Keith Whitley, a rising star of country music who followed the hard-living lifestyle he sang, died Tuesday of an accidental overdose of alcohol. He was 33.
Whitley played in Ralph Stanley's bluegrass band and later was lead singer for the country-bluegrass band J.D. Crowe and the New South. He moved to Nashville from Kentucky in the 1980s and landed a recording contract with RCA.Whitley's latest album, "Don't Close Your Eyes," has had three No. 1 singles since it was released last year: the title song; "When You Say Nothing at All"; and "I'm No Stranger to the Rain," which reached No. 1 a month ago. The album and title song were nominated by the Academy of Country Music for song and single record of the year.
Whitley's other hit singles included "Miami My Amy," "Ten Feet Away," "Homecoming '63" and "Hard Livin.' "