Chris LeDoux, singer/songwriter, rodeo champion and acclaimed sculptor, passed away March 9, 2005, at the age of 56 in Casper, Wyo. He had checked into the Casper Medical Center earlier this week following complications from ongoing treatment for cancer of the bile duct, and was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death.
"All of us at Capitol Records and EMI Music are saddened at the passing of Chris," said Capitol Nashville President and CEO Mike Dungan. "In a world of egos and soundalikes, he was a unique artist and a wonderful man. We have always been proud to represent his music, and honored to call him our friend. Our thoughts go out to his wife, Peggy, and the LeDoux family."
LeDoux, a former world champion bronc rider, started playing music in his teens, while he competed in rodeos, writing about his life on the circuit. His songs captured the romance, the freedom, the dirt and the hurt of rodeo, and drew fans who demanded tapes of his songs. LeDoux had recorded 22 albums on his own, when Garth Brooks mentioned his name in the hit song, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)." As a result, LeDoux's music became more widely known, and he signed with Capitol Records Nashville in 1990. He released 15 since then, and sold nearly six million records.
In 2000 LeDoux was diagnosed with a liver disease, and successfully underwent a liver transplant. Within six months of the surgery, LeDoux was on tour againthrowing himself right back into the hard-driving, full-force stage shows he was known for.
Late last year he was diagnosed with cancer and began undergoing radiation treatment.
A devoted husband and doting father, LeDoux spent his time off the road with his family at their ranch in Kaycee, Wyo.