HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicPeter Cooper, Singer-Songwriter & Key Country Music Hall of Fame Figure, Dead at 52

Peter Cooper, Singer-Songwriter & Key Country Music Hall of Fame Figure, Dead at 52

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum )

Sad news out of Nashville that singer-songwriter Peter Cooper has died. Cooper died at 52 years old after suffering a head injury in a fall last week. Cooper had been in critical condition leading up to his death. But visitors at his bedside noted that he was showing some signs of responsiveness at times. Cooper provided his writing and creative chops to the Country Music Hall of Fame in different roles. Reportedly, the music community in Nashville was keeping Cooper in its thoughts and prayers.

“It is with heavy hearts that we let you know that Peter Cooper passed away in his sleep last night, December 6, after suffering a severe head injury late last week,” a family statement read. “We so appreciate the kind words and prayers you have offered over the past few days. Please know that they have provided Peter and us with much comfort. We will soon announce details about a celebration of life to take place in early 2023.”

Peter Cooper Was Respected By Those In Country Music, Americana Circles

Cooper was well-known in both country music and Americana music worlds for his journalism work while he was at the Tennessean. People saw Cooper as erudite, perceptive, and soulful. He worked at the newspaper for 14 years, ranging from 2000 to 2014. Then, Cooper left journalism to go to work for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Cooper served as senior director, producer, and writer. Most of his work was behind the scenes, but he would lead many of the museum’s popular public programs. That’s on top of writing and doing audio narration for much of the text seen throughout the facility, Variety reports.

Cooper, not only in his newspaper writing days but even beyond, was definitely an advocate for the artists he loved. “Objectivity is the mortal enemy,” Cooper wrote as he distinguished subjectivity from “cheerleading.” “Objectivity is dispassionate,” Cooper wrote. “And we’re in the passion business. We’re trying to make people feel something different than what they felt before they read our words.” Yet he also was a participant in country music. Cooper was a Grammy-nominated producer, singer, songwriter, and performer.  

Upon the family’s request, they ask that, in lieu of flowers, friends make donations to the Baker Cooper fund, to support his son’s education, or to the Hall of Fame and Museum. Besides his son, Baker, Cooper is survived by his ex-wife and partner of 32 years, Charlotte; father, Wiley Cooper; stepmother, Emily Cooper; brother, Chris Cooper; sister-in-law, Jessie Swigger; nephew and niece, Jack Cooper and Madeline Cooper; and stepfather, Al Smuzynski.