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Son of Oak Ridge Boys’ Singer Dead at 65: ‘Appreciate Your…Prayers’

Photo from the Oak Ridge Boys’ Instagram

Son of Oak Ridge Boys’ Singer Dead at 65: ‘Appreciate Your…Prayers’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Oak Ridge Boys’ member William Lee Golden just announced the tragic death of his son, William “Rusty” Golden. He was 65 years old.

“This is the hardest thing ever for a father to have to face,” the musician said in a statement. “I love my family more than anything. Rusty was a great musician, a talented songwriter, and a wonderful son. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the days ahead. I love you, son.” 

In a tweet, Golden thanked fans for their “love and support” and asked “for privacy for our family during this difficult time.”

Members of the musical community have expressed their sorrow at Rusty’s passing. 

“The Daniels family is saddened to hear about the passing of ‘Rusty’ Golden son of our friend William Lee Golden from The @oakridgeboys,” the family of the late Charlie Daniels posted on X. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the Golden family. Rest in peace, Rusty. – CD Jr., Chelsea and Hazel Daniels.”

Singer Dale Houston wrote, “We love your entire family, and can only imagine the loss you are all feeling. Thankfully, we have God’s promise that we will all be reunited. In the meantime, y’all are in our prayers, and we are just a phone call away. God bless.”

Rusty began his musical career early, playing drums for The Rambos at age 13. After seeing Elton John in concert, he switched from drums to the piano. At 17, he toured with Larry Gatlin as the band’s piano player. 

He co-founded The Boys Band in the 1980s and received an RIAA Gold Record for his songwriting on the Oak Ridge Boys’ album Bobbie Sue. Rusty then linked up with Marc Speer and started making gospel music along with Rusty’s brother Chris. The project was shelved, but Rusty and Chris continued making gospel music. 

He wrote gospel songs for other artists, including “What Salvation’s Done for Me” for The Booth Brothers and “I Want to Thank You” for Karen Peck & New River. Rusty also released two solo albums, including Angels, which focused on his faith. 

“Until the Lord calls me away from this world to the next, I want to make it clear that I believe in Jesus Christ as the true Lord and Savior,” Rusty said of his faith. “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, was sacrificed on the cross, died for our sins, and rose again. HE loves us.”


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