Joey + Rory's Joey Martin Feek dies at 40 after battle with cancer

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Rory Feek Reveals Wife Joey Has a 'Few More Days' Left to Live


The country music community is in mourning following the death of singer-songwriter Joey Martin Feek, who died after a battle with cervical cancer, according to a post on Joey + Rory's Facebook page. She was 40.

A native of Indiana, the singer made the move to Nashville in the late 1990s, where she met songwriter Rory Feek -- who would become her husband (in June 2002) and then duet partner. She released a solo album, Strong Enough to Cry, on the Giantslayer label in 2005. However, as time progressed, the two began to work together more and more -- eventually performing on the CMT show Can You Duet? in 2008. A third-place finish on the program earned them a recording contract with Sugar Hill Records.

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Their first album as a duo, The Life of a Song, was released in October 2008 and peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The first single from the project, the infectious "Cheater, Cheater," garnered attention at radio as well, peaking at No. 30 on the singles chart. The video featured a guest cameo from Naomi Judd, one of the celebrity judges on the CMT series.

The success of their music led to winning top new vocal duo at the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards. Their sophomore album, simply titled Album Number Two, also hit the top 10 on the albums chart upon its release later that year, though they never hit the top 40 on the airplay lists again. In fact, eight of their albums made the chart, with the most recent being Hymns, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and Top Christian Albums.

PHOTOS: Joey and Rory together through the years

28 PHOTOS
Joey Feek and Rory Feek together on stage
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Joey + Rory's Joey Martin Feek dies at 40 after battle with cancer
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: Rory Feek and Joey Feek of the band Joey & Rory perform on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage during the 2013 CMA Music Festival on June 9, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 07: Musicians Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of Joey & Rory arrives at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: Musicians Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek attend The ACM Experience during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on April 6, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jerod Harris/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 07: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek perform at Las Vegas Convention Center on December 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 24: Joey Feek (L) and Rory Feek of Joey + Rory perform as part of the Stagecoach Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields on April 24, 2010 in Indio, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Rory Feek and Joey Feek of the band Joey and Rory attend the 'Country Strong' premiere at Green Hills Cinema on November 8, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 17: Musicians Rory Feek (L) and Joey Martin of Joey + Rory perform onstage at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards concerts at the Fremont Street Experience during the on April 17, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
TWIN LAKES, WI - JULY 18: Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek (R) of singer/Songwriter duo Joey + Rory perform at the 17th Annual Country Thunder USA music festival on July 18, 2009 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 16: (L-R) Singer Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek attend the 2009 CMT Music Awards at the Sommet Center on June 16, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 16: Singer Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek of Joey + Rory perform on stage during the 2009 CMT Music Awards at the Sommet Center on June 16, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 04: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of Joey & Rory pose Backstage Creations at the 2009 Academy of Country Music Awards Day 1 on April 4, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 06: Joey Martin (L) and Rory Feek of Joey + Rory perform during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards All-Star Jam held at the MGM Grand on April 6, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/ACM2009/Getty Images for ACMA)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: Rory Feek and Joey Feek of the band Joey & Rory perform on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage during the 2013 CMA Music Festival on June 9, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 07: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek perform at Las Vegas Convention Center on December 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 30: (L-R): Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek attend the 60th annual BMI Country awards at BMI on October 30, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: Joey Martin Feek of the musical duo Joey + Rory performs onstage at the ACM Experience at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on March 31, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jerod Harris/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: (L-R) Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of musical duo Joey + Rory perform onstage at the ACM Experience at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on March 31, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jerod Harris/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: Musicians Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek attend The ACM Experience during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on April 6, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jerod Harris/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 07: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of Joey and Rory attend the 2011 SESAC Nashville Music Awards at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place on November 7, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28: Joey + Rory are Joey Martin Feek, Rory Feek accept 'Vocal Duo of the Year' at The 17th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on October 28, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CCMA)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28: Joey + Rory are Joey Martin Feek, Rory Feek perform at The 17th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on October 28, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CCMA)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 03: Musicians Joey Martin Feek (L) and Rory Lee Feek of Joey + Rory arrive at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards RAM Red Carpet held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2011/Getty Images for ACM)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 10: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of Joey + Rory attend the 44th Annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 10, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: Joey Martin Feek of Joey + Rory attends the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for BMI)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 10: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of Joey + Rory attend the 44th Annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 10, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 09: Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek of Joey + Rory attend the 58th Annual BMI Country Music Awards at BMI on November 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BMI)
Joey Martin Feek and Rory Lee Feek of Joey and Rory attends the 'Country Strong' premiere at Green Hills Cinema on November 8, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/FilmMagic)
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"I communicated to my wife, Joey, the good [chart] news about 'her record,'" Rory Feek told Billboard at the time. "I call it her project, because the Hymns album is one that she has always wanted to make, and she's worked so hard to make it happen, in spite of the difficult circumstances she's facing. Her response, through tears, was, 'No, honey, this is God's record. He's gonna be the one that gets all the glory.' And she's right. Only God could make something like this happen."

