On Saturday (Feb. 19), the country superstar took to social media to share an emotional tribute to her dear friend.
“Heavy heart post💔. Last night I lost one of my most treasured friends, bandmates and road family members, Scotty Wray,” Lambert begins. “We met in 2001 in Greenville Texas. I was 17. That was the beginning of our journey together. We went through so much life together on and off the stage. We wrote songs, played gig after gig, fought, cried, laughed and even got matching arrow tattoos after we made it out of some rough patches together.”
Lambert went on to share, “He was one of the most talented guitar players I’ve ever known and I’m so thankful I got to witness his genius seasoned laid back blues man style on stages all over the world for over 20 years. He was the one I could count on. Always. No matter what. If he was there on my right side I felt like I could take on the world.”
“Scotty Wray was family to me and I’ll never sing a note without him because I know he is there with me,” the country hitmaker concluded. “He always has been. I love you my sweet Bud Wray. Heaven is lucky cause that honky tonk band up there just gained another guitar pickin angel. Rest easy my love. #EasyLivinEasyLovinYou #nowheretogobutup”
See the heartfelt tribute below, which included a series of photos of Lambert and her late friend.
Wray, who was also the brother of ’90s country hitmaker Collin Raye, died on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, a representative for Collin Raye confirms to Music Mayhem. According to previous reports, Wray was battling heart issues over the last few years.
The late musician toured with Lambert for several years, but was sidelined by health issues and was ultimately forced to retire from the road to focus on his health issues.
Scotty Wray and Miranda are the cutest duo 🤠 pic.twitter.com/o2aUBnrcUv
— Kara (@karadodge) September 15, 2019
“He’s played with Miranda Lambert since she began. He introduced me to Miranda when she was 17 years old. So, I’ve known her a long time,” Raye explained to Bones. “He was sort of her only band when she was playing around Dallas and Austin and stuff. And playing acoustic things and stuff.”
Raye explained that he and his brother “always believed” in Lambert and admitted they “had no idea” just how far her career would go.
“He’s played with her up until… Recently he’s had some health issues with his heart and what not. He had a really bad year last year (2019). He’s probably done touring at this point,” Raye continued.
In addition to his role in Lambert’s touring band, Wray was also a songwriter and co-wrote several songs on Collin Raye’s 2020 album, including “Scars,” a heart-wrenching song that was recorded as a duet by Raye and Lambert.
Years before releasing “Scars” as a duet, Lambert performed the song during a songwriter’s round-style performance at Nashville’s City Winery in January 2016, according to Taste of Country.
“This song is — Oh, God, I hope I’m not gonna cry when I sing it,” Lambert said from the stage as she admitted ”we have been through everything together, good and bad. We both went through a really s—ty 2015 and we have the tattoos to prove it.”
2015 was the year Lambert endured a very public divorce from fellow country singer Blake Shelton.
“Anyway, we used to just be the band, me and him, for a long, long time,” Lambert went on to say, referencing Wray, who was seated next to her. “And he wrote this song, like, 16 years ago, a year before I met him. And I have been in love with it for that long … Every time he sings it, I would cry, for the last 15 years.”
Every track on Raye’s Scars album was written or co-written by Raye or his brother and Raye says that’s what made the album more meaningful to him.
“Being that we started our musical journey together as teenagers, then in our 20s we began to go separate paths, this album is truly a ‘full circle’ moment in my life,” Raye also tells the outlet. “The timing for this is just right.”