The country music industry, riding high after Chris Stapleton’s rousing success at last Sunday’s Super Bowl, received devastating news earlier this week. Kyle Jacobs, an award-winning songwriter and husband of American Idol alum Kellie Pickler, died of a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 49 years old.
As reported by several outlets, Pickler woke up Friday morning and could not find her husband. She and her assistant looked around the house and eventually came across a room in the upstairs portion of the house which was locked and that they could not enter. They placed a 911 call. Police responded, entered the locked office/bedroom space, and found Jacobs’ lifeless body.
Jacobs, who moved from Minneapolis to Nashville in the early 2000s, made a name for himself in 2003 after writing Kimberly Locke’s “8th World Wonder.” He went on to overnight stardom after writing the 2007 Garth Brooks’ number one hit “More Than A Memory.” That song went on to becoming the “world’s fastest overnight single in the history of country music,” one industry magazine wrote.
“Kyle also co-wrote the Top 10 singles ‘Still’ by Tim McGraw and ‘Dust’ by Eli Young Band. Kyle has also produced four #1 singles for Lee Brice, ‘Hard To Love,’ ‘I Drive Your Truck,’ ‘Drinking Class’ as well as ‘Rumor’ which is also Kyle’s latest #1 as a songwriter,” Curb World described..
Jacobs was the recipient of both a CMA and ACM, two of the biggest awards in the country music business, and was also nominated for a Grammy.
“The Academy is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kyle Jacobs, a talented Nashville songwriter & producer and the husband of Kellie Pickler. In 2014 Jacobs won an ACM Award as a producer of Lee Brice’s ‘I Drive Your Truck.’ Join us in sending condolences, love & healing,” the official ACM account tweeted after learning the news.
The day before his death, Jacobs revealed that his latest collaboration, a song recorded by Lee Brice, “Hey World,” was going to be certified platinum. It would be his last post to social media before his death.
“Platinum?! SWEEEET!!! An amazing crew of incredibly talented peeps put this one together…Deeply honored to be a creative part of it…Thank you Jesus!!!” he captioned to Instagram.
Jacobs was also known for his support of police. His Instagram account also featured a photgraph of he and his wife Pickler commemorating a performance at the nation’s capital which honored fallen officers. Breitbart wrote:
Jacobs also strongly supported America’s law enforcement. In an October 2021 post, he shared a photo of himself and Kellie Pickler outside of the U.S. Capitol after performing in honor of “our National Peace Officers and The Fallen.”
Jacobs was not the only one with a troubled past. Kellie Pickler also found fame and success in the country music industry after her own tumultous childhood. The New York Post reported in 2006, following her national rise through the hit show American Idol that her mother once “handed her a kitchen knife and told her to commit suicide.”
“I remember my mother and I were in the kitchen, and I said, ‘I wish God would take me away, I’d much rather be dead than live here with you.’ She took a knife out, set it on the counter, and said, ‘Here, do it then.’ I was in fourth grade. Of course, I would never have acted upon it, but it’s done a lot of emotional scarring,” she said.
Jacobs and Pickler first met in 2007 at a Nashville bar after being introduced through a mutual songwriting friend. They married in 2011.
During their marriage, the couple worked on music together and even enjoyed a three-season reality-television run. The CMT-produced “I Love Kellie Pickler” aired from 2015 to 2017.
They also collaborated on songs for her 2012 and 2013 albums.
Pickler also won Dancing with the Stars in 2013.
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