Joe Bonsall, legendary Oak Ridge Boys tenor, dies at 76

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 12: Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys performs at the Ryman Auditorium on December 12, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Joe Bonsall, of the legendary quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, has died at the age of 76, according to a news release from 2911 Media

Bonsall passed away on July 9 from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, leaving behind a host of relatives including his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

The musician was part of the American music group The Oak Ridge Boys for 50 years. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and inducted into the Philadelphia Music Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame.

Earlier this year, Bonsall announced his retirement due to ongoing health concerns.

RELATED: Human plague case confirmed in Colorado, health officials warn

"Many of you know I have been battling a slow onset (over 4 years now) of a neuromuscular disorder," the tenor wrote on X. "I am now to a point that walking is impossible so I have basically retired from the road. It has just gotten too difficult."

"It has been a great 50 years and I am thankful to all the Oak Ridge Boys band crew and staff for the constant love and support shown to me through it all," he wrote. "I will never forget and for those of you who have been constantly holding me up in prayer I thank you and ask for you to keep on praying," he added.

The band, originally founded in 1943 as The Oak Ridge Quartet, has had many members over the years. The foursome that saw the most success consisted of baritone William Lee Golden, tenor Bonsall, bass Richard Sterban and Duane Allen, the lead vocalist, during their heyday in the 70s and 80s.

In addition to music, Bonsall wrote 11 books, including his latest, a memoir titled,  "I See Myself" set to be released in November. 

RELATED: FDA approves Eli Lilly's Alzheimer's drug that can modestly slow disease

In lieu of flowers, the band is asking for donations to be made to The ALS Association or to the Vanderbilt Medical Center ALS and Neuroscience Research Center.

What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS?

According to the Mayo Clinic, ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is "a nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. ALS causes loss of muscle control. The disease gets worse over time."

Symptoms include the following:

  • Trouble walking or doing usual daily activities.
  • Tripping and falling.
  • Weakness in the legs, feet or ankles.
  • Hand weakness or clumsiness.
  • Slurred speech or trouble swallowing.
  • Weakness associated with muscle cramps and twitching in the arms, shoulders and tongue.
  • Untimely crying, laughing or yawning.
  • Thinking or behavioral changes.

FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.