Jeremy Tepper, an influential figure in the country music scene, has tragically passed away at the age of 60 due to a heart attack.

Tepper’s untimely demise has left a significant void in the music industry, particularly among his colleagues and fans who cherished his contributions and passion for country music.

Stevie Van Zandt, guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and founder of Underground Garage, the parent platform for Tepper’s radio show, was among the first to break the news.

On X (formerly Twitter), Van Zandt expressed his sorrow, “Lost my good friend Jeremy Tepper last night. An incredibly tragic loss so young. He ran my Outlaw Country station on SiriusXM brilliantly. It is actually quite a complicated format and he made it look easy. Our deepest love and condolences to Laura and his family and friends.”

Tepper’s journey in the music industry was diverse and impactful. He was the frontman of the band World Famous Blue Jays and co-founded the Diesel Only record label in 1990.

His influence extended beyond performing and recording; Tepper was also a respected journalist and editor for various music publications. At one time, he served as the editor of the Journal of Country Music and was the country music critic for Pulse! Magazine.

'Incredibly tragic loss, so young': Outlaw country pioneer dead from apparent heart attack

One of Tepper’s significant contributions was organizing the annual Outlaw Country Cruise, an event that celebrated the genre and brought together artists and fans in a unique setting.

His expertise and vision were also instrumental when he joined Sirius in 2004 as the format manager for the Outlaw Country channel. This role allowed him to shape the sound and direction of Outlaw Country on SiriusXM, a task he handled with skill and dedication.

SiriusXM paid tribute to Tepper with a heartfelt post on their X account, stating, “Jeremy Tepper, a beloved member of SiriusXM, profoundly influenced us with his unwavering dedication to music and innovative spirit. His contributions, in shaping Outlaw Country and Willie’s Roadhouse, are beyond measure. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time.”

The news of Tepper’s passing was elaborated by his wife, Laura Cantrell, who shared the heartbreaking details of his sudden death. Tepper suffered a heart attack on Friday, June 14, in Jackson Heights, New York.

'Incredibly tragic loss, so young': Outlaw country pioneer dead from apparent heart attack

In a poignant Facebook post, Cantrell wrote, “I am heartbroken to share the news of the passing of my husband, Jeremy Tepper, who died suddenly today of a heart attack here in Jackson Heights.”

Cantrell went on to describe her husband as an amazing and unique person, who was also a loving father, son, brother, and friend. She acknowledged the deep connections Tepper had within the music community and expressed the family’s grief.

“[He] was close with so many of you, especially his many friends in the music world,” she continued. “We will share more soon about plans to celebrate his life, but we are devastated by this unimaginable loss and ask for privacy and time to grieve.”

Tepper and Cantrell, a country singer-songwriter and DJ from Nashville, had been married since 1997. Their partnership was a blend of personal and professional worlds, both deeply immersed in the country music scene.

'Incredibly tragic loss, so young': Outlaw country pioneer dead from apparent heart attack

As the music industry mourns the loss of Jeremy Tepper, his legacy endures through his contributions to country music. His work as a musician, journalist, and format manager has left an indelible mark.

Friends, colleagues, and fans remember him not just for his professional achievements but also for his warmth, kindness, and the passion he brought to every endeavor.

In the coming days, there will undoubtedly be numerous tributes and celebrations of Jeremy Tepper’s life and work.

His influence will continue to resonate, inspiring future generations of country music lovers and professionals.

As the community grieves, there is comfort in knowing that Tepper’s spirit and dedication to his craft will remain a lasting part of the country music landscape.

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