Songwriter and producer Busbee has died at age 43, with the news of his death first circulating on Twitter on Sunday. A friend told Variety that Busbee was undergoing treatment for Glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, after being diagnosed over the summer.
Busbee, real name Michael James Ryan, leaves behind wife Jessie and three children, including a newborn daughter. The 43-year-old had a worldwide publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music and has written for artists including Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Carly Pearce, Pink, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Katy Perry and more.
A memo from Warner Records co-chairman and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and co-chairman and COO Tom Corson to staff on Sunday read, "Today we lost busbee, a dear friend, business partner with his company Altadena, and one of the best and brightest creative minds in music. busbee’s kindness and legacy will never be forgotten and our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time."
"Our hearts are broken by the loss of our beautiful friend," shared Warner Chappell's leadership. "He was an extraordinary human being whose generosity, spirituality and humor inspired everyone around him. An amazingly gifted songwriter, he used his talent, his music, and his love to break down boundaries and bring people together. He left us far too soon. Our deepest condolences go to his wonderful family and all his many friends. We love you."
After the news of his passing began circulating, many of Busbee's friends and collaborators began mourning the musician on Twitter including Morris, Shelton and Adam Lambert.
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
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
Shocked and saddened by the news today that we have lost Busbee. I am so grateful I was able to have collaborated with him. He was brilliant and warm, with palpable joy for his craft. RIP Sir.— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) September 30, 2019
Photo Credit: Getty / Rachel Luna