Maren Morris and Blake Shelton are among those paying tribute to prolific country music songwriter/producer Busbee.
Word of his death started spreading on social media last night. Born Michael James Ryan, the 43-year-old quietly worked with artists like Morris, Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line and had clearly earned their respect.
“This just doesn’t seem fair,” Morris posted on Twitter along with a picture of the two. “I will always love you and the songs and albums I was lucky to make with you, Busbee. Rest well, my sweet friend.”
Busbee co-wrote several tracks from Morris’ debut album Hero, and produced much of her follow-up Girl. Shelton is among the many other Nashville mainstays who is taking his death hard.
“I absolutely can’t accept the loss of mine and Gwen’s friend Michael (Busbee),” Shelton said on Twitter. “Too much to say for social media. Too much pain and unfairness period. I guess sometimes you gotta dig EXTRA deep for peace to continue to have faith. And I will because Michael ALWAYS had faith.”
No official cause of death has been released, but other friends have mentioned a recent “diagnosis.” Busbee leaves behind a wife and three daughters.