Amazing Rhythm Aces singer Russell Smith dead at 70

The lead singer of the country-rock group Amazing Rhythm Aces has died.

The Tennessean reported that Russell Smith died Friday of cancer at age 70. The singer-songwriter's band announced the news on its Facebook page.

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"Almost every night with the Aces, Russell Smith sang, 'My soul cries out for rest, and the end is not in sight.' It's with heavy hearts that we inform you that on Friday, July 12, 2019 those cries were finally answered and he is now resting peacefully," the band said in a statement, referencing the band's 1976 single "The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Song)." "Russell completed his journey on life's railway after 70 years of doing things his own way."

"Russell's soulful voice and artfully crafted lyrics helped develop the signature Amazing Rhythm Aces sound that defined an era and transcended genre labels. Like their sound, Russell, himself, was a little southern, a little rock'n' roll, pinch of bluegrass gospel, and an endless supply of soul.

"It won't surprise his fans or friends and family that his love of music lasted through his final days; with some of his final conversations spent talking about the music he loved and certain songs shaped his life. He remarked about how (every) performance, through his last encore, was filled with the magic that only live music can provide and how thankful he was for the dedicated love he received from fans across the globe."

CMT reported that signature songs from the band include  "Third Rate Romance," "Amazing Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song)," and the Grammy-winning "The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Song)." Smith composed all three.

Smith's funeral was held Wednesday in Lafayette, Tennessee. According to an online obituary, the family has asked that donations be made toward the Macon County High School Band in Lafayette.