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Blake Shelton Dedicates His CMA Award Win To The Late Busbee And Earl Thomas Conley

Blake Shelton hook home the first CMA Award of the 2019 CMAs, snagging a win in Single Of The Year for “God’s Country.”

After Blake got multiple hugs and kisses from his leading lady Gwen Stefani, and close friend Craig Morgan gave him a big hug, Blake took the stage to accept his award. First he joked that he wouldn’t jump on Deanna Carter the way that she had previously jumped on Ricky Skaggs – but then Blake took a more serious tone, turning his attention to those that the country music has lost this year.

Blake said he wanted to kick off the evening by dedicating his CMA Award to Busbee and Earl Thomas Conley, two country music legends who passed away this year.

Michael Ryan, aka busbee, was a significant member of the country music community, writing songs for up and coming country music stars, including, Maren Morris’ “My Church,” Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing” and Hunter Hayes’ “Storm Warning.” He was also behind Florida Georgia Line’s massive “H.O.L.Y.,” Lady Antebellum’s jam “You Look Good” and Rascal Flatts’ hooky “Summer Nights.” He passed away on Sept. 28 of a rare form of brain cancer, detected only after he had a seizure in July.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – NOVEMBER 13: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE – FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Blake Shelton attends the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for the Country Music Association)

Blake also had a particularly tough time with the death of Earl Thomas Conley. Conley died at the age of 77 in April, and at the time Blake took to Twitter to share his feelings on the loss.

“My heart is absolutely destroyed today…” Shelton wrote. “I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning.”

“Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend,” Blake explained in his Instagram post. “Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest…”

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