Singer-songwriter Mac Davis, who wrote numerous crossover Country and Pop hits, has died at the age of 78.
Davis enjoyed immense success as a songwriter penning songs that were recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Ray Price. His first big hit came in 1968 when Davis helped write the song “Memories” for Elvis’ comeback TV special.
Following the news of his death, Country music stars began to pay tribute to Davis. “I met Mac as a young artist just starting out on my journey, when he was already a legend and a songwriting hero to me,” Kenny Chesney said in a statement.
“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 added.
“This is such a drag. RIP to the incredible #MacDavis. Thank you for your incredible songs and your kindness to me. It was an honor to hear you tell me stories,” songwriter Richard Marx wrote on Twitter.
“Today our country community lost an amazing entertainer, songwriter and artist,” Sarah Trahern, CEO of the CMA’s said in a statement. “I remember watching Mac’s TV show as a kid as well as his three years co-hosting the CMA Awards with Barbara Mandrell, which proved his command of the TV medium as well as the music.”
Davis’ breakthrough came in 1972 when his song “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was one of his first country and pop crossover successes and earned a GRAMMY nomination. Following the success of the song, he was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 1974.
Davis also shared a close musical relationship with Elvis having written songs like “In the Ghetto,” “A Little Less Conversation,” and “Memories” that Presley later recorded.