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Troy Gentry, of country duo Montgomery Gentry, killed in helicopter crash

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Troy Gentry, of country duo Montgomery Gentry, has died following a helicopter crash in New Jersey, according to a statement posted on the group's official site. He was 50.

"Troy Gentry's family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time," the statement read in part.

The crash took place before 1 p.m. ET in Medford, according to the statement. The helicopter's pilot also was killed, authorities said.

Montgomery Gentry was scheduled to perform Friday night at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford.

Medford police said first responders received news of a helicopter in distress that was returning to the Flying W Airport.

"Initial reports were the helicopter was going to attempt to crash land," police said in a statement. "Emergency crews arrived at the airport and shortly thereafter, the helicopter suddenly crashed in a field just south of the airport runway."

Gentry was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said. Pilot James Evan Robinson, 30, died on the scene. He worked as a helicopter pilot at a flight school at the airport.

The crash remains under investigation.

Montgomery Gentry formed in 1999 and produced a number of country music hits, including "My Town," and "Hell Yeah."

Recording artists Sheryl Crow, Josh Turner and Brad Paisley were among those who paid tribute to Gentry on social media following news of his death.

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