Miranda Lambert Songwriter & Longtime Guitarist Scotty Wray Dies

This story has been updated.

From the very beginning of Miranda Lambert’s career when she was just 17-years-old, guitarist, songwriter, and solo performer Scotty Wray had been by her side on stage, and contributing songs in the studio. Scotty Wray also happens to be the older brother of country performer Collin Raye. Now both musical families are mourning as it has been confirmed that Scotty Wray passed away on on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Wray had been battling heart issues over the last few years, which had taken him off the road.

When Miranda Lambert first started, she didn’t have a full band. It was just her and Scotty Wray with acoustic guitars, hitting any spot that would have them in Texas, from Dallas, Houston, and Austin, with Miranda singing her songs, and Scotty accompanying her. As things began to blow up and band members were added, Scotty Wray remained as bandleader, still with his guitar, acting as the constant and the anchor in Miranda Lambert’s sometimes tumultuous universe.

Scotty Wray also co-wrote multiple songs with Miranda, including “I Wanna Die” off of her debut major label record Kerosene from 2005, “Easy Living” from her 2011 album Four The Record, and “Gravity Is a Bitch” off of Miranda’s 2014 album Platinum. Wray also wrote the song “Scars” that Miranda Lambert has played live over the years, and became the title track to Collin Raye’s 2020 album. Scotty Wray also contributed other songs to his brother’s albums over the years, including 1998’s The Walls Came Down, and 2000’s Love Songs.

“Scotty was a very loving, big hearted person, who was loyal to Family and Friends, even from many years back,” Collin Raye said on Sunday. “I want to thank all the many Friends and our Family members, as well as our Music Industry Family, who have reached out in love, with their Prayers and Condolences. I know Scotty’s sweet Daughter, Sara appreciates the love being shown to her Dad, as I know we all do.”

Collin Raye confirms that Scotty had been suffering from an illness for some time, and was currently in a care facility, but it was still sudden and shocking to hear of his passing. “I had spent hours with him, just the day before, and left him Thursday evening feeling like I’d see him again soon.”

As close as Scotty Wray and Collin Raye were as bothers, Miranda and Scotty were like brother and sister, getting matching arrow tattoos on the outside of their palms to codify their longtime musical collaboration and friendship. Miranda posted a picture of the two showing the tattoos off Saturday evening when remembering Wray.

“Last night I lost one of my most treasured friends, band mates and road family members,” Miranda Lambert said Saturday. “We met in 2001 in Greenville Texas. I was 17. That was the beginning of our journey together. We went through so much life together on and off the stage. We wrote songs, played gig after gig, fought, cried, laughed and even got matching arrow tattoos after we made it out of some rough patches together.”

Lambert continues, “He was one of the most talented guitar players I’ve ever known and I’m so thankful I got to witness his genius seasoned laid back blues man style on stages all over the world for over 20 years. He was the one I could count on. Always. No matter what. If he was there on my right side I felt like I could take on the world. Scotty Wray was family to me and I’ll never sing a note without him because I know he is there with me. He always has been. I love you my sweet Bud Wray. Heaven is lucky cause that honky tonk band up there just gained another guitar pickin angel. Rest easy my love.”

Scotty Wray believed in Miranda Lambert when others didn’t. So often when you trace the success of country artists, there’s always that someone by their side through thick and thin—their ultimate champion. For Willie Nelson, it was Paul English. For Waylon Jennings, it was Richie Albright. And for Miranda Lambert, it was Scotty Wray.

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