Country Singer Was Latest Fentanyl Victim

Luke Bell died of accidental overdose at age 32
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2022 1:46 AM CDT
Updated Sep 21, 2022 2:00 AM CDT

(Newser) Update: Country singer Luke Bell died of a fentanyl overdose, an Arizona medical examiner has determined, ruling his August death accidental. "In consideration of the known circumstances surrounding this death, the available medical history, and the examination of the remains, the cause of death is ascribed to fentanyl intoxication," the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office said, per NBC News. Our original story from Sept. 1 follows:

Country singer Luke Bell went missing Aug. 20, and on Monday, the story came to a tragic end when he was found dead not far from where he'd vanished. According to a piece on Bell and his death at Saving Country Music, the 32-year-old had been fighting "a severe battle with bipolar disorder," and he'd been "semi-homeless" and known to disappear—hitchhiking, couch-surfing, or even hopping on a freight train—sometimes eventually showing up in the hospital or in jail. But over the past year and a half, thanks to a treatment plan and medication, the site says he'd been doing well, playing shows and collaborating with fellow country artist Matt Kinman.

The two traveled to Arizona for work, where "Luke’s mental state took a turn for the worse," the site says. His cause and manner of death have not been made public, and an autopsy is ending. "We came down here to Arizona, to work down here, play some music, and he just took off," says Kinman, who had played with Bell for the past six years. "He was in the back of the truck. I went in to get something to eat. I came out, and he’d got out of the truck and left." Deadline says Bell's "throwback style blended strains of Texas, Nashville and Bakersfield," and Rolling Stone once described his sound as "classic honky-tonk with a wink and a yodel." He'd opened for Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., and Dwight Yoakam, and had released three albums. (Read more celebrity death stories.)

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