It was two years ago that Grammy-nominated producer-songwriter, Michael James Ryan AKA busbee, died. He was only 43 years old and had worked with, and heavily influenced, artists in the Nashville music community. He was a huge part of Maren Morris‘ Hero album and mentored Carly Pearce in a big way. He’d also worked with Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum among others.
To celebrate the life and talent of busbee, we put together a list of our favorite tracks that he’s either co-written or produced. Scroll to the bottom for a playlist featuring those songs and more.
“Time Machine” – Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson‘s “Time Machine” has a funky, catchy beat that’s best played loud. The horns are heavy as she sings about wishing she could get a time machine to erase her ex (we’ve all been there, right?). busbee produced this impressive number. If you’ve never heard it, download a copy by clicking on the artwork above and crank it loud for the singer-producer.
“If We Ever Meet Again” – Timbaland (ft. Katy Perry)
Timbaland‘s “If We Ever Meet Again” was a worldwide sensation — charting in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy and Spain. That’s just to name a few. The song includes Perry and was written by busbee, Timbaland and James Washington.
“The Fighter” – Keith Urban (ft. Carrie Underwood)
Keith Urban asked Carrie Underwood to join him for “The Fighter” from his album Ripcord. Together they form an unforgettable combination, inspiring country music fans everywhere. busbee had a hand in this one, co-writing it and co-producing it with Urban.
“You Look Good” – Lady Antebellum
“You Look Good” was the lead single from Lady Antebellum’s seventh studio album, Heart Break. The country-pop song is upbeat and infectious. It’s one of those tracks that always brings a good mood with it. It was written by Hillary Lindsey, Ryan Hurd and busbee.
“Rich” – Maren Morris
I dare you to be in a bad mood when “Rich” comes on. The track is one of many that busbee worked with Morris on. After all, he was a huge part of her debut studio album that included the song. He also worked with Morris on other album favorites including “80’s Mercedes,” “I Could Use a Love Song” and “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry.”
“Turn Up the Bright Lights” – BTE
busbee worked with Better Than Ezra and their frontman, Kevin Griffin, on several tracks for Paper Empire. This track is a standout on the album and one of our favorite BTE songs from the last decade.
“Days Like These” – Jason Aldean
This song is all about living life to the fullest. “Life is short, let’s go live it, ain’t no time for wasting time,” Jason Aldean sings in the song that was co-written by busbee, Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley.
“Every Little Thing” – Carly Pearce
This song is another example of busbee mentoring a young artist chasing her dreams. He worked with Pearce on “Every Little Thing,” her debut single. He co-wrote the track with Pearce and Emily Shackelton.
“H.O.L.Y.” – Florida Georgia Line
“H.O.L.Y.” is, hands down, our favorite Florida Georgia Line song ever recorded. The track is beautiful in its simplicity and busbee had a hand in writing it alongside Nate Cyphert and William Wiik Larsen.
“My Church” – Maren Morris
“My Church” was Morris’ debut single — and her breakout single. She co-wrote and co-produced the track with busbee and their hard work earned her a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance.
What’s your favorite song that busbee had a hand in? Leave a comment with it below.