By Scott T. Sterling

Eddie Montgomery has made his first statement following the tragic death of his longtime partner in music, Troy Gentry.

Related: Watch Troy Gentry’s Final Grand Ole Opry Performance

Montgomery sent the message to country radio programmers along with the latest Montgomery Gentry single, “Better Me,” the first track from a full album the duo completed before Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash on September 8.

“I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers,” Montgomery said (via The Boot). “Our world was turned upside down in an instant, and nothing could have prepared us for this.”

“I think [this new album] is the best record of our career,” he added. “‘Better Me’ is a song we all loved, and Troy sings his a– off on it. It speaks volumes about his life and who he had become and everyone he touched and how much he loved his family. I am so proud of this song, and also to call [Gentry] my friend, my family, my brother for 30 years.”

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