The country music community begins the week mourning the loss of busbee, the producer and writer instrumental in the careers of Maren Morris and Carly Pearce, who also worked with Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, and more.
Born Michael James Ryan, the 43-year-old passed away after being diagnosed with brain cancer over the summer, a friend tells Variety. He leaves behind three children, including a baby girl.
“This just doesn’t seem fair,” Maren tweeted. “I will always love you and the songs and albums I was lucky to make with you, busbee. Rest well, my sweet friend.”
Later, Maren also shared a short video of busbee working on her breakthrough hit, “My Church,” along with the broken heart emoji.
“Gonna miss you my friend,” Lady A’s Charles Kelley posted on Instagram, along with a picture of himself with busbee.
“I absolutely can’t accept the loss of mine and Gwen [Stefani]’s friend Michael (Busbee),” Blake Shelton declared on his socials. “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.”
Here’s how other members of the country family reacted to busbee’s loss on social media:
CMA: “Your words and work have touched the lives of so many.”
LOCASH: “music lost one of our best. your words & melodies will live forever. rest easy busbee”
Cassadee Pope: “Our loss is heavens gain. So incredibly sad to hear that we’ve lost Busbee. Thinking of his family and wishing them healing.”
Travis Denning: “RIP Busbee. An absolute talent. Gone too damn soon.”
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