Robert Gibson Kingsley (March 19, 1939 – October 17, 2019)

Bob Kingsley, a radio legend whose voice was synonymous with Country music, died on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at his home in Weatherford, Texas while receiving treatment for cancer. He was 80.

One of broadcasting’s most beloved and iconic figures, Kingsley was a mainstay on radio for 60 years. His dominance in the Country format began in 1978 when he took over as host of American Country Countdown after four years as the show’s producer for one of radio’s founding syndication companies Watermark, founded by Tom Rounds. In 2006, he and his wife and business partner Nan Kingsley established Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, produced by their own KCCS Productions, still running on more than 320 stations.

Kingsley received many of broadcasting’s top honors and was named to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016. He is the namesake and was the first recipient of the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award, presented each year since 2014 at the Grand Ole Opry House and benefitting the Opry Trust Fund.

They were among the many fruits of a career built on a simple premise. “I love the music and the people who make it,” he once said, “and I want our listeners to have as much insight into both as I can give them, and to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.” Bob’s love for radio and music dated to his childhood, when polio kept him in bed and in near isolation for a year. “I would listen to the radio,” he said, “and certain shows became really important to me. It was complete escapism and entertainment. I didn’t realize the imprint it was making, but it obviously stayed with me.”

At 18, Kingsley joined the Air Force and served in Keflavik, Iceland, where he jumped at a chance to become an announcer on Armed Forces Radio. That experience and his love of Country music would carry him to legendary stations like KFOX, KGBS, KFI, and KLAC in Los Angeles, and to his role as the voice of Drake-Chenault’s Great American Country format, used by hundreds of Country radio stations.

His role as host of American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley made him a household name. He supplemented the weekly countdown with Christmas specials, album release specials for artists including Alabama, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood, and for many years a daily artist spotlight called America’s Music Makers. With Kingsley at the helm, the show was named Billboard’s Network/Syndicated Country Program of the Year for sixteen years in a row.

Kingsley received the Academy of Country Music’s Major Market On-Air Personality of the Year Award in 1966 and 1967 and was named the Country Music Association’s National Broadcast Personality of the Year in 2001 and 2003. He was voted National Air Personality of the Year five times by Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Aircheck and won the ACM’s 2007 National Broadcast Personality of the Year Award. He was chosen as the recipient of the 2012 President’s Award by the CRB. In 2017, Bob received the Mae Boren Axton Service Award in recognition of his dedication and service to the ACM, on whose board he served for decades. He was twice the host and emcee of Alabama’s legendary June Jam.

Kingsley served in 2004 and 2005 as Master of Ceremonies at the National Veterans Day Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, one of many national and regional events to which he has volunteered time and energy, and he helped get information on benefits to countless veterans through vehicles like his Veterans Day 2005 radio special, “Bob Kingsley Salutes America’s Veterans.” He was the recipient of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Tony Snow Award for the significant difference he has made in the lives of injured servicemen and women.

His many charitable endeavors included work for Disabled American Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wounded Warrior Project, Careity Foundation, The Palliative Unit of Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, among others.

An avid cutting horse enthusiast, he lived and worked with his wife of 30 years, Nan, on their Bluestem Ranch in Weatherford, Texas.

A celebration of life will be held in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 1pm at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Kingsley’s name to the Country Music Hall of Fame’s All For The Hall campaign or the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund.


For media inquiries or further information on Bob Kingsley contact Ronna Rubin at

Kingsley Celebrates 45 Years Anchoring Country Music’s Most-Listened To Country Countdown As The National Radio Hall-Of-Famer Reveals Cancer Diagnosis; Asks Listeners & Industry For Prayers & Support

(NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 9, 2019) – Country music’s longest-running syndicated show host,Bob Kingsley, is still breaking new ground as he celebrates his 45th year involved with the mostlistened-to Country music countdown program in history. Today, a partnership with the Country Music Association that began taking shape prior to Kingsley’s announcement to his listeners and affiliates that he is battling bladder cancer (see statement above), will continue and enhance Country Music’s Biggest Night™. Over the course of several weeks Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 will spotlight the legacy of female voices in the format, each week seeing a hitmaking female artist take a turn behind Bob’s mic.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to team with my friends at the CMA to help them magnify what is already poised to be an incredible night for this music we all love,” said Kingsley, whose Country Top 40 program airs globally on more than 320 stations. “The artists we have secured for this very special partnership are among my favorite of all-time, and being able to provide this platform to reinforce how important female voices are to Country radio and Country music in general is an honor. While I wanted to be right there with them, now knowing that these amazing female voices will be pinch-hitting for me as I focus on cancer treatment, brings me such peace of mind and gratitude.”

Beginning the weekend of October 12-13 and running through the weekend of November 30-December 1 Kingsley will turn over the mic to Country music’s most impactful female artists as the powerhouse women help countdown the week’s top 40 biggest hits. Throughout each episode, each guest artist will play their big hits, songs from their new albums, their favorite songs either performed or written by females, and each week’s Milestone segment will spotlight CMA Female Vocalist nominees and winners through the years. Artists confirmed to guest host during this partnership period include Trisha Yearwood, Kimberly Schlapman & Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, Martina McBride, and more to be announced.

“Bob Kingsley defines Country music and I could not be more proud to know of his passion for female talent and his desire to recognize them in this significant way,” says Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO. “This year’s show is turning out to be one of our most important ever. With Carrie, Reba & Dolly leading the charge as our hosts, additional female artists will have the opportunity to showcase their hosting abilities, all the while being able to magnify their music. Bob has, and always will be, a leader in this industry, and this initiative is another shining example of that fact. With today’s news about Bob’s health, he has some amazing ladies ensuring his show remains at the top of its game.” Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 is produced by KCCS Productions and is distributed by Westwood

For Bob Kingsley: Shawn Studer /
For Country Music Association: Catherine Frizzell /