Mike Henderson, SteelDrivers founder, co-writer with Chris Stapleton, dead at 70

Mike Henderson, who founded the bluegrass band The SteelDrivers and won a Grammy Award for co-writing “Broken Halos” with Chris Stapleton, died Friday, the band announced. He was 70.

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Henderson’s former bandmates in the SteelDrivers confirmed his death in a Facebook post.

“All the SteelDrivers, past and present, are in shock today as we have lost our original architect,” the band wrote.

Henderson, a Missouri native, founded The SteelDrivers with Mike Fleming and Stapleton in 2008, the Columbia Missourian reported.

He won a Grammy for co-writing “Broken Halos” in 2017 with Stapleton, his former bandmate in The SteelDrivers, according to Rolling Stone. It was Stapleton’s first country No. 1 hit.

The pair would collaborate again with “Starting Over,” the title track to Stapleton’s 2020 album, the magazine reported.

They also co-wrote “Death Row” and “Midnight Train to Memphis,” the latter of which was first recorded by The SteelDrivers, Rolling Stone reported.

“I remember the call from Mike Henderson when he just casually asked if I wanted to get together at his place on a Sunday night around 8:00 and play a little bluegrass,” the band wrote on Facebook. “Unbeknownst to me at the time, he had been writing for several years with a young man named Chris Stapleton and had the idea for a group that would maybe play once a month down at the Station Inn.

“What started as a casual jam changed the course of my life. I can’t begin to explain and share all the craziness and great times we all had together but I will say as I always have, it was all Hendo’s fault!”

Henderson moved to Nashville during the 1980s and became a staff songwriter for EMI, according to A Taste of Country. He wrote songs that were recorded by the Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Gary Allan and Patty Loveless.

RCA Nashville released his debut solo album, “Country Music Made Me Do It,” in 1994, according to the website.

The SteelDrivers’ second album, “Reckless,” in 2010, was nominated for a Grammy for best bluegrass album. Stapleton left the group in 2010 and Henderson followed suit in 2011.

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