The Kentucky-born Bell was raised in Wyoming and was last known to live in Tennessee. He had a short but celebrated music career, and is best known for the hit song “Where Ya Been?”. He released a single, “Jealous Guy,” in 2021.
According to CNN, Bell was reported missing over a week ago. Tucson Police Sgt. Richard Gradillas told The Washington Post that Bell was found alone, and that “detectives are still looking to verify if a missing report was completed.”
Fans and fellow artists expressed their condolences on social media, describing Bell as a talented artist with a passion for country music.
“A bunch of us met in Nashville when we were so young and obsessed with country music — those years were so formative. He was extremely gifted & special,” wrote Kelsey Waldon, a Kentuckian fellow and singer-songwriter.
“I can vividly remember the first time I met Luke at Hole in the Wall over a decade ago, down to the clothes on his back. The man (and his music) left an impression, ”members of the Texas-based Americana band Mike and the Moonpies wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
So sad to hear the news tonight our buddy, Luke Bell. I don’t really know what to say. Thank you for the friendship and great music. I hope you are at peace now and enjoying the greenest pastures. So long, friend. #rip #lukebell pic.twitter.com/LQatP1jq0x
— 𝕮𝖆𝖙𝖑𝖎𝖓 𝕽𝖚𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖋𝖔𝖗𝖉 🥩 (@TeleCat_MMP) August 30, 2022
the Academy of Country Music tweeted Wednesday that it was “a sad day for our Country Music community.”
Bell was often described as a “troubadour,” moving from place to place, including Austin, New Orleans, Louisiana and Nashville. In a 2016 interview with the Boot, a website that covers the country music industry, Bell suggested that the lifestyle had its ups and downs.
“The downside, in some ways, is I don’t have a wife and children, but at the same time, it’s pretty ideal right now. I just travel around to other cities and hang out with other people,” he said.
“To be honest, I live in the day, and I count smiles.”
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Luke Bell released only one album. I have released three.