Nashville Songwriter Busbee Dies at 43
He was one of Nashville’s most in-demand writers
By kncitom on September 30, 2019
Acclaimed Nashville songwriter Busbee has passed away at the age of 43 from an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Maren Morris had worked with him (real name: Michael James Ryan) several times–he co-wrote “My Church” and “80s Mercedes” and helped produce her debut album–and was among the first to post about his passing on social media
This just doesn’t seem fair. I will always love you and the songs and albums I was lucky to make with you, Busbee. Rest well, my sweet friend. 💔 pic.twitter.com/9DKsU5G77a
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) September 30, 2019
Other country artists have weighed in on his passing too, including Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Devin Dawson.
I absolutely can’t accept the loss of mine and Gwen’s friend Michael (Busbee)..Too much to say for social media. Too much pain and unfairness period. I guess sometimes you gotta dig extra EXTRA deep for peace to continue to have faith. And I will because Michael ALWAYS had faith.
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) September 30, 2019
My brother Michael…
You brought love and light and music that will live on and travel the world – i feel deeply grateful that our lives came together-and I send prayers of gratitude and peace and love to your spirit – and to your beautiful family. – KU pic.twitter.com/nv5XJlWpu3
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) September 30, 2019
My heart is broken & mourning for busbee & his family & loved ones today. I was fortunate enough to know him, create with him, & learn a lot about life & music from him. pic.twitter.com/GShHxflvci
— Devin Dawson (@zdevin) September 30, 2019
Busbee’s musical background was in jazz but he came to Nashville at the urging of friends, where he found success writing songs that occasionally pushed the envelope of contemporary country music. In addition to Morris’ songs, he also wrote “People Loving People” for Garth Brooks, “H.O.L.Y.” for Florida Georgia Line and “The Fighter” which won an ACM for Best Vocal Collaboration in 2018. “My Church” was nominated for a Grammy in 2016. He also wrote hits for Lady Antebellum, Pink, and and Shakira.
Busbee, who was originally from Walnut Creek, had recently been diagnosed with gliobastoma, and had been undergoing treatment. He leaves behind a wife and three children.