2020 has been a difficult year by virtually any standard, and it's been especially punishing in country music. The genre has endured heartbreak after heartbreak in 2020 — the year has claimed the lives of a number of country icons, as well as rising stars.

The year 2020 saw the country world lose some of the most important artists in the genre, both due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and outside of it. Kenny Rogers, John Prine, Charley Pride and multi-genre pioneer Little Richard are among the true legends we've lost in 2020, and fans have also said goodbye to members of some of the all-time most successful country groups, including Willie Nelson's Family Band, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Oak Ridge Boys and the Statler Brothers.

Several country singers also lost family members in 2020, including a country music legend whose iconic family has seen tragedy again and again. Nashville's music scene lost some key behind-the-scenes players this year, including several prominent songwriters and well-known sidemen for popular artists.

Scroll through the pictures below to see everyone the country genre lost in 2020.

Country Stars Who Died in 2020: