Luke Bryan will forgo the CMT Artists of the Year event after suffering another loss in the family. The country star is grieving the death of his brother-in-law, who died on Saturday at the young age of 46.
The successful singer was just named CMA Entertainer of the Year last month, and has been enjoying the biggest year of his country career. However, on the family front, Bryan has not been so lucky.
Bryan’s brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, who was very close to the “Crash My Party” crooner’s family, died of undisclosed causes over the weekend, seven years after his own wife, Kelly Bryan, passed away, People magazine reported. Kelly was Bryan’s only sister and died suddenly in 2007 at the age of 39.
After Bryan’s only brother died years earlier at the age of 26, losing his sister left a significant mark on the recording artist. “Losing my brother changed me tremendously and losing Kelly, even more,” Bryan told People Country last year.
Cheshire was often seen with the Bryan family and was present during Bryan’s emotional ACM Entertainer of the Year win last year in Las Vegas. He loaned his support to the multi-award winner throughout a big part of his career and has always been considered an important part of the family circle.
Following his death, Cheshire leaves behind the three teenage children he had with Kelly, whose custody care remains unknown at this time.
CMT released a statement saying that Bryan’s segment of the show will go on as planned and it will be in honor of “Luke in absentia and will recognize him in only the best way we know how — out of respect for him and his family.”