit a tractor trailer and then eventually collided with a Chevy Silverado pick-up truck.  Mike Kennedy was the lone fatality in the crash and was reportedly not wearing a seat belt.  The other parties involved in the accident were not seriously injured.  Kennedy lived in Baxter, TN (a rural town in Putnam County east of Nashville).

George Strait shared, ““Hard to put into words how much Mike’s passing has affected us all. Our hearts are broken,” George Strait said. “It’s going to be very strange not being able to look over and see him there in his spot on stage and very emotional as well I’m sure for all of us and also his fans. The band will never be the same. A part of us is gone forever. We all loved Mike and will miss him terribly. He was just as solid a friend to us all as he was a drummer, and that was damn solid. Our hearts and prayers are with his family. The Lord has him now. Rest In Peace my friend.”

“The heart beat of our band is gone,” says George Strait production manager Paul Rogers. “Not sure how we will get back on stage without him. But we must. Much love and respect my dear friend Mike Kennedy.”

In the 2015 interview below, Mike Kennedy talks about his start with drumming and his biggest drumming influences.

Mike Kennedy Interview

Mike Kennedy was a long-time supporter of Zildjian Cymbals, who posted Saturday afternoon, “We are deeply heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of Mike Kennedy, longtime Zildjian Artist and drummer for George Strait for 28 years. Mike was a genuinely caring person, who was easily loved by all who knew him and all who had the honor of working with him. He was a proud endorser of both Zildjian Cymbals and Zildjian Sticks. We will truly miss you Mike and our thoughts are with the Kennedy family at this time.”

Michael Aurby Kennedy grew up in the Helotes and Bandera area of Texas close to San Antonio.   Mike stated playing drums in his father’s country band and counts his dad as one of his major influences.  When Mike was 15-years-old, his dad told him, “Go out son and explore the world, you’re too good for my band.”  Mike followed his dad’s advice and went on to play with Jerry Waddel, Bill Green, Black Rose, and Clifton Jansky, and national country star Barbara Fairchild.   His early career led to performing with Ricky Skaggs and his ultimate role with George Strait as the King of Country.

Mike Kennedy George Strait's Drummer
photo: Kennedy Family
Mike Kennedy was well loved by fans and fellow artists. Information on funeral services and other information is pending.

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