Texas Country Star Kylie Rae Harris Dies in Car Crash
This story has been updated.
Mother, designer, and one of the most revered songwriters, performers, and women of Texas country music has tragically passed away. Kylie Rae Harris died in Taos, New Mexico Wednesday night (9-4) in a three vehicle crash on State Road 522 near Milepost 1. A 16-year-old also passed away in the crash, while the third driver was uninjured. Harris was in the northern New Mexico town to play the Big Barn Dance in Taos Thursday (9-5). She was 30-years-old.
Originally from Wylie, TX near Dallas, her family would regularly take trips into the east Texas pines where she was exposed to the strong songwriting of Texas performers such as Radney Foster and Jerry Jeff Walker, falling in love with the music at an early age. By the age of 12, she professes knowing that music is what she wanted to do with her life after singing in the church choir, and she wrote her first song when she was 14. From there Kylie Rae chose to pursue a career in music head on, for better or worse. It went worse when she fell into an abusive relationship, but she extricated herself from it to become a highly revered songwriter and performer in Texas and beyond.
“Music has always been in me,” Kylie Rae Harris was quoted as saying in one of her early press releases. “I have to do it. This is all or nothing for me. I’m going to be writing and singing music the rest of my life whether I’m broke or not so I might as well go for it.”
With strong songwriting influences such as Walt Wilkins and Patty Griffin, Kylie Rae Harris released her first EP Taking It Back in 2013, putting her on the radar of Texas music that is often criticized for not including enough women. Off the strength of this release, Harris won the 2014 Female Vocalist Of The Year from the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards. Then her career took a pause when she gave birth to her daughter, which also became the inspiration for what many believe was her best song, and one of the best songs released so far in 2019 called “Twenty Years From Now”—a song that is gut-wrenching to listen to now after the news of her passing.
“Twenty Years From Now” appears on Kylie Rae Harris’s most recent, self-titled EP released on March 29th. It came after a period where she moved from Texas to pursue her musical dreams, then moved back to Texas, and was finally finding her place in the music world. She had recently been working with highly-regarded manager Alex Torrez, and was looking to take her career to the next level.
A few hours before Harris passed away, she posted a very touching Instagram story about Taos, NM, and her life. “I’m alright, I look a mess. It’s because I’ve been crying. It’s a good cry. I just got to Taos, NM. But for those of you who don’t know, I spent the last 20 years of my life coming to Taos with my dad, my sisters, my grandparents lived here, my uncle still lives here. Literally everybody that was here has passed away, except for my uncle, including my dad. Driving these roads today—I’ve been driving for 12 hours—you would think that’s so exhausting and boring … And remembering my place in the back seat, and I started getting really sad…”
Kylie Rae Harris is survived by her six-year-old daughter, Corbie, and extended family.
A GoFundMe Page has been set up for Kylie Rae’s final expenses, as well as a college fund for her daughter Corbie.
UPDATE: Kylie Rae Harris’s mother on her death.
Needless to say, we have a huge hole in our hearts right now. We knew our Kylie made a big impact on those around her, but I don’t think we could have fathomed how many people loved and truly cherished her. There will be several services and memorials, but her closest friends would want to come to the church service in her home town. We are tentatively scheduling that for Wednesday the 11th at 2:00 at the First Baptist Church in Wylie [Texas].
There will be many opportunities to honor Kylie in a musical venue as well, so we’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on that. Please understand that we’ve never been a big fan of GoFundMe pages, but I believe that there will be several benefits for Kylie’s precious 6-year-old daughter Corbie, as Kylie, like most musicians, did not have assets or life insurance. Please know that this little girl will have tons of support from her family, though, so please don’t worry about that.
Our hearts go out to the family of the 16-year-old girl who also died on the scene of the accident last night in Taos.
September 5, 2019 @ 9:04 am
This truly breaks my heart! God be with her family and friends and especially with her little girl. Her music will live on. Tragic just tragic there are no sufficient words.
Marsha Bonner Taylor
September 5, 2019 @ 11:59 am
So sad. I have many great memories of visiting Taos, Angel Fire, Eagles Nest and Red River. Would live there if I did not have grandchildren.
September 5, 2019 @ 5:45 pm
Same here, Marsha. Love those area.
September 5, 2019 @ 5:48 pm
So tragic. May she rest in peace. God bless her daughter and family.
Strait Country 81
September 19, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
Just read her daughter sung 20yrs from now at the funeral really hope there isn’t a video.
May 11, 2022 @ 8:03 am
God bless the 16 year old young lady who was killed by this drunk driver. That’s who I choose to remember ♥️
September 5, 2019 @ 9:37 am
Wow. Truly sad. This sucks. She was super talented and a great voice.
September 5, 2019 @ 10:14 am
Seriously so heartbreaking.
September 5, 2019 @ 10:19 am
Thank you for your music & my condolences to the family.
September 5, 2019 @ 10:27 am
I remember the first time I met Kylie Rae, it was at Reds BBQ/Fort Worth for a Justin Frazell Sunday show in 2014. I remember seeing this pretty gal with a guitar and when it was her turn to play and sing she sang “Linear Notes” that of course a song she wrote. I approached her after show and told her how much I loved that song and had to have it. She hadn’t cut it on any record yet but she offered to email it to me. I’ve treasured that song in my email and have shared it with many friends. In her memory upon finding out of this tragic accident, I shared it with some family members today in a cab ride to the airport in NYC. Rest In Peace sweet Kylie Rae. So so many of your Texas Country music family are going to miss you!!!!! As your lyrics go “like vinyl playing on stereo” 😢😢😢😢💔💔💔
September 5, 2019 @ 10:45 am
Her Instagram story is still up and it’s chilling.
