I was still in the Army and had just arrived at my new permanent duty station, Fort Hood, Texas, the day Chris LeDoux died. I saw the story online and honestly thought it was a hoax.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. After a long battle with a rare form of liver cancer, LeDoux passed away on March 9, 2005.

Today marks 10 years since we said goodbye to the country singer, rodeo champion and the man Garth Brooks patterned his high-energy, hugely popular, over-the-top live shows after. LeDoux would be 66 years old today.

During his long, largely "underground" career, LeDoux recorded 36 albums, and they've sold more than 6 million units in the United States. He was awarded one gold album certification from the RIAA, and was nominated for a Grammy Award and the Academy of Country Music Music Pioneer Award.

In 2005, longtime friend Garth Brooks honored his pal in song with "Good Ride Cowboy," a tribute to LeDoux.

"I knew if I ever recorded any kind of tribute to Chris, it would have to be up-tempo, happy ... a song like him ... not some slow, mournful song. He wasn't like that. Chris was exactly as our heroes are supposed to be. He was a man's man. A good friend."


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