The late producer and songwriter Busbee, who died Sunday at age 43, didn’t win many major awards in his lifetime, but that may very well change over the course of the next six months or so.
Busbee is nominated in two categories at the CMA Awards — album of the year for Girl and musical event of the year for co-producing Morris’ collab with Brothers Osborne, “All My Favorite People.”
If Girl wins the CMA award for album of the year, Busbee would be the first posthumous winner in that category since 2003, when Johnny Cash took the award for American IV: The Man Comes Around two months after he died of complications from diabetes.
This is Busbee’s fourth album of the year nom at the CMAs. He was previously nominated in that category for co-producing Morris’ Hero (2016), Keith Urban‘s Ripcord (2016) and Lady Antebellum‘s Heart Break (2017).
Girl is also likely to be nominated for best country album at the Grammys. It also has a good shot at a nom in the all-genre album of the year category. And it is likely to be nominated for album of the year at the ACM Awards.
Kacey Musgraves‘ Golden Hour won all four of these awards — the CMA and ACM awards for album of the year and the two aforementioned Grammys — in last year’s awards cycle. Girl was already considered likely to take the CMA and ACM awards and the Grammy for best country album. The wave of sympathy for the widely-admired Busbee will only boost its chances in these three categories.
Busbee received seven CMA noms, though he didn’t win one in his lifetime. He was cited in three capacities for his work on Morris’ “My Church” — as producer, mix engineer and songwriter.
Busbee won an ACM award in 2017, as co-producer of “The Fighter,” a sleek Urban/Carrie Underwood collab which won as vocal event of the year. He was also nominated for ACM’s album of the year twice, for co-producing Morris’ Hero and Urban’s Ripcord and single record of the year once, for co-producing Morris’ “My Church.”
Busbee’s only Grammy nom in his lifetime was for co-writing “My Church,” which was nominated for best country song (2016).
Busbee co-produced Girl with Morris and Greg Kurstin. The other CMA album of the year nominees are Thomas Rhett‘s Center Point Road, Underwood’s Cry Pretty, Dan + Shay‘s Dan + Shay and Eric Church‘s Desperate Man.