Mac Davis, country legend and Elvis songwriter, dead at 78

Entertainer Mac Davis, the man behind several of Elvis Presley’s hits including “In The Ghetto,” “A Little Less Conversation,” “Memories” and “Don’t Cry, Daddy,” has died Tuesday at 78.

Davis’ manager confirmed the news, according to an announcement by the Country Music Association, adding that the singer had become “critically ill” after undergoing heart surgery in Nashville.

Davis, from Lubbock, Texas, who penned a number of songs in the late 60s and 70s for The King, went on to top the charts under his own name with 1972’s “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me,” and “Stop And Smell The Roses” two years later. Into the 1980s, he released another string of hits, “It’s Hard to Be Humble,” “Hooked On Music” and “I Never Made Love (Till I Made It with You)” — the last top 10 hit of his career.

In 1974, he was honored as he Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, and landed a hosting gig on NBC’s “The Mac Davis Show.” After two seasons, Davis continued to be a mainstay on the network, starring in Christmas specials almost ever year through 1983.

During that time, he also debuted on the silver screen next to Nick Nolte in the comedy “North Dallas Forty,” while his later films saw more modest success. A few decades later, he became a recurring character on “That ’70s Show,” “King of the Hill” and “8 Simple Rules.” More recently, he appeared in Dolly Parton’s “Heartstrings” (2019) on Netflix.

Celebrity fans eulogized the beloved showman on social media.

Kenny Chesney called Davis “a small town boy who’d achieved the greatest kinds of fame, (and) remained a good guy, a family man.”

In a statement, he continued, “And Mac, who was joyous, funny and created a family around him, never stopped writing great songs, creating music and inspiring everyone around him.”

Davis was finally inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006, but he wasn’t done yet. In an unlikely collaboration, he teamed up with the late Swedish DJ Avicii in 2013 to write pop hit “Addicted to You.”

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