Bell was found dead in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday, the Tucson Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY in a statement Tuesday. Bell was officially identified on Monday.
“The investigation is ongoing at this time,” police added.
Artist Matt Kinman, a close friend of Bell, confirmed the musician’s death to save country music, who was the first to report the news. According to the outlet, Bell went missing Aug. 20 in Tucson.
USA TODAY has contacted the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office for further details.
Born in Lexington, Ky., on Jan. 27, 1990, Bell got his start in the music industry playing at a local bar during his college years, according to Saving Country Music. He grew up in Cody, Wyoming, and his music took him to Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana.
In Nashville, Tennessee, he recorded his 2014 album “Don’t Mind If I Do”, which he released on Bandcamp. In 2016, he released an eponymous album. In 2021, Bell released his latest song “Jealous Guy”.
Prior to performing at the 2016 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, California, Bell spoke to the Los Angeles Times on his musical career.
“I was listening to people like John Prine,” he told the outlet, “and then I moved to Austin for a few years and got into Texas tornadoes and that scene. Then I’m went to New Orleans. I was only there for about six months. I lived in a trailer that smelled of bleach in the Lower 9th Ward. It was tough.
Bell also spoke about his “reclusive” nature and not being part of the Nashville songwriting community: “I’m just trying to improve my songs more and more.”
Nashville-based country singer Margo Price paid tribute to Bell on Twitter.
“Damn, rest (gently) on our dear friend, Luke Bell,” Price wrote.
A fan of the late singer responded to Price’s tweet by sharing a selfie and called him a “rad” person. Another Twitter user called Bell’s self-titled album “one of my favorite records. It’s so sad.”
Singer Joshua Hedley shared it’s “been a long time since I’ve seen (Bell) and I was talking about him the other day wondering what he was doing.”
“Truly a sad night for country music,” Hedley added.
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Singer Shelby Lee Lowe wrote that Bell’s only record is “better than most artists will spend their whole lives trying to do”.
“So cool and so different,” Lowe wrote. “I’m sad to hear the news of his passing. I’m grateful to have found this record he made.”
The group Mike and the Moonpies paid tribute to Bell on Monday.
“The news just came the passing of Luke Bell and we are heartbroken by the newsreads the group’s Facebook statement. “I vividly remember the first time I met Luke at Hole in the Wall over ten years ago, down to the clothes he wore. The man (and his music) left an impression. He was a real traveling troubadour on this lost highway. Do yourself a favor and put on some Luke Bell tunes tonight in his memory. Rest in peace, my friend.”