Old Dominion’s Matt Ramsey Tributes Alabama’s Jeff Cook During CMA Awards Acceptance Speech

by Samantha Whidden
. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

While on stage accepting the Vocal Group of the Year award at the CMA Awards, Old Dominion’s Matt Ramsey pays tribute to Alabama’s Jeff Cook in his acceptance speech. 

“Well, listen, obviously we’ve lost a lot of legends, but there’s nobody in this category — or really, any category — that would be here without Alabama and we just lost Jeff Cook,” Ramsey declared on stage while accepting the group’s fifth Vocal Group of the Year award. “It’s got me thinking, I’m so grateful — there’s nothing like being in a band. I’m so grateful to have my friends and I can’t imagine losing one of you guys and I’m so happy to be able to make music and be honored.”

As previously reported, Jeff Cook, a co-founding member of the iconic country music band Alabama, passed away on Monday (November 7th). He was 73 years old at the time of his death. Prior to his passing, Cook had been battling Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade. He had kept his diagnosis private until 2017. The 2015 song No Bad Days reflected on his fight against the disease. 

In 2019, Cook shared, “After I got the Parkinson’s diagnosis, people would quote the song to me and say, ‘No bad days.’ They write me letters, notes, and emails and they sign ‘No Bad Days.’ I know the support is there.”

Jeff Cook also said that he tried not to burden anyone with details about his conditions. “I don’t want the music to stop or the party to end,” he said. “Let me say, I’m not calling it quits but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it’s time to take a break and heart.” 

Other Country Music Artists Pay tribute to Jeff Cook 

Following the news about Jeff Cook’s passing, fellow country music stars took to social media to pay tribute to the Alabama co-founder. 

“So sad to hear of the passing of Jeff Cook,” Jason Aldean wrote on Twitter. “I spent a lot of my life listening to him play guitar, what an iconic sound he had. I got a chance to perform with him multiple times over the years, and I will never forget it.”

Kenny Chesney wrote on Instagram, “Jeff Cook, and all of the guys in Alabama, were so generous with wisdom.” He also noted the wisdom wasn’t the only thing the guys in Alabama shared with him back in the day. “FUN” was also a big part of the connection, Chesney says.

Meanwhile, Blake Shelton offered his condolences to those who loved the musician. “Just heard about Jeff Cook of [Alabama] passing. Absolute legend. Rest in Peace,” he went on to write.