Jake Owen, Lee Greenwood and Sam Moore were among those honoring the “In the Ghetto” writer, who also penned hits for Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Tom Jones and Johnny Cash. Davis also scored a number of his own solo hits while finding success on TV and in films as an actor.
“There’s no way to express the grief that we feel about Mac Davis. The entertainment industry will miss this great talent and beautiful American. We pray for his family and those that love him,” said Greenwood in a statement.
The members of the Oak Ridge Boys added their own thoughts about the loss, saying, “American music has just lost a premiere singer, songwriter, entertainer, and a genuinely great human being. In a year already fraught with sacrifice and loss this is another one that is hard to process. Goodbye Mac Davis… until the day.”
Singer Owen tweeted out his heartbreak over the loss of his friend Davis. “He was an incredible songwriter and guitar player. He’d penned songs for Elvis to Avicii,” he said. “More importantly, he was a great husband and a father. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Love ya Mac.”
Travis Tritt also tweeted out his thoughts and memories of Davis’ beloved TV run in the 1970s. “I grew up watching The Mac Davis show and loving his talent. This is heartbreaking!” he wrote.
Kenny Chesney posted a longer, deeply personal goodbye, recalling how he met Davis when he was a young up-and-comer, describing how the songwriting icon invited him into his home and “turned that tremendous creative light on me. Even though he’d written ‘In the Ghetto’ for Elvis and had so many incredible hits of his own, he made me feel like what I was doing mattered,” he wrote, describing Davis as “joyous, funny” and a man with a “giant heart.”
The love spread beyond the country realm as well, with Richard Marx thanking Davis for his “incredible songs” and the kindness he extended to him. “American Pie” singer/songwriter Don McLean also had fond memories of his time with Davis, recalling a time he chatted with Mac about Elvis. “He’d been invited to see a movie with Elvis at a theater. He told the story in such a warm and funny way that I watched him tell it several times and actually wished I could have met him,” he said in a statement.
“Then I learned that he wrote the song ‘Memories’ and I was really moved. This is such a beautiful, incomparable song that words can’t express my admiration for it. Here’s to Mac Davis. You were a Good Ol Boy for sure and I sure wish I could have met you for a beer or two.”
Check out the tweets honoring Davis below.