Busbee, Notable Songwriter and Producer, Dead at 43
By Zach Seemayer
The music world is reeling from the loss of celebrated songwriter Busbee.
The producer and renowned writer -- born Michael James Ryan -- has died, Warner Records confirmed. The California-born music luminary was 43. The cause of his death has not yet been disclosed.
Warner Records co-Chairmen Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson released a statement to their staff on Sunday, breaking the news. "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."
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
Throughout his career, Busbee worked with countless A-list artists and musical luminaries, including Christina Aguilera, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Lauren Alaina, Gavin DeGraw, Lady Antebellum, Adam Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Shakira, to name just a few.
Following news of his death, a number of his friends and colleagues took to social media to mourn his passing and share memories of their time together.
"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," she captioned the photo, along with a broken heart emoji.
Busbee wrote four songs for Morris -- including "My Church" and "80s Mercedes" -- as well as co-produced her 2016 debut studio album, Hero.
Singer Carly Pearce also shared a heartbreaking slideshow of snapshots showing herself and Busbee through the years. Pearce wrote in the caption, "I sang “every little thing” tonight through broken tears with thousands of voices and cell phone lights in the air, because I asked them to raise them up high so you could see them shining from heaven. What a beautiful sight it was."
"Every Little Thing" was Pearce's debut single, which busbee penned, along with seven other songs off her 2017 album of the same name.
"You gave my music a place in this world. I’ll cherish the 2 albums, songs, talks, laughs & memories we shared over the years," Pearce shared in the post. "My heart is broken, but the legacy of your talents and your heart will live on in all of the artists and people you touched. I love you, Busbee."
See some more touching tributes and heartfelt memorials 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.
Today an uncanny talent and unique soul has departed. Busbee you left us so early, but your music and your passion will be among us and forever cherished. My condolences to his family and the music community in Nashville. pic.twitter.com/g9ya0eeNav
😞 I love you, Busbee. We texted every day since the diagnosis. I didn’t understand why you didn’t respond today. I’m so sad. Thank you for being there for me and Jac when we were hurting. I tried to be there for you but no one’s heart is bigger than yours. Love you, brother. 💔
busbee had been on my dreamlist of writers since i was 18 and i feel so lucky that i got to write a song with him last year. he was just as talented as i imagined and in that one day he lifted me up and made me feel like i could achieve anything. RIP to one of the greats 💔
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
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. 🎧