‘Blank Stares’ Singer Jay Allen’s Mother Dies
Singer Jay Allen's mother, Sherry Rich, has died after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. Allen, who wrote a song called "Blank Stares" to pay tribute to his mother and raise awareness for Alzheimer's, shared the news on social media on Sunday night (Feb. 24).
"My heart aches as I wrote this, but I ask that you please help us not focus on the sadness," the 32-year-old Allen writes on Instagram. "Instead, celebrate the life of a beautiful, selfless woman. Remember how she fiercely followed God and served others. And please, continue to share her story until we finally end this thief of a disease."
Last week, Allen indicated his mother's time was short in a separate post on Instagram in which he revealed she'd lost the ability to swallow. In that post he talked about the journey of his song "Blank Stares," which he estimates has raised more than $25 million in the fight against Alzheimer's. The ballad has also brought much healing and comfort to families and friends of someone with Alzheimer's.
Jason Nix helped Allen write a song that conveys the helpless feeling of watching a loved one battle the disease. It also provides hope that that person is in there somewhere. "Every little glimpse of who you used to be / I know you're still in there / Deep down somewhere I swear I still see you / Between the blank stares," he sings.
"Blank Stares" was shared on YouTube in 2017, but a viral performance of him singing while holding onto his mother brought national attention to the song. People picked up the story last August. At the time Sherry Rich was just 54 years old. That's her voice you hear at the beginning of his music video.
"Momma, it's been an honor to be your son," Allen wrote on Sunday night. "I'll forever look forward to seeing your face again, wrapping my arms around you, and singing country songs at the top of our lungs. Now, go decorate that mansion of yours. You earned it. Love you."
Allen ends many of his posts with the #ENDALZ hashtag. That's the hashtag used by the Alzheimer's Association.
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