(WHNT) — Jeff Cook, a founding member of the country group Alabama, died on Monday, November 7. He was 73.
According to the band’s publicity firm, Cook passed away at his beach home in Destin, Florida. “with his family and close friends by his side.”
Cook was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. He made the diagnosis public in 2017, telling Nexstar’s WHNT, “I’m not calling it quits, but sometimes our bodies dictate what we have to do, and mine is telling me it’s time to take a break and heal. I do believe in prayer and I appreciate all the continued prayers throughout this difficult time.”
Since then, Cook’s presence on Alabama’s tours became less frequent. He stopped touring with the band altogether in 2018, according to a news release.
Cook helped co-found the Alabama band alongside his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry more than 50 years ago. While starting from humble beginnings, the band changed the face of country music, selling more than 80 million albums and charting more than 40 No. 1 hits.
In addition to performing, Cook established “Cook Sound Studios, Inc.” in Fort Payne. He was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Lisa Cook, his mother, Betty Cook, brother David Cook, father-in-law Jerrial Williams, brother-in-law Randy Williams, many nieces and nephews, and beloved dogs Blazer and Blakely.
Arrangements for Cook’s “Celebration of Life” service will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jeff & Lisa Cook Foundation.
Alabama is scheduled to make tour stops in Oklahoma later this month, according to the group’s website. It’s unclear if Cook’s death will affect those shows.
This is a developing story.