George Strait has taken to social media following the Aug. 31 death of his longtime drummer, Mike Kennedy, to issue a statement about how much Kennedy meant to him, the band and the fans. As would be expected, the superstar notes it is difficult to articulate the depth of such a loss.

"Hard to put into words how much Mike's passing has affected us all," Strait wrote on Sunday (Sept. 2). "Our hearts are broken. It’s going to be very strange not being able to look over and see him there in his spot on stage and very emotional as well I’m sure for all of us and also his fans. The band will never be the same. A part of us is gone forever. We all loved Mike and will miss him terribly. He was just as solid a friend to us all as he was a drummer, and that was damn solid. Our hearts and prayers are with his family. The Lord has him now. Rest in Peace my friend."

Kennedy, 59, lost his life in a car accident Friday in Tennessee when the 1999 GMC he was driving struck a tractor-trailer as it merged into another lane, according to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The tractor-trailer also hit a Chevrolet Silverado after colliding with Kennedy's vehicle. Nobody was injured in the accident except Kennedy.

Kennedy had played with Strait since 1987. His additional career credits included Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, Barbara Fairchild and more. Strait's production manager, Paul Rogers, sent out his thoughts on Twitter Saturday, writing. "The heart beat of our band is gone. Not sure how we will get back on stage without him. But we must."

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