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Music City
BILLY SHERRILL, R.I.P.
8/4/15

   Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Billy Sherrill

Legendary Country figure Billy Sherrill passed away today; he was 78 years old.

"The death of Billy Sherrill means Nashville has lost one of its most influential and powerful producers and songwriters," announced Nashville insider Peter Cooper.

In a statement released by the Recording Academy, President/CEO Neil Portnow shared, "Billy’s contributions as a producer, arranger and songwriter were vast, and helped usher in the successful 'countrypolitan' style. Chart-topping songs like Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man,' Charlie Rich's 'Behind Closed Doors' and George Jones' 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' helped make Billy one of the most widely sought-after producers for more than three decades. We have lost a brilliant talent."

Meanwhile, songwriter Bobby Braddock, who co-wrote Wynette's “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and Jones' “He Stopped Loving Her Today” with him, told Variety, “Genius is the most overused word in the music business, but with Billy Sherrill, you can’t use it enough.”

The two-time Grammy-winner started out as a Blues musician before being hired by Sam Phillips to manage Sun Records' Music City studio in 1962, and later an in-house producer at Epic Records.

Sherrill was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also named BMI’s Country Songwriter of the 20th Century in 1999.