Kenny Chesney is remembering his friend Mac Davis after the singer/songwriter died this week, sharing a touching tribute on social media on Wednesday morning. Chesney used Instagram to share a photo of himself with Davis and his wife, Lise Kristen Gerard, at the BMI Awards in Nashville in 2016, accompanying the image with a thoughtful caption.
"Goodbye to my great friend Mac Davis," Chesney began, sharing that he first met Davis as a young artist at the beginning of his career, while Davis "was already a legend and a songwriting hero to me." "He welcomed me into his home, and turned that tremendous creative light on me," Chesney continued. "Even though he'd written 'In The Ghetto' for Elvis and had so many incredible hits of his own, he made me feel like what I was doing mattered."
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The singer described Davis as "a small-town boy who’d achieved the greatest kinds of fame, he remained a good guy, a family man. That was Mac: a giant heart, quick to laugh and a bigger creative spirit. I was blessed to have it shine on me."
"And Mac, who was joyous, funny and created a family around him, never stopped writing great songs, creating music and inspiring everyone around him," Chesney continued. "He loved his wife Lisa and his kids, and all kinds of people. He kept in touch, always a kind word, a new joke or a piece of song he was working on, which made him a blessing to everyone who came into his life."
Davis died at age 78 after becoming critically ill following heart surgery. His death was confirmed on Tuesday by his manager, Jim Morey, who wrote that Davis died "surrounded by the love of his life and wife of 38 years, Lise, and his sons Scott, Noah and Cody."
Born in Lubbock, Texas, Davis moved to Atlanta after high school where he began working in the music industry. He got his start as a songwriter at Nancy Sinatra's company, Boots Enterprises, Inc, where he wrote a number of songs recorded by artists including Elvis Presley, who sang Davis' "In the Ghetto," "Don't Cry Daddy" and "Memories." Davis signed with Columbia Records in 1970 and began releasing his own music, becoming a crossover success with songs like "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me" and "Stop and Smell the Roses."
He was also an actor and hosted his own variety show on NBC, The Mac Davis Show, from 1974 to 1976. Davis was named ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1974, and in 1998, he earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York in 2006.