busbee, songwriter behind country and pop hits, dead at 43
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer busbee, who co-wrote Maren Morris’ breakout hit “My Church” and also crafted songs for Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Pink, Shakira and Florida Georgia Line, has died. He was 43.
Warner Records confirmed his death in a statement released Sunday but offered no details on the cause of death. His real name was Michael James Ryan.
In a statement, Warner Records’ co-chairman and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and co-chairman and COO Tom Corson called busbee “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.”
Several singers mourned his death on social media. Blake Shelton said he and Gwen Stefani both considered busbee a friend, writing on Twitter that there was “too much pain and unfairness period.” Shakira tweeted that “an uncanny talent and unique soul has departed.” Adam Lambert tweeted that busbee was “brilliant and warm, with palpable joy for his craft.”
He was a co-producer on Morris’ debut album on Columbia called “Hero,” which was nominated for best country album. At the 2017 Grammys, “My Church” won best country solo performance. The song was also nominated for best country song, a nomination Morris shared with busbee.
He also produced Carly Pearce’s debut album on Big Machine called “Every Little Thing.” He also helped write top country hits like Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood’s “The Fighter,” Florida Georgia Line’s multiplatinum hit “H.O.L.Y.” and Pink’s “Try.”