February 24, 2017 2:13 pm

Something major happened on ‘Nashville,’ and fans everywhere are devastated

W Network/CMT
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WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!

(*** The article below contains information about the latest episode of Nashville. Do not read on if you don’t want spoilers. ***)

Nashville said goodbye to Connie Britton character Rayna Jaymes, who passed away in a Tennessee hospital in Thursday’s episode. Connie Britton is departing from the country-music drama after four and a half seasons.

Britton said it was her decision to leave the show, and she wanted to do it when the timing was right.

“It has been really hard saying goodbye. And I might even get a little misty talking about it right now because I have loved this character so much,” Britton said about saying goodbye to Rayna.

READ MORE: Charles Esten on the return of ‘Nashville’ and what fans can expect

“I’ve grown so much from playing this character,” she continued. “It’s just been a real honour to be able to play Rayna, and sing and do all these things that were so challenging and scary to me, and to be welcomed into this town that I have grown to love so much. And to work with this amazing cast and amazing crew, you just become so close when you work this long on something, and this many hours, and particularly coming in and working on location where we really hold onto each other.”

Britton also told Global News that she feels like the show is in a really good place, and she thinks that her character’s death was handled in a way that really did justice to everybody.

She also noted that it was devastating to shoot Rayna’s final scene with Maddie and Daphne.

“We could not get through it without sobbing, crying, and the girls were spectacular but really it was very, very difficult for them to even sing a note because really, we were all so, so sad.”

WATCH BELOW: Trailer: Nashville Season 5

Britton was initally drawn to playing the role of Rayna on Nashville because there “were so many great positives about it.”

“I think when I first said yes, it was because it felt so scary and risky to do the show, and to play this character and to take on the singing aspect of it… that felt really exciting to me as an actor.”

Britton said that she will miss a lot about Rayna.

“I’ll miss the singing… I will miss her grace and her tenacity and her feistiness. I also feel really fortunate because I feel like I get to take those things with me, too.”

Britton said that the experience of playing Rayna will be something she cherishes forever.

READ MORE: Connie Britton may be leaving ‘Nashville’ in Season 5

Fans of the show expressed their heartbreak on social media.

READ MORE: ‘Nashville’ Season 5 trailer: Country music show returns to pluck your heartstrings

Britton posted a lengthy Instagram post after the episode aired.

“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,” she wrote.

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 (@conniebritton) on

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“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.”

Back in August, rumours began to swirl when it was announced that Britton’s character was only going to be in 10 of 22 new ordered episodes in Season 5.

EW reported that the powers-that-be were trying to negotiate with Britton to get her to do the full 22 episodes, and co-star Hayden Panettiere has already agreed to be a part of the entire season.

‘Nashville’ airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on W Network.

With files from Chris Jancelewicz

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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