Nashville Songwriter Busbee Dies at 43

He was one of Nashville’s most in-demand writers

By kncitom on September 30, 2019
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 16: Busbee attends Spotify’s 2nd Annual Secret Genius Awards at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on November 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/WireImage)

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 

Other country artists have weighed in on his passing too, including Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Devin Dawson.


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.



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