Jeff Cook, the co-founder of the country music band Alabama, died on Monday at his home in Destin, Florida. He was 73. Cook was suffering from Parkison’s disease for the last 10 years, and he had disclosed his diagnosis in 2017. 

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A representative of the band confirmed Cook’s death to the news portal The Tennessean on Tuesday. He said that Cook died at his beachside home peacefully, without any further complications. 

Cook and Alabama are credited with creating a formula for producing hits in the country music genre. Due to their work in country music, Alabama was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. With his death, the music world is mourning the death of an all-time great in country music. 

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“Jeff Cook, and all of the guys in Alabama, were so generous with wisdom and fun when I got to tour with them as a young artist,” American songwriter Kenny Chesney said reacting to Cook’s death. “They showed a kid in a T-shirt that country music could be rock, could be real, could be someone who looked like me. Growing up in East Tennessee, that gave me the heart to chase this dream.”

The band Alabama was initially called Wildcountry and it would not become Alabama until 1977. They blended country music songwriting with a southern rock flavour, which proved to be a massive hit in the US. Before starting off with their band, Cook had the experience of working in radio, and people in his home state knew him, thanks to his gregarious presence as a host.

ost of their success came after the name change in 1977, and they kicked off as a hit machine with a performance at the Country radio Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee. Shortly after the performance, they managed to strike a deal with record producer RCA.