Luke Bell, a Wyoming-based country music singer who died at the age of 32, was discovered already deceased in Tucson, AZ on August 29, after reportedly being reported missing on Aug. 20, according to the Tucson Police Department. Matt Kinman, his friend and fellow country singer, also confirmed the "heartbreaking" news to Saving Country Music. Almost a month later on Sept. 19, ABC 9 KGUN Tucson confirmed that his death was caused by "fentanyl intoxication."
Below, you can learn more about Luke and his life.
When he was in college, he decided to pursue a music career.
Luke attended Wyoming University but decided to drop out and move to Austin, TX to pursue his passion for country music. According to The Boot, he would perform at several honky-tonks and saloons in the area until he arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Luke's greatest break came when he was signed by Thirty Tigers in 2016 and released his self-titled album a year later. He has gained international recognition.
Luke has opened the way for many legendary country singers.
The Boot has reported that due to his new fame and fortune, Luke was able to support a number of well-known musicians over the years, including Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Hayes Carll. Despite the many challenges, Luke seemed to maintain his integrity and strive for perfection.
In a 2016 interview with The Boot, Bell said, "I live in the day and I count smiles." "I don't drink beer with my neighbors half the time," he said. The upside, in some ways, is I don't have a wife or kids... The goal is to have high expectations and have a great time."
He was reportedly suffering from bipolar disorder.
Matt, Luke's friend, told The Boot that he was secretly suffering a severe form of the disorder, and that he believes a recent change in his medication may have "played a role" in his disappearance and eventual death. At the time his body was discovered, no cause of death had been determined.
Luke's family released a statement to PEOPLE on September 2nd, stating that he was unable to receive the help he needed to deal with his suffering. "Luke was supported throughout his illness by a supportive family and friends." In addition, the couple said their "hearts go out to the millions of people affected by mental illness who, like us, understand the agony of a system that neglects to provide compassionate care."
He appeared to be an animal lover.
Luke has shared several pictures of animals on his Instagram page over the years. He has shared many pictures of dogs, horses, exotic wild animals, and more. He even photographed a photoshoot with his guitar back in 2015.
Friends and followers paid bittersweet tribute to Luke on social media.
Country singer Joshua Hedley wrote on Twitter: "Luke Bell...what the f–k." "I was just talking about him the other day wondering what he's been up to."
Mike and the Moonpies, a group of musicians, also shared a Facebook message about Luke. "We're shocked by the news," they wrote. "I can vividly remember the first time I saw Luke at Hole in the Wall over a decade ago, down to the clothes on his back."
"The man (and his music) made an impression," they said. "He was a genuine gentleman out there on that lost highway." Do yourself a favor and sing some Luke Bell songs tonight in his honor. Rest in peace, friend.