Keith Urban Mourns Loss of Production Manager and Close Friend Who Died After Stage Fall

by Keeli Parkey

A person who has worked closely with Keith Urban over the years has passed away. And, unsurprisingly, the country music star is reportedly deeply saddened by the news.

Urban is mourning the surprising passing of Randy “Baja” Fletcher, according to Taste of Country. He was 73 years old at the time of his death. Fletcher was the “You’ll Think of Me” singer’s production manager.

“Randy Baja Fletcher loved people,” Keith Urban shared in a statement to Billboard about Fletcher. “Now that’s a phrase that’s a lot easier, and more often said than done. But, this man truly did love people, and music, and life, and he lived it right. He saw the commonality in all of us and I can promise you this, once you’d been in the orbit of his light, he’d stay with you forever.”

Urban also said that Fletcher was someone that he and others “loved.”

“Some people ask are you a ‘glass half full or a glass half empty’ kinda person? Baja’s view was, ‘What a beautiful glass.’ I loved him. We all loved him, and I’m grateful he chose us as his road family for 10 years,” the country music star shared.

The circumstances that reportedly brought about Fletcher’s death took place on Aug. 26. On that day, Fletcher was injured as he and others were preparing for Keith Urban’s concert in Bay, Ohio. Urban was there to perform at the Bash on the Bay. Following his injury, Fletcher was rushed to a hospital in Toledo. The following day, Aug. 27, he died at that hospital. His family was with him as he “peacefully” passed away.

Late Production Manager for Keith Urban Began His Respected Career During the 1960s

Randy “Baja” Fletcher was just 17 years old when he began his career. It was during the 1960s that he first went to work for Bill Deal and the Rhondels. His career wasn’t without its delays, however.

Fletcher served in the United States Army and was sent to Vietnam. Fortunately, he survived his time at war and was able to return to his work with Bill Deal and the Rhondels. He later moved on to work with ZZ Top.

Next, he worked as the production and stage manager for Waylon Jennings. Fletcher began working with this famous country music star in 1978. He stayed with Jennings for 10 years. During this decade, he also had the opportunity to work with some of the most important names in the history of country music. They included Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Merle Haggard.

After he parted ways with Jennings, Fletcher went to work with Randy Travis in 1988. It was during that year that Travis was the headliner of a tour for the first time. Fletcher continued to work with Travis for five years. Then, he moved on to work with Brooks & Dunn for 18 years.

Fletcher’s work with Keith Urban began in 2011. He stayed with Urban until his death late last month.

Fletcher was honored for his work in the country music world. In 2017, he was awarded the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement award. This was the first time this prize was awarded to anyone. During 2018 he was chosen as the Production Manager of the Year during the CMA Touring Awards.