Steve French, the founding member of Gospel group Kingdom Heirs, died on June 22. French and his girlfriend, Lindsey Hudson, 29, were on the run from police when they jumped to their deaths from a bridge over the New River Gorge.
In December of 2014, it was announced the French was retiring from Kingdom Heirs where he sang baritone for the group. Later, it was revealed that part of the reason for French's decision was because he had left his wife of 33 years. He was in a relationship with Lindsey Hudson, who reportedly worked at Dollywood.
Some have speculated that French and his girlfriend Hudson were involved in some illegal activities. The nature of these activties remain in the realm of speculations and onjectures. Later, the Sevier County authorities issued capias warrants for the couple's arrests - presumably for failing to appear in court. This was when French and Hudson decided to jump off a bridge in a double suicide. Both of which ended their lives tragically.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom Heirs continue to perform at Dollywood during much of the year, and tour during the off-season. Lead singer Arthur Rice, who has been with the group since 1995 and is currently president of the Southern Gospel Music Association, has long seemed to set the tone and direction for the group.