Bob Kingsley has died. The National Radio Hall of Fame voice of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 (and before that, American Country Countdown) died at his home in Weatherford, Texas, on Thursday (Oct. 17). He was being treated for cancer.
The news comes just eight days after the 80-year-old revealed he had bladder cancer. In making the announcement, Kingsley spoke with optimism about his prognosis and future behind the microphone.
“While there is no doubt that the immediate road ahead will push me and challenge my resolve, I want you to know I am blessed to be working with the very best in the medical profession, and they have a plan to deal with this awful disease,” Kingsley shared on Oct. 9. “The faith you have placed in me is something I treasure, and that support has allowed me to do what I love in this wonderful industry for 60 years. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but for a moment, I need to ask for your patience as I step away from the mic and focus on my treatment.”
According to representatives with Rubin Media, a celebration of Kingsley’s life will be held at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Nov. 14. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in his name to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund.
Robert Gibson Kingsley began his radio career on Armed Forces Radio while serving in the Air Force in Keflavik, Iceland. Upon returning stateside, he flourished with stations like KLAC in Los Angeles. His 60-plus year radio career brought him to a national audience in the 1970s when he became producer of American Country Countdown, a country Top 40 hits countdown show started by (and mirrored after a show hosted by) Casey Kasem. Don Bowman was the host of the show until Kingsley took over in 1978, beginning a nearly 30-reign as country music’s recognizable voice. With a thick, warm and inviting baritone, Kingsley was the gold standard in country music announcing and storytelling.
In 2006 he began a new chapter when Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 took to the air. At the time of his passing, he was heard on more than 300 stations worldwide, and in his later years, he continued to notch honors and accolades. He was elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016, cementing a legacy that included several ACM, CMA and CRB Awards. Throughout his life he also donated time and money to numerous charitable initiatives, especially those that involved the military.
Kingsley and Nan, his wife of 30 years, lived on their ranch just west of Fort Worth, Texas. In announcing his sabbatical from the radio show, Kingsley revealed that women of country would take turns guest-hosting his weekly show until the end of the year.