Before Brad Paisley was a world-famous country star, he only had a small cluster of fans to thank for his growing success. And today, Paisley sadly mourns the loss of one of his biggest and longest-lasting supporters: a woman named Barbara Diane Whiten.
On June 20, Brad Paisley shared that his beloved friend had passed away from "poor health." In an emotional post shared to Facebook, the country singer wrote: "It makes me sad to see time take its toll, and yet [I'm] so thankful for the rest of you as well. I cherish the friendships this career has brought my way, and here's to the memories we've made and are still making. Rest In Peace Cupcake."
MUST-SEE: Brad Paisley Loses Beloved Family Member
It's not hard to see why Whiten held such a special place in Brad's heart—in fact, she was with Brad since the very beginning. She was one of the first members of Paisley's official fan club, and would often bake cupcakes for the him and his crew, earning her the affectionate title "Cupcake." Although that was years ago, her kindness left a strong impression on the country star, who counted Whiten among his closest friends.
Following Paisley's heartbreaking tribute, fans sent their condolences to Whiten's family, Paisley, and all those affected by the loss.
"How endearing that you would share that with the rest of us," one fan commented on Brad's post. "Your warm admiration for one of your first devoted fan says so much about your sincerity and honesty about being an artist. Thank you."
MUST-SEE: Reba McEntire Is in Mourning
At this time, no details about Whiten's funeral have been released.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Whiten's family and Paisley during this difficult time. We know it's never easy to lose a dear friend—let alone a beloved family member—but time has a way of healing all wounds. Stay strong.
h/t Country Rebel
They're beautiful today but country music legends like Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson were super cute kids. Click through to see your favorite country stars when they were wee things!