The 68-year-old, who also penned Randy Travis' hit Three Wooden Crosses, passed away on Thursday (11Feb16).

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member also wrote Papa Loved Mama and She's Gonna Make It for Brooks, and he co-wrote Kenny Chesney's first country top 10 Fall in Love.

The Tennessee native, who was severely burned in a fire in the mid-1970s, scored his first big hit in 1994 when Joe Diffie took his If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets) to number one on the U.S. country chart.

His songs were also recorded by Brooks & Dunn, Reba MCEntire, and George Strait, among others.

His Travis hit Three Wooden Crosses was named the 2003 CMA Song of the Year and the Gospel Music Association's Country Song of the Year.