The 51st Annual CMA Awards was the first time Angie Gentry made a public appearance since her husband, Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry, tragically passed away on September 8, 2017. She and their daughter, Kaylee, walked the red carpet and attended the show. Before he passed away, Troy had promised Kaylee he would bring her as his date, marking her very first CMA Awards show. Although he was never able to follow through on his promise, his wife made sure she did.
Angie, again, made a rare appearance for another CMA Awards ceremony. This time, for the CMA Touring Awards, an awards ceremony that honors the industry folks who work tirelessly behind the scenes.
“The CMA Touring Awards honor the unseen heroes of Country Music, the men and women who work behind the scenes to give our fans the best live music experience in entertainment,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said. “As you’ll notice, we’ve expanded the number of nominees from three to five in each category to acknowledge the many touring and industry professionals who are working at the highest levels.”
There are 15 different award categories include Touring Musician of the Year, Coach/Driver of the Year, Venue of the Year, Tour Video Director of the Year, Talent Agent of the Year, Publicist of the Year, Production Manager of the Year, and Tour Manager of the Year.
Montgomery Gentry’s longtime bus driver Danny Shelnut won Coach/Driver of the Year and was presented the award by none other than Angie Gentry. Angie stood on stage and emotionally spoke about the impact Danny had on not only her life, but her late husband’s as well.
“We’re here to honor someone tonight that has spent the last 30 years on the road driving his ‘motorcoach,’ 16 of them with Montgomery Gentry and 10 driving my husband and my family. He’s not only a driver, he’s our friend and he’s part of our family,” she said, visibly emotional. “Thank you for honoring him with something that is so very important in a time where we’ve all come together as family to get each other through a very, very tragic situation. Thank you very much,” she told the crowd before turning to Danny and saying, “Congratulations, I love you.”
During her speech, you can see Danny wipe away a tear, showing just how much this award, at this time, means to him. After they hugged, Troy’s bandmate Eddie Montgomery appeared on the screen behind them with a congratulatory video message.
Watch the video below.