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Hit Songwriter Tim Johnson Dead Following Battle With Cancer

Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson is behind the lyrics to some of the most powerful country music songs written over the last two decades. The songwriter had over 100 of his songs cut on major label records, and was a cherished father, husband and friend to many in the Nashville community. Johnson died Sunday morning (Oct. 21) after a long battle with cancer.

Johnson’s credit’s include ‘I Let her Lie,’ a 1995 hit for Daryle Singletary, ‘God Only Cries,’ a 2006 single for Diamond Rio, and more recently, Jimmy Wayne‘s ‘Do You Believe Me Now’ and Kellie Pickler‘s ‘Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.’

“Prayers for Tim Johnson’s kids & wife,” Wayne said on Twitter on Sunday. “Tim wrote the lyrics to ‘Do you believe me now.’ He passed at 1:30 this am.”

Nashville songwriters were among the many Johnson touched during his life, both before and after he was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer in 2010. Joey and Rory also wrote of his passing, saying “I lost one of my best friends today — and the world lost one of the greatest songwriters of all time…Tim Johnson.”

Blaine Larsen penned an extended tribute to Johnson on his Facebook page. He credits Johnson with discovering him and nurturing his talent at a young age. “He was also one of the funniest, most caring, selfless people I knew,” Larsen assures. “Anybody who knew him has got many ‘Tim’ stories!”

In addition to being a successful songwriter, Johnson was a board member for the Nashville Songwriters Association International and the founder of the Song Trust along with Joey and Rory’s Rory Feek and Jeff Skillen. Their goal was to make songs the star.

“The song is king,” Johnson said in 2009. “It’s about the music. We’re trying to create product and also help some new artists that maybe the labels have turned their backs on.”

According to trade publication, funeral arrangements for Johnson have not been announced. He is survived by his wife and two kids.

Next: See More Country Greats We've Lost in 2012

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