Busbee, the songwriter behind hits for Maren Morris, Katy Perry, Keith Urban and many others, died at age 43. After news broke of his death late Sunday, fans of the multi-instrumentalist's work took to social media to share their sadness and send condolences to his family. Morris herself said she will "always love you and the songs and albums I was lucky to make with you."
"This news has landed heavily today. Our friend, creator and songwriter advocate [Busbee] sadly passed away this weekend. A talent as huge as his heart, a deeply spiritual man and devoted husband and father," Pulse Music Publishing's Maria Egan wrote on Instagram. "Everyone that knew him, even just as business colleagues, feels like a good friend has been lost today - they don't make many like this. He will be deeply missed by us and his beautiful family"
Busbee, born Michael James Ryan, wrote songs recorded by Rascal Flatts, The Fray, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Andtebellum, Katharine McPhee, Little big Town and Pink. In 2016, he worked on four songs for Morris' album Hero, including the hit country single "My Church." He worked with Perry and Timbaland on the 2009 hit "If We Ever Meet Again."
Fans took to Twitter to mourn Busbee's death.
The magnitude of this loss is profound. Thank you busbee for sharing your genius with us. In my wildest dreams I aspired to be you. A genius, a champion. This life was too short. It’s not right. I’m so fucking sad. https://t.co/bvfcu1oNqf— stacey higgins (@stacey_higgins) September 30, 2019
RIP brother Busbee. Can’t believe it’s true. We never connected in Nashville, where we both live, but oddly, would always catch up at The Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel from time to time. Great songwriter and… https://t.co/7KjGuZAuZG— Steve Freeman (@thestevefreeman) September 30, 2019
I’m so sad to hear about the passing of my friend “busbee” . He was one of the most talented people to ever take a breath and a great human being . He was a co-writer on Garths People Loving People with myself and Lee Miller among many other songs .He will be missed. https://t.co/1aGxVdWSp5— Chris Wallin (@chriswallinTN) September 30, 2019
it makes me so sad to hear about the lyrical genius that was Busbee has passed. :( some of my favorite country, christian, and pop songs came from him. 😢— marisa jillian (@marisajillian) September 30, 2019
Before busbee focused his career on country music, he was "totally on the jazz trajectory," he told Rolling Stone. However, while trying to gain his footing in the music industry, he moved to Nashville on the recommendation of a friend and found success in Music City.
RIP, #Busbee. Thank you for all the songs you wrote for many country artists I love.— Alana Clark (@aclarkcountry) September 30, 2019
My heart breaks for Busbee 😭❤️ I had no idea he was sick. Rest easy to such a transformative soul in music. I was always so intrigued by your work and your name behind it. You left your mark on this big ole world forever— CHEL sea (@chelsthellama) September 30, 2019
They are making great music in heaven tonight. I’m going to miss you busbee. Music will miss you too 💔— Dallas Davidson (@DallasDavidson_) September 30, 2019
"I started out and still would consider myself a pop writer," busbee told Rolling Stone. "But I'm very grateful to come up in the Nashville way of doing things – they have an incredibly high bar and talent level. One of the beautiful things about that system is that you get to write with so many people, and people are typically gracious [enough] to take the chance on you. If they think you're really talented, you're in – even if you haven't had a hit for a minute, because that happens to everybody. Pop is a little more like, 'Well, what have you done lately?'"
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