Texas country singer James "Slim" Hand died at age 67 this week, passing away on Monday, June 8 in Waco, Texas after being admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure. Hand's death was announced on his Facebook page by a member of his team, who wrote that Hand had passed early that morning at Providence Healthcare Center in Waco. He died "peacefully" due to resulting complications, his longtime companion Kayla Allen holding his hand.
"His sons Shane Machac and Tracer Hand, his brothers Ty and Bimbo Hand, and nephew Cody Hand appreciate all the love and prayers, and need them now more than ever," the post read. "They are absolutely devastated and overwhelmed at this time, and wanted to ask that everyone please respect their privacy at this time as they grieve this devastating loss."
On June 7, the team revealed on Facebook that Hand was in the hospital in critical condition and asked fans to "keep James in your thoughts and prayers." "It started out as a heart issue, and has since led to some other complications," the message read. "Kayla Allen, their sons, Shane Machac and Tracer Hand, and nephew, Cody Hand are with him and wanted to let everyone know that the family is requesting all the prayers and good thoughts they can get. Thank you!"
Hand was born in Waco in 1952 and began performing when he was a teenager. He later began writing and performing his own music and released his first album in 1999, when he was 47. Hand was known for his authentic songwriting and became hugely popular in his native Texas as well as in Europe. Willie Nelson was a champion of Hand's music and once called him "the real deal."
In a subsequent post, Hand's team thanked fans for their messages after his passing. "We've seen post after post today of the sadness of James' passing, and the joy he brought to all of you," an additional Facebook post read. "He would be humbled by all of your kind words, but tell you he was nothing special. And for the first time in his life he would've been wrong. James, you sir, were one of the most special men and singer/songwriters we have ever had the privilege of knowing. You left this world too soon and we will all feel this hole for a long time to come."
A funeral was held on June 12 in West, Texas and was livestreamed for friends and fans. A visitation was held the day prior. Hand's last show was at the Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, Texas in March and his last performance was from his home in Tokio for the KWTX televised concert event "Gordon Collier and Friends, Stronger Together," which raised funds for Central Texas food pantries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, June 19, an online tribute will be held for Hand on Facebook and will feature performances from musicians including Corey Baum Wins, Brennen Leigh, Jesse Daniel, Jake Penrod, Kayla Ray and more.