Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw & More Remember Country Icon Ed Bruce

Ed Bruce
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Ed Bruce

The country music community is mourning the loss of iconic singer-songwriter Ed Bruce.

Musicians like Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Jamey Johnson and The Oak Ridge Boys took to social media following the death of Bruce, who passed away Friday (Jan. 8) from natural causes at the age of 81.

"Just hearing that Ed Bruce passed away... What a stand alone voice he had," Shelton tweeted in remembrance. "He’ll be remembered for his many talents including acting and maybe most important his songwriting... Rest In Peace cowboy. Im not loving 2021 so far."

During his lengthy career, Bruce tallied 35 total hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, including "You’re the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had" and "Walker’s Woods." He's perhaps best known for the classic composition "Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," which he co-wrote with his former wife, Patsy.

The song was later covered by a number of country legends, including Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, whose duet version spent four weeks atop Hot Country Songs in 1978. Their version also crossed over onto the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 42.

"We lost another one of our great country singer songwriters today," McGraw wrote on Twitter. "The man behind 'Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys' and more. So many cool records of his that I listened to growing up."

Johnson also paid tribute to the late country star, tweeting, "Thank you Ed Bruce for all the years of dedication to country music that paved the way for songwriters like me. Hell of a run Sir."

See more tributes to Bruce below.