Michael Rhodes was a popular American bass player, known for his session work and touring in support of other artists, and his collaborations with bands and ensembles.

He was a celebrated musician and has even won awards for his contribution. Michael passed away on March 4th, 2023 at the age of 69. He was mourned by several people.

Rhode’s Journey To Stardom

Michael was born on 16 September 1953, in Monroe, Louisiana. He taught himself the guitar and the bass when he was 13 or so.

Michael Rhodes

By the early 1970s, Rhodes moved to Austin, Texas to pursue performing with local bands. He moved to Memphis, Tenessee, four years later where he performed with Charlie Rich’s son Alan.

In 1977, Rhodes moved to Nashville, and he joined the local band The Nerve with Ricky Rector and Danny Rhodes. He worked as a demo musician for Tree Publishing Company, and then as a session player.

Further on Michael joined Rodney CrowellSteuart SmithEddie Bayers, and Vince Santoro in the Cicadas. They had been playing together for a decade before recording their album in 1997.

Rhodes was also a member of The Notorious Cherry Bombs, with Crowell, Bayers, Vince Gill, Hank DeVito, and Richard Bennett.

He has contributed to several recordings with numerous artists, including Neal McCoy, Chely Wright, Pat McLaughlin, Doug Stone, Wynonna Judd, Steve Winwood, Larry Carlton, the Dixie Chicks, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams, Jr., Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, and Kenny Chesney.

He was an active sideman in the recordings and touring of Joe Bonamassa.

Michael Rhodes

“My advice for up-and-coming players is to shut up and listen!” Rhodes told Music Radar in 2018. “Music is like having a conversation; you have to listen for the most part. The best session players are the ones who are good listeners and can take suggestions. You have to leave your ego out of it. Do what is asked of you and don’t slow the process down; in other words, make sure that you’re prepared and all your gear is in good order.”

He left the world on 4th March, this year.

Cause of Michael’s Demise

Michael’s death was confirmed by a representative. The was no reason stated in the announcement. However, Rhodes had been fighting pancreatic cancer.

So, it is safe to say he lost his battle and succumbed to cancer.

Michael Rhodes

According to Mayo Clinic:

“Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and produces hormones that help manage your blood sugar.”

“Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected at its early stages when it’s most curable. This is because it often doesn’t cause symptoms until after it has spread to other organs.”

Cancer in any form is fatal and painful. We hope that Michael didn’t have to suffer through a lot of pain.


Michael Rhodes was a great musician and bassist who passed away on March 4th, 2023. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and left this world at the age of 69.

He was a celebrated artist who even won Bass Player of the Year as awarded by the Academy of Country Music. He also was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.

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