The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall dead at 76

As per NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A member of the iconic country music group, The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Bonsall has died at the age of 76.

“Bonsall, of Hendersonville, Tennessee passed on to Glory on July 9, 2024, from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. He leaves behind his precious wife, Mary Ann, daughters Jennifer and Sabrina, granddaughter Breanne, grandson Luke, two great grandsons, Chance and Grey, and a sister, Nancy. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph S. Bonsall Sr. and Lillie Bonsall,” a release stated.

Bonsall announced his retirement from touring in January 2024. The tenor released a statement to fans and acknowledged his neuromuscular disorder.

Bonsall was from Philadelphia and lived in Nashville for nearly 40 years. He joined The Oak Ridge Boys in 1973.

According to a release, Bonsall was a 50-year member of The Oak Ridge Boys and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Joseph is also the author of 11 books including his latest, a memoir entitled I See Myself, which releases in November. Joe loved to sing. He loved to read. He loved to write. He loved to play banjo. He loved working on the farm. And he loved the Philadelphia Phillies. But Jesus and his family always came first—and we will see him again on the Promised Day.”

According to a release, Bonsall requested no funeral. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The ALS Association or to the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center.

Reaction to Bonsall’s death was immediate on social media:

“When I think of the Oak Ridge Boys and their place in Country Music history, the image of Joe with his huge smile and boundless energy comes to mind so clearly. His commitment to serving others while developing Country Music into a worldwide sensation will never be forgotten and our industry has been made better because of him. Today, we lost an incomparable energy and voice in music. He will be missed greatly by all who were fortunate to know him.” — Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO

“We lost the great Joe Bonsall of the @oakridgeboys and country music is crying today. Joe was a real friend, and someone I looked up to not only as an artist, but as a man. He’s left a legacy of incredible music, and endless accounts of his kind heartedness. #RIPJoeBonsall” — John Rich

“My heart is heavy this morning after hearing that my friend @oakridgeboys tenor @joebonsall
has passed away at the age of 76. Joe had amazing talent and a wonderful personality and he will be missed terribly by everyone who knew him. Joe is with our Lord Jesus now and that brings me some comfort. My heartfelt condolences go out to Joe’s wife, Mary Ann, his children and all his extended family. RIP🙏🏼” — Travis Tritt