OFFSTAGE: Country Stars Remember Andy Griffith

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

“Love you, Andy. Go rest.”

Those were Brad Paisley’s parting words to Andy Griffith, who died Tuesday (July 3) at age 86. Paisley’s tweet also said, “Andy Griffith entertained the world. He improved our lives, and I was so proud to work with him call him a friend.”

Then he posted a picture of the two of them — smiling from ear to ear — from the set of Paisley’s “Waitin’ on a Woman” video. The caption read, “One of the highlights of my life.”

But Paisley is not the only star who will miss Griffith.

“RIP Andy Griffith,” Scotty McCreery tweeted. “We lost a legend today that provided me and my family some great quality time around the TV filled with some good laughs.”

Even reigning American Idol Phillip Phillips tweeted, “Can’t believe Andy Griffith passed away today. Loved his show. Prayers go out to the family. Used to watch it all the time with my papa.”

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott: “Heaven gained a talented man today. Mr. Andy Griffith, thanks for giving me amazing memories with my family growing up watching your show!”

Chris Young: “Andy Griffith made so many memories for multiple generations. … R.I.P.”

Easton Corbin: “It’s a sad day. Andy Griffith passed away! One of my favorite shows!”

The Band Perry: “We’ll miss you, Andy Griffith. … Thank you for all the laughs and memories.”

Wynonna: “I have seen every single episode of Andy Griffith, and I own them all. Years ago, my mom worked with Mr. Andy, and she had him call and leave me a voicemail message. I kept it for years. I never knew my biological father, so to me, Andy was the epitome of a loving and caring example to Opie, and I looked up to him. There are no more shows like The Andy Griffith Show, and there never will be.”  

Amy Grant: “From Team Amy — Go Rest High on that Mountain, Andy Griffith.”

Ron Howard, who played his son Opie for eight seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, tweeted, too, noting, “His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I’m forever grateful RIP Andy.”

And Griffith’s wife Cindi released this statement after her husband’s passing. “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”

View photos of Andy Griffith.