Little Big Town singer Jimi Westbrook is mourning the loss of his older sister, Joyce Marie, who passed away on Nov. 29 at the age of 59.

The singer turned to social media to share the tragic news with fans, calling her “one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. She was so full of life and light and if you were around her, chances are, you were laughing,” he writes on Instagram.

Westbrook says he had a special bond with Joyce Marie. “When I was a kid she taught me to hold my head up and be confident in who I was. That has always stuck with me,” he states. “She always claimed that she wanted a little brother so bad that she prayed me into this world … and I always believed her.”

Joyce Marie’s obituary hints that she may have been battling cancer, thanking the staff at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center “for their loving care and support.”

“As hard as we knew how, we prayed to keep her in this world with us but somehow it wasn’t meant to be,” Westbrook writes. “My heart is so broken today and it will forever have a hole in it. Joyce Marie, I love you so much and our lives will never be the same without you. I will always hold on to the memories and cherish the time that God blessed me & my family with being able to love you. You live forever in our hearts.”

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Sarah Cannon Research Institute at 250 25th Ave. North, Suite 100, Nashville, Tenn., 37203.

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