Busbee, Producer For Keith Urban And Maren Morris, Dead At 43
By Peyton Blakemore
September 30, 2019
Michael James Ryan — known professionally by the moniker “Busbee” — has died at the age of 43.
News of the talented songwriter and producer's death broke on Sunday (September 29). While Busbee's cause of death has not yet been reported, a friend of the late musician told Variety he was undergoing treatment for glioblastoma — an aggressive brain tumor.
Busbee is survived by his wife and three children, including a newborn daughter.
The 43-year-old Grammy-nominated songwriter worked with some of the biggest names in country music like Maren Morris, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Carly Pearce, Jason Aldean, Kellie Pickler, Hunter Hayes, and many others.
One of his biggest collaborations, however, was with Maren as he wrote a number of songs on her 2016 album Hero, including “80s Mercedes,” “Once,” and her breakout hit “My Church,” for which he earned a Grammy nomination.
Following news of Busbee’s death, the 29-year-old singer tweeted a photo of herself with Busbee, which she captioned: "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. 💔."
Blake Shelton also mourned the loss of his friend on Twitter, writing, "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."
See more Busbee tributes below:
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
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. pic.twitter.com/9jLoL0JaCf— Warner Records (@warnerrecords) 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
I can’t think of a single word, or hear a single note. Man, I just heard your voice days ago... I lost a brother today. We just lost one of the greats. @busbee I know you know our hearts are with your beautiful family.— BILLY MANN (@BillyMann) September 30, 2019
God bless you. pic.twitter.com/I0o1AlkF2K
RIP Busbee. An absolute talent. Gone too damn soon.— Travis Denning (@Travis_Denning) September 30, 2019
heard the news at dinner that Busbee had passed. loved being around the guy. So much so that I wrote about him in my last book. a real light, that was extremely smart and great to be around. so sad. RIP man. 🎧— Bobby Bones (@mrBobbyBones) September 30, 2019
I seriously can’t believe this Busbee, it feels so weird to talk about you in the past, but you were and always will be one of the best people I’ve known and one of the greatest creatives, so beyond grateful to have had you in my life. Love u❤️ pic.twitter.com/6MUIaK8YcX— Jenna Andrews (@TheJennaAndrews) September 30, 2019
Our thoughts are with Busbee's family and friends during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.
Photo: Getty Images