(CNN)Warning: This story contains major spoilers about the latest episode of CMT’s “Nashville.”

Connie Britton has taken her final bow on “Nashville.”
The actress was killed off the show in Thursday’s episode, bringing an end to the story of country star Rayna James, a role she has played for five seasons.
    “Playing Rayna has been a privilege and a deeply enriching experience for me,” Britton said in a statement to CNN. “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.”
    “Nashville” first aired on ABC but was canceled after its fourth season. CMT resurrected the show less than a month later, much to the delight of fans who Britton also thankedin her farewell statement.
    “I’m so humbled by our incredible fans for their unwavering passion and commitment,” she said. “They are the reason the show exists, and the reason the show will continue.”

    Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of “Nashville" who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week. And then there’s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you. But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMT

    A post shared by connie britton (@slackup.meconniebritton) on

    Rayna’s death came as the result of injuries she suffered in a car accident that was seen at the end of the previous episode.
    While sad, the character’s demise was not too much of a shock — because “Nashville” is as known for its subtlety as it is for its time travel. (There is no time travel.)
    Rayna’s health was precarious at best after the crash, and the episode was filled with what fans would later realize were goodbyes with all the major characters.
    She expounded to one daughter about her musical gifts, and shared a sweet moment with Juliette (Hayden Panettiere).
    Later, she had a hallucination of her deceased mother, played by Carla Gugino.
    Rayna went into distress while Daphne (Maisy Stella) was singing a choral version of “To Make You Feel My Love.”
    She died with both her daughters and Deacon (Charles Easton) by her side as her girls sang “A Life That’s Good.”
    Britton said in an interview with TVLine that the decision to leave to show was hers.
    “I’ll be watching and cheering alongside all of you,” she added in the statement. “Thanks for the honor of these 5 years.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/entertainment/nashville-connie-britton-rayna-james/index.html

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