Country Performer and Songwriter Brad Martin Dies at 48

Country performer and songwriter Brad Martin has died at the age of 48. Known as a solo artist signed to Epic Records in the early 2000’s, and one half of the duo Martin Ramey that signed with Curb Records in 2008, he passed away on Friday, March 11th. Though no cause of death has been disclosed, Martin had recently been hospitalized due to a work-related injury.

Born on May 3rd, 1973 in Greenfield, Ohio, Brad Martin learned guitar at an early age, and was heavily influenced by traditional artists such as Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty. Moving to Nashville in his early 20’s as an aspiring songwriter and performer, he was playing in a club when he was discovered by artist manager Joe Carter, known for working with Tracy Byrd, and later William Michael Morgan.

Compared early on to a younger version of George Strait, Brad Martin was signed to Epic Records in 2000, and released his debut single “Before I Knew You Better” in 2002, which peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, followed by a debut album Wings of a Honky-Tonk Angel released on June 18th, 2002.

Subsequent singles failed to crack the Top 50, and eventually Brad Martin was dropped from Epic. He emerged later with John Ramey in the duo Martin Ramey, signed to Curb Records.

“Our writing, it was so similar with the direction that we wanted to do. We wanted to do something real rootsy, not the mainstream stuff,” Brad Martin said at the time, and the duo released a debut single called “Twisted” in 2010. But this was at a time many artists singed to Curb were facing difficulty with the label, and in country.

Martin Ramey never released an album with Curb, but did release a slowed-down acoustic cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” in 2012, and another track called “Dangerous” in 2013. Though the duo kept performing into 2018, a debut album never surfaced.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this. My dear friend and music brother Brad Martin passed away this afternoon,” John Ramey said on Friday. “I am heartbroken. Rock on my brother!!! You were a great friend, true talent and it was an honor making music with you!!”

According to a GiveSendGo campaign, Brad Martin suffered a work related injury in January, which complicated already preexisting conditions.

“Due to an already existing health crisis, the trauma from injury has surpassed basic care into intensive and critical levels of care and treatment including transplant evaluation,” the campaign says. “He has suffered severe internal damage causing hemorrhaging, along with a multitude of other life threatening issues with his liver.”

The family has confirmed Brad Martin’s death, but no specific cause has been disclosed.

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