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The man behind the music

In loving memory of busbee; Michael James Ryan


Hi all,

Like you all, I was so shocked to read in the early hours of this morning about the passing of busbee. It's so sad to read that this amazing musician, songwriter, producer, publisher and record label executive had passed away at the young age of 43 from a short illness.

I've admired busbee for a few years for his highly talented skills as a songwriter and I knew a bit about his work as a producer. When listening to a new song, I always like to find out the background of how a song was put together as I want to know the story behind it. Time after time, I've found songs that I love had his magic over them. Like most people behind the music, he seems quiet and modest but full of talent. I heard through the country music grapevine about his pledge to help new artists find their feet and that he was a well respected and loved member of the music industry.

What I didn't know until I've read post after post today was about how kind, loving and special this man was. I don't know if I've ever read so many heartfelt tributes, not just from the country family but from around the world.

busbee was truly the man behind some of the best music of this generation, with so many hits under his belt, it's hard to narrow down it down to a short list but here are few of my favourites.

busbee with Maren Morris
busbee with Maren Morris

1. Heartbreak- Lady Antebellum

I have to say the whole album as it's one of my favourites ever to be made and he produced it as well as wrote many of the tracks on it. 'Somebody Else's Heart' is one of my favourite songs. It is a truly beautiful song and co-written with the Lady A team and Shane McAnally. busbee worked extensively with Lady Antebellum and I think that's where I first heard about him.

2. The Fighter- Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood

Co-written with Keith Urban, this is a stunning, upbeat and fun track. busbee also produced both 'Sun Don't Let Me Down' and 'Your Body' on the Ripcord album.

3. Once- Maren Morris

So many amazing tracks on Maren Morris' 'Hero' album but this track in particular, which was written between Maren and busbee is a strong one. He also co-wrote the famous 'My Church' and '80's Mercedes' which I love too but 'Once' has a special place in my heart.

4. Doin' Fine- Lauren Alaina

Co-written with Lauren Alaina and Emily Shackleton, this song has gotten me through a really hard time a few months ago. It's a great song all about willpower and strength.

5. H.O.L.Y- Florida Georgia Line

Such a big hit, written with Nate Cyphert and William Wilk Larsen. Powerful. Need I say any more?

6. Every Little Thing- Carly Pearce

Written with Carly Pearce and Emily Shackleton, this is a simply beautiful song. I adore it's gentle melody and stunning heartfelt lyrics.

Reading through the many songs of busbee's, I realise there's so many I haven't heard, and so many still to discover. Such a great loss, not only to country music and the music industry but on a personal level for so many people. Thoughts and prayers are with his wife and three young daughters and to anyone who knew this man. I only heard him through his music, and yet know that there is something there that is so special and rare.

Look after one another, life is far too precious and short.

Sammi x

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