The Music World Mourns the Loss of Songwriter/Producer busbee at Age 43

Busbee songwriter producer died at age 43
Courtesy Big Machine Records

Grammy nominated songwriter busbee, a.k.a. Michael James Ryan, passed away Sunday. He was 43.

News came on Sunday (Sept. 29) when Maren Morris shared a tweet about her beloved friend and collaborator. “Rest well, my sweet friend,” she shared in the tweet.

Busbee was well-known songwriter, record producer, publisher, record label executive who worked with A-list stars including  Gwen Stefani, P!nk, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum and more.

A few of the songs busbee wrote include, Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.,” Lady Antebellum’s “You Look Good,” Maren Morris’ “My Church” and “80s Mercedes,” Pink’s “Try,” Keith Urban’s “The Fighter (Feat. Carrie Underwood) and so many more.  He also produced tracks on Lady Antebellum’s 747 album and the entirety of their Heart Break album.

[RELATED: Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood Make Time to Celebrate “The Fighter” with No. 1 Party]

His record label Altadena, a part of Warner records, released a statement following his death.

“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.

While a cause of death has not been revealed, it has been reported that the 43-year-old was diagnosed with glioblastoma last summer, which according to the American Brain Tumor Association website is a malignant grade IV tumor, where a large portion of tumor cells are reproducing and dividing at any given time

The music world took to social media to express their grief and loss. RIP busbee.

Maren Morris

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.” 💔

Bobby Bones

“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.” 

Carly Pearce

No words. Rest easy my sweet, sweet friend.💔 @busbee

Adam Lambert

“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.”

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum

“busbee, i’m struggling to find words, but you are so good with them I have to try. we’ve had 11 years of work and friendship together…some of my favorite songs, an entire album, we’ve shared laughs and some of this life’s most special moments. this earth isn’t going to shine as bright or sound nearly as good with you not here. i know where to find you though…in your beautiful family, in every piece of art you created, and just like in this picture-i’ll look up. we love you. 💔”

Cassadee Pope

“Our loss is heavens gain. So incredibly sad to hear that we’ve lost Busbee. Thinking of his family and wishing them healing.💔

Blake Shelton

“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.”

James Bay

“To a beautiful, brilliant man. You will be so missed. Rest well, Busbee♥️.”