When Carly Pearce was busy making her new self-titled sophomore album, Carly Pearce, her producer/mentor/friend Mike Busbee died suddenly. So while the album’s liner notes are full of praise for her Heavenly Father, her family, her team, her band, her songwriters, her fans and her new husband Michael Ray (“the heartbeat of this record”), she saved the saddest part for last.
“Lastly, this record is dedicated to busbee,” Pearce wrote in the liner notes that come with the new music. “You now get a front row seat from Heaven for this amazing journey I’m on that you helped bring to life. I’ll remember so many moments of us in the studio working on this record, and will carry them with me forever. Thank you for believing, for bringing my music to life and for loving me as a person.
“I’ll always carry a piece of you with me. This one is for you.”
Busbee died last September from a glioblastoma — an aggressive form of brain cancer — just a few months after being diagnosed. He was only 43.
In his time in Nashville, the sought-after producer worked with Pearce, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Runaway June, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, LoCash, Lauren Alaina, Kelly Clarkson and many, many more. Busbee produced Pearce’s debut album Every Little Thing and also co-wrote her debut single of the same name.
The new album boasts an abundance of songs written by established country artists like Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook, Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen, and the Highwomen’s Natalie Hemby. It will be released on Friday (Feb. 14).