Musician and songwriter Bobby Emmons has died, aged 72.

Emmons passed away at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday night (23Feb15) after losing his battle with an undisclosed illness.

A self-taught musician, he began his career in 1959 as a member of American rock n' roll pioneer Bill Black's band. He toured the world with Black and later had a successful career in the house bands at Hi Records and American Studios, which were considered two of the biggest labels in the 1960s and 1970s.

He frequently teamed up with Willie Nelson for sessions and performed with the country music legend's supergroup The Highwaymen, which also featured Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

As a songwriter, Emmons penned such tracks as Jennings' Wurlitzer Prize, Tanya Tucker and George Strait's So Much Like My Dad, and multiple tunes for B.J. Thomas.

Among his many accolades, Emmons was nominated for three Grammy Awards, and honoured by the Nashville Songwriters Association International for his career contributions to music.