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Kylie Rae Harris died on Wednesday night (Sept. 4) in a three-vehicle crash in northern New Mexico, Billboard has confirmed. The Texas-based country singer was 30.
According to the Associated Press, another driver, a 16-year-old, was also killed while the third driver escaped injury in the evening crash on State Road 522. Harris’ passing was first reported by country news and reviews site Saving Country Music.
“We are heartbroken to confirm that Kylie Rae Harris passed away in a car accident last night,” Harris’ publicist says in a statement to Billboard. “We have no further details to share, and ask for privacy for her family at this time. Everyone that knew Kylie knew how much she loved her family and, beyond that, how much she loved music. The best tribute to her unmatched enthusiasm for both is to spread as much love as you can today, and listen to music that fully inspires you.”
Harris’ last post on social media hinted that she was low on gas. “Fuel range is 46 miles and I’m 36 from the nearest gas station. Dear baby Jesus please don’t let me get stranded in NM,” she wrote on Twitter. Following the news of her death, a GoFundMe campaign has been created for funeral relief and college funds for Harris' six-year-old daughter, Corbie.
Harris released her latest self-titled EP in March of this year. The project chronicles the lessons she’s learned throughout her life and includes songs penned with Jon Randall, Dave Berg, Bonnie Bishop and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Billboard premiered the poignant “Twenty Years From Now,” a song she penned as a prayer for her six-year-old daughter and said was the most important song she’s ever written.
“You deserve nothing less than happiness/ And so do I/ Twenty years from now/ My prayer is that somehow/ You’ll forgive all my mistakes and be proud of the choice I made/ God I hope I’m still around/ Twenty years from now,” she sings alongside soaring instrumentation and tender vocals.
She penned the song with Randall shortly after a road trip with her then two-and-a-half year old daughter, Corbie. Driving from Tulsa to Nashville after a difficult visit with her daughter’s father, Harris recounted the trip in her head. She had previously lost her father to cancer and she realized that not everyone gets the opportunity to know their parents as adults.
“It scared me thinking that it was totally possible I could be gone before my daughter reaches that point,” she told Billboard at the time. “I want to meet my kid’s kids. Getting to the age your parents were when you were a child brings a whole lot of perspective."
Harris grew up in a small town northeast of Dallas, Texas. Family road trips often included the music of Radney Foster and Jerry Jeff Walker while Walt Wilkins and Patty Griffin were early influences. After singing in church, she wrote her first song at 14. Harris released two albums and her most recent self-titled EP in March.
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