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David Olney, Nashville Singer-Songwriter, Dies Onstage at 71

Billboard logo Billboard 1/19/2020 Mitchell Peters
a man holding a guitar: David Olney © Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images David Olney

Nashville singer-songwriter David Olney died Saturday (Jan. 18) after collapsing on stage at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Olney -- whose work was recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury and many others -- died of an apparent heart attack, according to his website. He was 71.

Olney was remembered by singer-songwriter Amy Rigby, who was performing alongside him at the 30A Songwriters Festival where he died.

"Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologized and shut his eyes," Rigby wrote in a Facebook post. "He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on, wearing the coolest hat and a beautiful rust suede jacket we laughed about because it was raining like hell outside the boathouse where we were playing- I just want the picture to be as graceful and dignified as it was, because it at first looked like he was just taking a moment."

A native of Rhode Island, Olney moved to Nashville in 1973 and later formed the rock group The X-Rays. His first solo album, Eye of the Storm, was released in 1986. The artist would go on to release more than two dozen albums over his solo career, according to the Tennessean.

Olney is survived by his wife Regine, daughter Lillian, and son Redding. Memorial details were not yet available at press time.

In memoriam 2020: Remembering stars we lost this year (via Photo Services):

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