Strait Country 81
September 6, 2019 @ 1:36 am
What was on it?
Looks like it isn’t up anymore
September 6, 2019 @ 12:12 pm
Seriously heartbreaking, prescient, and creepy…
Andrew Scott Wills
September 5, 2019 @ 11:22 am
This is devastating.
September 5, 2019 @ 11:43 am
I’m heartbroken. I knew about her death reading your blog and I couldn’t believe it. Such a young and talented artist, singer and songwriter, with a bright future ahead of her. My prayers and thoughts for her family, her litte daughter and her friends. I’m very sad for my Texas country family. She had a lot to give for country music. Her song “Missouri” was on repeat for me this spring. I listened to it again today and I was moved to tears. Rest in Peace Kylie Rae Harris.
September 5, 2019 @ 12:30 pm
A great loss to the music industry
September 5, 2019 @ 12:32 pm
My condolences to family , friends and fans …may God embrace her with open arms and may she rest easy foevermore … Such sad news ..
Brenda and Gary Hogan
September 5, 2019 @ 12:54 pm
Our hearts are so broken. Kylie was such a great lady to her fans and we loved her for it. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten by all she touched with her talents and her songs she left us. We pray for her family and for her daughter.
September 5, 2019 @ 1:33 pm
Prayers for her little girl and family ,so sorry for there loss if a beautiful singer ,what a beautiful angel 😇 now 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
September 5, 2019 @ 2:42 pm
Just updated the story with a GoFundMe link for those who are interested. I’m going to have more on this soon.
September 5, 2019 @ 4:12 pm
I don’t know if I heard her at country festivals, but the name and face seem so familiar. My prayers go out to you and your family, Kylie Rae.
September 5, 2019 @ 5:26 pm
I just saw her perform at KOKEFEST in Austin last month. She was the only female performer on the two day festival and she put on a great show. This is a real blow to Texas Country music. Rest in peace Kylie Rae.
September 5, 2019 @ 5:49 pm
I wish the speed of the cars was up to 50 km / h …. that we didn’t see these bitter disasters … sorry this reader
September 5, 2019 @ 6:59 pm
What terrible news. May god bless her family and friends. I will be listening to her discography to honor her memory.
September 5, 2019 @ 7:36 pm
Had never heard of her before today. Been listening to her EP’s…; such a talented gal with a sweet voice and gift for poetry.
This is truly sad. I hope her little girl and other surviving loved ones know that there are many folks they’ve never met who are thinking of and praying for them.
Strait Country 81
September 6, 2019 @ 1:12 am
Thoughts and prayers are about as useful as a glass hammer.
September 12, 2019 @ 3:30 am
People who have received thoughts and prayers, even atheists, feel the opposite.
You should try broadening your mind a lot.
September 5, 2019 @ 8:45 pm
I live in New Mexico and it’s sad how many fatal Car crashes happen here :_(
I don’t want to sound inappropriate or something, But I feel like her tragic death is going to make her music more popular. I mean it seems like there is people who never heard of her until now.
September 5, 2019 @ 9:54 pm
Terrible. I heard her name often but never saw her perform. God has a plan for us all, it’s just hard to see it sometimes. Prayers to the family.
September 6, 2019 @ 5:02 am
Saw her the past two years at Mile 0 Fest. She was a good song writer, performer and by all accounts a good person. She talked about her daughter and also her love of performing and playing country music. So sad.
September 6, 2019 @ 6:36 am
Sorry to hear of the loss.
September 6, 2019 @ 11:08 am
Trigger, people magazine mentioned this site on their web article about Kylie. I never heard of this singer before today, but from what I’ve read she was a great person, great country artist, and loved real country music. I will be looking into her music. RIP sweetie 🙁
September 7, 2019 @ 1:52 pm
You may want to reconsider your thoughts about being a “great person”.
September 6, 2019 @ 11:36 am
didn’t know of her, but condolences to her friends, family and fans, sad.
September 6, 2019 @ 11:07 pm
I feel really bad for the 16 year old girl she killed in the accident, whose father had to respond to call as a fireman and EMT.
Strait Country 81
September 8, 2019 @ 7:12 am
Yeah and her 6yr old that she leaves behind cause she chose to be stupid.
However the song 20yrs from now,her last video along with the 16yr olds dad being a fireman and the one to respond makes this pretty wild.
Billy Wayne Ruddick
September 7, 2019 @ 3:00 pm
Sad. It’s looking like her drinking was a contributing factor (per news reports). Not to mention the fact she seemed to be glued to her phone the whole trip (my speculation that this contributed). Good reminder for us all, on both fronts.
September 8, 2019 @ 10:40 am
A well written article. A rising star with local ties fell victim to her demons. A local girl, Maria Elena Cruz sadly lost her life. A song could be written about the day’s events.The site is called Saving Country Music so naturally the focus is on Kylie Rae Harris and her legacy.You reported the facts and didn’t sugar coat that Harris was at fault but still captured the senseless tragedy of it all
September 8, 2019 @ 11:31 am
Death can strike without notice. Whoever is not walking is Jesus’ righteousness and holiness will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Forsake sin and live eternally, or damnation awaits. That’s God’s message to mankind.