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Joshua Tharpe of CMT’s Party Down South fame dies at 42

Josh Tharpe Dead
Reality TV star Josh Tharpe is pictured on his LinkedIn page. Pic credit: Josh Tharpe/LinkedIn

Joshua Tharpe, who appeared in Country Music Television’s 2014 hit show Party Down South, died at the age of 42 on March 7.

Tharpe, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, a town located 23 miles east of Baton Rouge, was also a former bar owner, National Guard veteran and the owner of this own family-run insurance company in his hometown.

Party Down South ran for five seasons on CMT between 2014 and 2016. The show was discontinued despite it being a ratings success for the network. The show was described by the network as, “Strangers come to live in the South and party it up like real country folk.”

Tharpe was introduced to the show by his friend and permanent cast member Ryan Scott Richards, who went by Daddy on the show.

Josh Tharpe may have died from a heart attack

According to a Facebook post from Tharpe’s brother, musician Billy Tharpe, who also goes by Steel Bill, the Party Down South star died on March 7 as the result of a heart attack.

He wrote, “Please keep our family in your prayers 🙏🏻 We lost our hero, our best friend, our brother Josh K Tharpe to a heart attack this afternoon… heaven has gained an amazing Angel ! Love you and miss you already more than words can ever express 💔

Tharpe was ‘Daddy’s best friend’ on Party Down South

In 2015, Tharpe’s local newspaper The Livingston Parish News referred to him as “one of the hunks of CMT’s unlikely hit reality show, Party Down South.

In that article, Tharpe gave his synopsis of the show saying, “It’s a show about a group of friends living in the house together. They wanted to show the country what the South is about. We know how to party. It’s the real me. I was Daddy’s best friend on the show.”

The article also says that Tharpe appeared in the 2006 Jon Voight movie Glory Road about the famed Texas Western basketball coach Don Haskins. Later, Tharpe appeared in a remake of Final Destination and a vampire movie called Cirque du Freak.

Richards described Tharpe’s death as the ‘toughest pill’

Richards paid tribute to Tharpe in a Facebook post on the day of his friends death. Richards said that Tharpe’s death was the “toughest pill” he has ever had to swallow in his life. Richards said that he last spoke with his friend on March 5.

He added, “Josh is an amazing individual he accomplished so many things in life he was an amazing athlete football MMA he did it all!!! His personality was so bright and so magnetic he had a way of just drawing people in and making them love him!!!”

In July 2014, The Pensacola News Journal reported that Tharpe and Richards aka Daddy had been invited by festival organizers to host a bikini contest at Castaway’s Bar and Grill along Pensacola Beach.

The PNJ story notes that their presence was despite the fact that a campaign had seemingly rid the city of Party Down South as locals felt that the cast’s behavior mocked southerners.

According to Tharpe’s LinkedIn page, he worked at several jobs including as a pipe fitter and a boilermaker at the same that he served in the National Guard. Tharpe served between 2001 and 2010.

Tharpe wrote on that page, “With all my prior experiences, my goals for business in this life are set at a high standard. I want to achieve success and I know I have the drive to accomplish anything!”

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