YouTube via Joey+Rory
Coming as a strong force into the realm of country music, the traditional country duo, Joey + Rory broke onto the scene as finalists in the 2008 singing competition Can You Duet.
Following that, they could only go up. And that’s exactly what they did. Releasing a total of seven studio albums in the years that followed, the two became fan favorites as classic country artists and as gospel singers.
Tragically, that dream came winding down just a few short years later when Joey Feek was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Attending treatment-after-treatment, it was discovered in late 2015 that her cancer was terminal. In October, the duo announced that they had decided to remove her from further treatment and return home to spend their remaining time with each other, doing what they loved – being a family.
Now, in the very first interview since her passing, Rory Feek opens up about the incredible loss his family has experienced, and how God has made it a beautiful experience.
Rory reveals that their final project was a huge goal Joey and he worked tirelessly to complete on schedule – even doing some recording in unusual places.
“Just the vocals [were recorded in some hotel room sessions]. Because that’s where we were, and had time,”He told Billboard. “I also liked how in the midst of all these hours in a hospital, she could experience music — while the baby was taking a nap, I could hit record and capture her voice there in that moment.”
While recording it during treatment, he admits that the pair never gave up hope on beating it and making it through.
“We had unwavering hope,” Rory says. “We did shows every month, all the way through. I knew it was hard for her, but we always treated everything like, ‘This is a season, and we’re going to get better.'”
After losing his beloved wife, he says that all the music they’ve made ultimately brings him peace and that he listens to everything and watches all of their videos because he “[doesn’t] want to hide from her, or her memory, or those feelings”.
“Every morning about 5:30, Indiana and I get up, and quite often I play her the Hymns record. Sometimes we’ll listen and it’ll make us smile. Indiana will do sign language to “Jesus Loves Me,” just like she would with her mother. And then there are other times … I’m making eggs, and emotional, and Indy doesn’t quite understand it. But that’s part of it — it’s OK. I listen to it a lot, actually. I watch through our videos a lot. Being able to watch the videos, she’s still alive. Hearing the music, she’s still alive.”
Their final record together, “Hymns That Are Important To Us”, debuted on February 12th, 2016 and peaked at the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Country chart – a sign, Rory says, that God was working and using the music in an incredible way.
Their story is one that captured the hearts of the entire country music world and forever sealed a story of true love and unbreakable faith in history.
Watch their video for “That’s Important To Me Below” and for the full interview, head on over to Billboard.