HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicMichael Rhodes, Renowned Bassist for George Strait, Vince Gill and More, Dead at 69

Michael Rhodes, Renowned Bassist for George Strait, Vince Gill and More, Dead at 69

by Taylor Cunningham
Michael Rhodes
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Renowned bassist and Musicians Hall of Famer Michael Rhodes has died. He was 69.

A rep with Rhodes told Billboard, that he passed at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, March 4. They did not give a cause of death.

The Monroe, Louisiana, native was a self-taught guitarist and got his start in the industry playing the instrument before switching to the bass. During his more than four-decade-long career, Rhodes worked in all music genres with dozens of iconic musicians, including George Strait, Etta James, Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Vince Gill, and Elton John.

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Rhodes impressively amassed ten Academy of Country Music awards for Bass Player of the Year, according to The Tennessean. He also played for Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 Grammy-winning hit Hope You Dance. He earned his Hall of Fame spot in 2019.

Michael Rhodes’ Family Asks Friends and Fans to Make a Donation in His Name

In the latter years of his life, Rhodes spent much of his time playing with the award-winning blues artists Joe Bonamassa. The singer-songwriter was one of the first to learn of the passing. When he did, he posted emotional tributes to Rhodes on his social media channels.

“Rest in Peace, my friend. I can’t even process this right now,” he wrote on Instagram.

The post has earned over 1k comments—hundreds of which came from people in the music industry who were touched by the bassist’s talent and heart.

Rhodes is survived by his wife, Lindsay Fairbanks Rhodes, son, Jason Rhodes, and daughter Melody Wind Rhodes. He also welcomed six grandchildren during his life and gained beloved step-sons when he married his wife.

In recent years, Michael Rhodes developed a deep appreciation for jazz and found solace in John Coltrane and similar artists’ work.

“It fed him, always,” his wife said, per Billboard.

In Rhodes’ memory, his family asks that people listen to music that matters to them.

A representative will announce Memorial arrangements in the coming days. In lieu of flowers, his family is asking friends and family to make donations in Rhodes’ name to the Music Health Alliance by mail or through its website. The nonprofit assists musicians in need of healthcare or other support.