Charlie Black, Writer of Reba McEntire’s ‘You Lie’ and Countless Country Hits, Dead at 71

by Evan Reier
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The man behind so many classic 1980s and 1990s country songs, Charlie Black, has passed away at the age of 71.

The death was reported by The Tennessean, who received confirmation from Nashville Songwriters Association International. Per the report, he died on Friday, April 23.

The career of Charlie Black spans several decades and eras. From the legends of outlaw country to neo-traditionalists to popular country of the 1990s.

Firstly, he began his songwriting career after trading Maryland for Tennessee. He moved to Nashville in 1970, and began a five-decade songwriting career. Finding early success with Tommy Overstreet then led to work with Johnny Paycheck, Gary Morris and Anne Murray.

His songwriting credits also earned him several plaudits. Most notably, his work with Murray earned him a Grammy Award for “A Little Good News” in 1983.

Further, his other credits included work for George Strait, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire.

His writing with McEntire led to “You Lie” in 1990, of her No. 1 hits. In the same year, he also helped write K.T. Oslin’s smash song “Come Next Monday.”

Additionally, he continued to be a prevalent writer deep into the 1990s. On Alan Jackson’s 1998 album High Mileage, Black has writing credits on the project’s only No. 1 hit, “Right on the Money.”

When asked about his career in songwriting, Charlie Black was especially grateful. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame included a quote on his biography page expressing that.

“Turns out songwriting is the best job around,” Black said. “You just can’t beat hearing your words and music on the radio, or going #1 or staying #1.”

He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.

He is survived by his by his wife and fellow songwriter Dana Hunt.

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