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'I Love You, Son': Fans Pray for Country Icon After Child's Sudden Death

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“This is the hardest thing ever for a father to have to face.”

Those are the words of The Oak Ridge Boys’ William Lee Golden, whose 65-year-old son has passed away. William “Rusty” Golden died in his home last Monday in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

“I love my family more than anything,” the elder Golden said in a press release. “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.”

He went on to ask for privacy as the Golden family grieves their loss.

“We thank you all for your love and support of Rusty over the years and kindly ask for privacy for our family during this difficult time,” Golden wrote.

Condolences and well wishes began pouring in after Golden posted the news to his X account.

The family of the late Charlie Daniels wrote on X, “The Daniels family is saddened to hear about the passing of ‘Rusty’ Golden, son of our friend William Lee Golden from The Oak Ridge Boys. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Golden family. Rest in peace, Rusty.”

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Singer Dale Houston responded with his own faith-filled message.

“We love your entire family, and can only imagine the loss you are all feeling,” he wrote. “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.”

Before launching a solo career as an artist in his own right, the younger Golden toured with the Southern Gospel trio The Rambos, playing drums for the group at just 13 years old.

Years later, after a stint in secular music inspired by an Elton John concert, he returned to his Gospel roots following a harrowing health journey that culminated in a quadruple bypass. He had several Gospel hits, including songwriting credits for “What Salvation’s Done for Me” and “I Want to Thank You.”

In 2015, Rusty Golden opened up about his battle with alcoholism and his journey to sobriety in his album, “Sober,” which he re-released in 2022.

“I tried for over 36 years to do everything my way,” he said of his alcohol abuse in an interview with the Nashville Scene. “It wasn’t so much that I was out of control. But I had a real problem. I didn’t want to believe that I couldn’t deal with it. It took family members looking at me and saying, ‘You need to get help,’ of them later telling me they would rather not have me come around the way I was that finally convinced me to get help.”

Rusty Golden · SOBER

He continued, “You either are part of the solution or you remain an addict. Everybody out there either knows somebody, loves somebody, or has been somebody who’s addicted. It’s something that we should always remember whenever we’re talking about addiction or dealing with it, that it is such a pervasive problem, and one where there’s no easy solution to the problem.”

Please pray for the Golden family as they process their loss.

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church