Kentucky-born Bell grew up in Wyoming and was last known 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 more than a week ago. Tucson Police Sgt. Richard Gradillas told The Washington Post that Bell was found alone and that “detectives are still trying to verify a missing report has been completed.”
Fans and fellow performers expressed their condolences on social media, describing Bell as a talented performer with a passion for country music.
“Several of us met in Nashville when we were so young and obsessed with country music – those years were so formative. He was extraordinarily gifted and special,” wrote Kelsey Waldon, a fellow Kentuckian and singer-songwriter.
“I vividly remember the first time I first met Luke at Hole in the Wall over a decade ago, right down to the clothes on his back. The man (and his music) made an impression,” members of Texas-based Americana band Mike and the Moonpies wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
So sad to hear the news tonight, our friend, Luke Bell. I don’t really know what to say. Thanks for the friendship and great music. I hope you are now at peace and enjoying the greenest pastures. See you soon, my friend. #Rest in peace #lukebell pic.twitter.com/LQatP1jq0x
— (@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 country music industry website, Bell suggested that the lifestyle had its ups and downs.
“The downside is in some ways that I don’t have a wife and kids, but at the same time it’s pretty ideal right now. I just travel to other cities and hang out with other people,” he said.
“To be honest, I live in the day, and I count smiles.”
An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that Luke Bell only released one album. He released three.