Randy Travis Mourns Lighting Director Allegedly Shot + Killed by Wife
Randy Travis is mourning the loss of lighting director Thomas Roberts, a longtime member of his touring crew who was most recently involved in the production of his 2023 More Life Tour.
Roberts, 68, died on the front porch of an East Nashville home at around 8PM on Sunday (July 9), according to Nashville news channel WKRN. His cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest, and police have charged his wife, Christine Roberts, with criminal homicide.
According to an arrest warrant, a neighbor heard the gunshot and called 911 after finding Roberts lying on the porch. Police officers responded to the scene and recovered a pistol beside Christine, who told them that she had shot her husband because he cheated on her.
In a remembrance of Roberts that Travis posted to Facebook, the country star describes his late lighting director as a friend as well as "one of the very best stage lighting technicians in the business."
"Thom not only had a magical sense about lighting a stage; but, he had a quiet, charismatic presence that ignited your soul. Always willing, with a 'can do' and 'happy to do it' attitude," Travis writes. "He was a gentle giant of a man that wore a constant smile on his face and carried a song in his heart. One would search a lifetime to find a kinder, gentler spirit. Thom was my friend and I loved him dearly."
Following Roberts' death, Bandit Lites, Inc., Vice President Michael Golden remembered his late colleague as a talented professional who played a formative role on country music's stages for decades.
"I got to know Thom in the early '90s when I had the opportunity to work with him as the supplier of lighting for Vince Gill," Golden stated, "and I consider Thom one of the 'old guard' that transformed the wild west of touring into a respected and professional career. Thom worked for many artists and institutions around the city, but anytime I ever heard his name a smile would cross my face. This city and our music community will miss Thom, but we will all be better because of his reputation and the foundation he helped build."
Travis' More Life Tour will resume later this month without Roberts, but the country legend says he's cherishing the memories of his work with his late lighting director.
"The music will not be near as sweet; but, I will once again be reminded of the blessing I was given to have Thom Roberts on the road with us for so many miles, and so many memories," Travis continues.
"I know I speak for the entire band and crew when I say the light that he truly created, in our hearts, will never be extinguished or forgotten," he concludes.