Jason Aldean has lost a loved one.
The 44-year-old country singer took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce that his security guard – and longtime friend – Ryan “Rhino” Fleming had passed away.
The star shared several images of himself with his late boyfriend, including photos of them in performance venues and spending time with other loved ones.
“Dude, this is a hard article to write. We lost one of our boys today, ”Aldean began in the caption. “Ryan Fleming aka @ rhinolin3 was a friend I grew up with in Georgia. He was a bouncer at our favorite bar in Macon when he was 18, then went to work for the sheriff’s department as he got older. “
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The “Heaven” singer said that when the time came for him to hire a security guard, he had “no questions” as to who to hire – Fleming was the obvious choice.
“He went out and traveled the world with us and for years, if you could see me, Rhino wasn’t too far away,” Aldean continued. “He was the one who pulled me off the scene in the Route 91 shootout and put his life on the line to take care of me and my team. “
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Aldean was performing on stage in 2017 at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire from a balcony at the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel and killed dozens of people attending the concert before turning himself commit suicide. The total death toll – including two people who later died from their injuries and the gunman himself – was 61.
The singer concluded his tribute: “He was a good man and an even better friend. We will all miss you brother and thank you for supporting me all these years. We love you Rhino! RIP. “
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Fleming also received a tribute from Aldean on Twitter the same day. The tweet contained a photo of the security guard’s silhouette against the lights of a stage.
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“Thanks Rhino! The country star wrote next to the photo. “See you on the road one day, brother. RIP. “
Aldean previously addressed dealing with his trauma from the event, saying during a 2019 appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” that he, his wife and his band “lean on each other.” and “talked about it”.