News broke on Sept. 29 that Busbee, whose real name is Michael James Ryan, had tragically died at just 43 years old. “Today we lost Busbee, a dear friend, business partner with his company Altadena, and one o the best and brightest creative minds in music,” Warner Records’ CEO said in a statement to employees. “Busbee’s kindness and legacy will never be forgotten and our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time.” Here’s more to know about the famed songwriter, producer:
1. He’s worked with several well-known artists. Busbee got his big break after the release of Pinks’ 2012 hit, “Try,” which he co-wrote. He began working with a number of artists in the pop genre, like Christina Aguilera, The Fray, Adam Lambert, Shakira and more. Eventually, he also started working with country artists, including Rascal Flatts, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum and others. He was nominated for Best Country Song at the 2017 Grammys for his work on Maren’s “My Church.”
2. He reportedly suffered from brain cancer. Busbee had reportedly been diagnosed with Glioblastoma — a form of brain cancer — just months before his untimely death. A friend confirmed that he was going through treatment before he died, according to Variety.
3. He had three kids. Busbee’s wife, Jessie, had reportedly recently given birth to the couple’s third child, a little girl, when he passed away.
4. He initially thought his career would be in jazz music. Busbee grew up playing jazz trombone in California, and even went to New Jersey’s William Patterson University to study jazz music. However, he did not graduate from the university, and instead, returned home to California where he began pursuing other kind of music and instruments.
5. He started his own record label just last year. In Dec. 2018, Busbee announced the launch of his music company, Altadena, which is meant to help develop new artists and songwriters. The label was created in a partnership with Warner Bros. Records.