Maren Morris Producer-Songwriter Busbee Dead at 43 - Rolling Stone
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Busbee, Producer for Maren Morris and Lady Antebellum, Dead at 43

Michael Busbee co-wrote Pink’s “Try,” along with hits for Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, and Rascal Flatts


Producer and songwriter Michael Busbee, who worked with Maren Morris and Lady Antebellum, has died at 43.

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Michael Busbee, the producer and songwriter who helped shape Maren Morris’ country-music career with her debut album Hero and co-wrote hits for Pink, Florida Georgia Line, and Lady Antebellum, has died. Known professionally as “busbee,” the California native was 43. The cause of death was not yet disclosed, but Warner Records confirmed the news in a memo to staff.

Although he worked with pop stars like Christina Aguilera, Shakira, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Pink, co-writing her 2013 hit “Try,” Busbee found his greatest success in Nashville. He co-wrote Florida Georgia Line’s Number One ballad “H.O.L.Y.,” Rascal Flatts’ “Summer Nights,” Lady Antebellum’s “You Look Good,” and Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood’s collaboration “The Fighter.” He also co-wrote Garth Brooks’ “People Loving People,” the superstar’s first single after a lengthy retirement, Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing,” and a number of radio hits on Morris’ 2016 LP Hero, including “80s Mercedes,” “Once,” and her breakout single “My Church,” for which he earned a Grammy nomination.

As a producer, Busbee collaborated extensively with Lady Antebellum, producing tracks on their 747 album and the entirety of their last full-length, 2017’s Heart Break. But it was his input on Morris’ albums Hero and 2019’s Girl with which he is most associated.

Following news of Busbee’s death, Morris tweeted a photo of herself with her creative partner. “This just doesn’t seem fair. I will always love you and the songs and albums I was lucky to make with you, Busbee,” she wrote in part.

“You dream you get the chance for a new artist like that to come across your radar,” Busbee told Rolling Stone in 2016, of meeting Morris. “We just got put together in a co-write, she was making the rounds in Nashville writing with different people. . . She was singing her own music, and it was world class. I was super freaked out — in a good way.”

Blake Shelton also posted his remembrance of Busbee, who co-wrote the album track “Every Goodbye” on Shelton’s If I’m Honest LP.

Despite all his success, Busbee remained rooted in the music community. He was a vocal champion of the Music Modernization Act and in 2018 launched the company Altadena to foster emerging artists and songwriters.

“I’m from California and used to play jazz trombone,” he said. “I woke up a certain amount of years later, and I have an amazing wife and two beautiful girls, and I get to write songs for a living? I’m like, whose life did I hijack?”

In This Article: Maren Morris, obit, Pink


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