The duo also made a name for themselves through their countless TV appearances, including their own weekly music program on the RFD-TV network and a successful string of commercials for Overstock.com. Both were filmed at their home, located about an hour south of Nashville. It was just a few miles from there that the couple established their own restaurant, Marcy Jo's, which Feek said was a true labor of love for the couple. In fact, visitors to the eatery might find themselves waited on by the singer herself.

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"We opened this little place down by our farmhouse about three years ago," she said in 2011. "It was at a time when I had nothing going on in music, and we weren't even singing together. It was a place that his sister Marcy wanted to open up -- it was her dream. It's been neat to feel a community around you that didn't exist before. It was just an empty building. We opened it up wanting to know who our neighbors were. We've been down there for about eight years, and we only knew about four people. We opened the doors, and hundreds of people start showing up. Then, when the TV show hit, people from everywhere wanted to come and see our little slice of heaven."

PHOTOS: Inside Joey's brave battle

17 PHOTOS
Joey and Rory Feek
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Joey + Rory's Joey Martin Feek dies at 40 after battle with cancer
...some birthdays are more than just birthdays. They're dreams coming true and prayers being answered.
...our oldest daughter Heidi by her mama's side last night. Holding on and letting go.
when a mother can't get to the kitchen, but wants so much to help make her family dinner... you bring the kitchen to mama.
...happy Valentine's Day my love
...happy Valentine's Day mama
Piggy-tail french braids.... Indy getting her hair done by her Aunts for Grammy watching w her mama and papa tonight (if it's not past her bedtime).
....some baby puppies came to play with Indy the other day, but I think her mama loved their visit the most.
...Indy's first day of swimmy lessons
...loving watching them loving each other.
We had a 1940's themed New Years Eve party last year in our barn. I dusted off my old uniform and my bride and I cut a rug to some big band music. Hoping for a long sweet slow dance this year.
It's 60 and sunny outside today and even brighter inside.. Joey's out of bed teaching signs to Indy on the floor.
...hand-made pigtails and a second-hand tricycle.
...our girls drove up here last night to spend more time with their mom and little sister.
..this was taken at one of our last concerts. Love is a powerful thing to pray for.
backstage with a little fan with a big heart.
...driving to the airport to fly to Branson to play a matinee show, then flying back to Atlanta later today for one more week of treatments.
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The singer had been waging a courageous battle against cervical cancer since 2014. She underwent surgery for the disease that summer, but it returned in 2015. After undergoing another round of treatments, tests showed that the cancer had spread in October, prompting the couple to stop all treatments. On November 9, it was announced that Hospice care had been called in for the family following a brief hospitalization while visiting family in Indiana the week before.

Reflecting on their sometimes unique musical style, Feek said in 2012, "We don't ever take ourselves too seriously. We're human, and just like anybody, we're going to make mistakes. But, at the end of the day, we're just trying to be honest with who we are and ourselves -- to keep our marriage intact, and to go down this path together and enjoy the ride while we have the opportunity to do so."

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Music was definitely something that helped to ease her troubles. Her last project with her husband was a Gospel standards project, for which no release date has been set. In a previous interview, Feek said that she was grateful for the stories fans would tell the couple about how their music affected them -- even if the songs weren't radio hits. "Usually those songs turn out to be a ballad or deeper, and for whatever reason, they're not exposed to them through the radio. But, people pick up on them because it touches them so deeply. It affects them. To me, music has always been a healing tool. If you have a bad day, you just turn the radio on, have a good cry to a great song. It's going to be ok. It's all going to be alright."

The singer is survived by her husband, daughter Indiana, and two step-children, Hopie and Heidi. Arrangements are pending.

PHOTOS: Stars react to the death of Joey Feek

11 PHOTOS
Stars React to Joey Feek's passing
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Joey + Rory's Joey Martin Feek dies at 40 after battle with cancer
Praying for the family & friends of Joey Feek. A beautiful soul moved into heaven today. A beautiful legacy she left behind. @joeyandrory
I did not know Joey Feek of @joeyandrory. But she approached suffering in such a loving, grace-filled way. A beautiful example. #restinpeace
We are so very saddened to learn of the passing of Joey Feek. Our thoughts are with her family, friends, and fans today.
"I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away. When I die, hallelujah by and by, I'll fly away." Rest in sweet, heavily peace #JoeyFeek.
RIP Joey Feek. Gone way way way to soon. #JoeyFeek
Joey Feek has passed and went to heaven. Prayers for her husband Rory Feek and their family. They are awesome... https://t.co/1MthGTj71c
RIP #joeyfeek. I can only hope to be the example of love that this family displays. @joeyandrory ❤️❤️ sending so much love.
So sad. I had the pleasure of hearing Joey Feek perform with her husband at the Bluebird. She was unforgettable https://t.co/0xHPvSVX3T
Heartbroken by the passing of the beautiful Joey Feek and completely inspired by the way she lived every minute. Full of love and life...
Our hearts are with the Joey Feek family. She died at 2:30pm today after her hard fought battle with cancer. https://t.co/E0HrwAGrec
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