Ray Benson Tests Positive For the Coronavirus

Western Swing legend and frontman of Asleep At The Wheel Ray Benson is the latest country artist to test positive for the Coronavirus. The 69-year-old who lives in the Austin area said on Tuesday morning (3-31) he’s been feeling tired for the last 10 days, and went in for a test on March 21st, but there were no tests available. So he went back on Monday and it came back positive for COVID-19.

The good news is that Ray Benson currently seems to be in good spirits, and is not suffering from many of the worst symptoms of the disease. “Hoping for the best don’t have the usual symptoms but feel tired head ache no fever no cough!! I’ll be ok sure do miss playin music and seein everyone! Stay well this shits serious!! I have been alone for the most part and wore mask washed hands used hand sanitizer still got it! Do not listen to right wing BS!”

Two days before Ray Benson initially went in to get tested, he was hosting the Luck Reunion virtual festival called “‘Till Further Notice” that was streamed live online. Most of the performers participated remotely, and those in contact with Ray were practicing social distancing.

The nine-time Grammy winner is known for being one of the biggest champions for keeping the Western Swing tradition of country music alive in the modern context. Good friends with Willie Nelson, and so many other country legends, the Philadelphia native relocated to Austin in 1973 at the suggestion of Willie Nelson and never looked back, becoming part of the city’s “hippies & cowboys” mix.

Ray Benson joins John Prine, Kalie Shorr, and Laura Bell Bundy as artists from the country world who’ve contracted the Coronavirus. John Prine is currently in an ICU and intubated due to the disease. Joe Diffie became the first major music celebrity to die of the disease on Sunday (3-29).

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