An Austin-based band that took country music fans by storm during their musical debut is mourning the heartbreaking loss of one of their bandmates after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Crooks, an Outlaw/Americana band once dedicated to reviving the classics and "stripping away the polish and shine of modern radio country", paid tribute to their young accordionist, Anthony Ortiz Jr., after the musician succumbed to his diagnosis. Nicknamed "Mr. Squeezebox", Ortiz informed fans in September of 2016 of the heartbreaking discovery and fight that awaited. "I found out that I have a type of cancer, and I underwent surgery to remove a mass. We are awaiting results and are building a plan for further treatment."
Despite Crooks' disbanding last year, the men continued to remain alongside their "brother" during his battle. Unfortunately, nearly a year after his diagnosis, Ortiz passed away.
"Yesterday we lost our brother Anthony Ortiz Jr. to his battle with cancer. Today it hurts a lot...We love you Anthony, and will miss you for the rest of time, but a part of you will be with us wherever we go," the band shared on their Facebook page, along with an incredibly emotional farewell to the musician.
Please keep Ortiz's friends and family in your prayers as they pull through this extremely difficult time.
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