Bluegrass Guitarist Tony Rice Passes Away at 69


Bluegrass guitarist Tony Rice has died at age 69. His former record label said on social media, “Tony Rice June 8, 1951 – December 25, 2020 We were all deeply saddened by the news of Tony Rice’s sudden passing on Christmas Day, and we offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones and his many fans. May he Rest In Peace.” The cause of his death has not been made public.

The California native was a guitarist famous for his flat-picking skills, playing with the bands J.D. Crowe and the New South, as well as with guitarist Norman Blake, mandolin player David Grisman and the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. His last album was 2011’s Hartford Rice and Clements, which was recorded in 1988. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Rice hadn’t played guitar publicly due to medical issues.  He was diagnosed with muscle-tension dysphonia in 1994 and hadn’t sung in concert since then.

Tony Rice, influential bluegrass guitarist, dies at 69


Editorial credit: ForrestSmith /