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Nashville Songwriter and Producer Norro Wilson Dead at 79

norro wilson dead
Frederick Breedon IV, Getty Images

Songwriter, producer and record executive Norro Wilson died of heart failure on June 8. He was 79.

A prolific songwriter, Wilson was a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He worked with everyone from George Jones to Tammy Wynette; Shania Twain to Reba McEntire; Charlie Rich to Kenny Chesney.

“Norro Wilson was one of the great music men, not just of our time, but all time,” Chesney says in a statement to the Tennessean. “He taught me so much about soul, and songs, and what it means to touch someone’s life with music. I am so fortunate to have not just known him, but made records with him — and I know wherever he is right now, he’s making people smile, writing songs and showing everyone the time of their life.”

Wilson, who was born in 1938 in Scottsville, Ky., attended Western Kentucky State College on a music scholarship. He made his solo debut in 1969 with the single “Only You.” His 1970 hit “Do It to Someone You Love” was his most successful song as a recording artist, hitting No. 20 on the charts.

Wilson’s career transitioned to focus on songwriting and production, and that’s where Wilson found his niche. He co-produced albums by Twain, Chesney, Sara Evans, Sammy Kershaw, John Anderson, Chely Wright and more. Over his career, 11 of the songs he wrote or co-wrote hit the top of the charts — songs such as Jones’ “The Grand Tour” and “He Loves Me All the Way” by Wynette.

For his skill and success, Wilson was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2008. He was also honored in the “Poets and Prophets” series put on by the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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