Mac Davis, the 1974 ACM Entertainer of the Year and a 2006 inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, had died following heart surgery, according to a Facebook post late Tuesday (Sept. 30) from his manager. He was 78.
As a recording artist, Davis’ most recognizable hits include the 1972 classic “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” “Stop and Smell the Roses,” and “It’s Hard to Be Humble.”
Davis was born in Lubbock, Texas, on January 21, 1942. He attended college in Atlanta, where he also played in a rock ’n’ roll band and worked as a regional manager for record labels.
He built his career as a songwriter in the late ’60s when Elvis Presley recorded multiple compositions by Davis, including “In the Ghetto,” “Memories,” “Don’t Cry Daddy,” and “A Little Less Conversation.” Other notable writing credits include Kenny Rogers and the First Edition’s “Something’s Burning,” Bobby Bare’s “Tequila Sheila,” Dolly Parton’s “White Limozeen,” and Bobby Goldsboro’s “Watching Scotty Grow.”
Davis’ incredible songwriting catalog earned him induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000 and the 2015 BMI Icon Award. He also received Grammy nominations as a songwriter for “In the Ghetto” and “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me.” His third and final Grammy nomination came with the 1976 country album, Forever Lovers.
In the 1970s, Davis established himself as a star on network television (NBC’s The Mac Davis Show) and Broadway (the lead role in Will Rogers Follies). In the 2000s he also placed pop cuts by Avicii, Bruno Mars, and Weezer.
Along with “It’s Hard to Be Humble,” Davis’ additional Top 10 country hits in the 1980s include “Let’s Keep It That Way,” “Texas in My Rear View Mirror,” “Hooked on Music,” “You’re My Bestest Friend,” and “I Never Made Love (Till I Made Love With You).”
Davis recorded 10 albums for Columbia Records in the 1970s, then recorded for Casablanca, MCA, Mercury, and Columbia labels in the 1980s. Though his recording output slowed in the ’90s, he continued touring in the decades that followed, and earned a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.