Nashville season 5
Connie Britton as Rayna James in Nashville CMT

Nashville season 5 surprised fans with a shocking death! In episode 9, titled If Tomorrow Never Comes, Rayna Jaymes succumbed to her car-crash injuries as her husband Deacon and daughters Maddie and Daphne looked on.

Actor Connie Britton spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the shocking exit and said "It's devastating". Taking about reading her final script, she said, "When I read the scripts I was like, "Okay, here we go." It was very surreal and not easy. There was definitely a big part of me that was not ready to go but there we were. I wanted to make those moments as strong as possible for Rayna."

The 49-year-old also has a message for the fans as they will be heartbroken after Rayna's exit. She told the outlet, "The spirit of Rayna lives on forever and I'm always going to have a strong interest and love for the show. We never know what the future holds in terms of how a character can make an influence, so I would say, "Love this show, love these characters, and keep watching" — because that spirit is always going to be a part of the show, and these amazing Nashville characters are going to live on."

When asked about shooting her final scene, the singer said, "We could not get through it. Those blessed girls — who I love with every ounce of my being — they could not get through the song. I don't know how many takes we did where they couldn't sing more than three words of the song. It took awhile. I'm laying there, supposedly dying, and I had tears pouring down my cheeks. It was a very tough week. There were a lot of tears all around. The crew, as well."

The actress also took to Instagram to thank fans and her character on the show. Alongside a photo of her onscreen character 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..."

She went on to thank her cast and crew and continued, "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 honour 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 "she concluded.