Nashville‘s leading lady, Rayna James [portrayed by actress Connie Britton], passed away in the latest episode of the country music drama.
Britton's character had been the star and center of the series since its 2012 launch on ABC.
Rayna's death was caused by injuries she sustained in a car accident.
She was, however, able to say goodbye to her children and Deacon in the hospital before she passed.
“Playing Rayna has been a privilege and a deeply enriching experience for me,”
Connie Britton said in a statement.
“I am going to miss her grace, tenacity and feistiness. And I’m forever grateful and indebted to our unbelievably talented cast and crew, and to the Nashville community amongst whom I have had the honor to work. And then there are the fans. Wow. I’m so humbled by our incredible fans for their unwavering passion and commitment. They are the reason the show exists, and the reason the show will continue. I’ll be watching and cheering alongside all of you. Thanks for the honor of these 5 years.”