Busbee, a hit songwriter and producer who is best known for his work with Maren Morris and Lady Antebellum, has died at the age of 43.
Busbee, real name Michael James Ryan, had news of his death break on Sunday via a tweet from Morris. A cause of death was not disclosed.
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. ? pic.twitter.com/9DKsU5G77a
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) September 30, 2019
Busbee has worked with many competition reality show alums and cast members. He produced and wrote songs for American Idol alum Lauren Alaina’s Road Less Traveled album. Other alums the songwriter wrote/produced for include The Voice’s Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery and Dia Frampton. The American Idol roster includes Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery, Katharine McPhee and Haley Reinhart. He also worked with X Factor alums Alexandra Burke, Chris Rene and Bea Miller. The Voice coaches Blake Shelton, Shakira, Usher, Christina Aguilera, and American Idol judge Keith Urban (including his duet with Carrie Underwood “The Fighter”) also worked with the songwriter.
Earlier this year, busbee celebrated the launch of his new company, Altadena, which works to launch and develop of careers of artists, producers, and songwriters in a variety of genres, with offices in Los Angeles and Nashville.
“Today we lost Busbee, a dear friend, business partner with his company Altadena, and one of the best and brightest minds in music. Busbee’s kindness and legacy will never be forgotten and our hearts and prayers go out to this family at this very difficult time,” Warner Records co-chairman and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck and co-chairman and COO Tom Corson said in a statement.
Condolences poured in via social media:
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I have tried to type this three different times. Busbee is one of the biggest reasons I have the career I have today. He believed in me when no one did. He helped me through one of the hardest stages of my life. He loved me in the “dark times.” The “maybe I should die my hair brown and recreate myself” times. Lol. He taught me how to be honest in my songwriting and to trust my gut. His belief in me helped me to make the album that changed my life. Every award, number one song, and achievement is partly because of him. He was one of a kind. I am a better person because I knew him. Rest In Peace my friend. As you would always say, Hugs. ?? @busbee ps: everyone please keep his beautiful wife and daughters in your thoughts and prayers. My heart aches for them.
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
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
Thinking about this dude today… Gonna miss you Busbee. pic.twitter.com/TIC3zw0gGr
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) September 30, 2019
Our loss is heavens gain. So incredibly sad to hear that we’ve lost Busbee. Thinking of his family and wishing them healing. ? pic.twitter.com/BenyQWtmup
— Cassadee Pope (@CassadeePope) September 30, 2019
Really sad to hear of the passing of one of the best, Mike Busbee. We worked on some music for my first album after the show. He was a breath of fresh air in the studio for me during a crazy time. It was an honor to have worked with him. Sending love out to his family & friends.
— Lee DeWyze (@LeeDeWyze) September 30, 2019