American Musician and SteelDrivers Founding Member Mike Henderson Dies at 70.
Mike Henderson Dies at 70
The somber announcement of Mike Henderson‘s passing was officially confirmed by his former bandmates from the SteelDrivers in a heartfelt Facebook post.
In this touching statement shared on their Facebook page, the group, a celebrated bluegrass band, conveyed the heart-wrenching news of their co-founder, Mike Henderson’s, departure. The band members poured out their deep grief over losing a musical visionary who left an indelible mark on their lives and careers.
The statement begins by recalling the pivotal phone call from Henderson that marked the inception of the band, reflecting on the journey that led them to this moment.
“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, 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.”
The statement carries on,
“When I arrived that Sunday evening, I met Chris, Mike Fleming, and I had known Richard Bailey since I was a teenager. What started as a casual jam changed the course of my life.”
The statement further goes on,
“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! So all The SteelDrivers, past and present, are in shock today as we have lost our original architect…we send our heartfelt condolences to Janet, Lauren, and Shannon. Hendo, we will see you again where rainbows never die.”
The band has not disclosed the cause of his passing, and it remains unconfirmed at this time.
Mike Henderson’s legacy as a founding member of SteelDrivers is punctuated by his impressive musical achievements, boasting one Grammy win and four Grammy nominations.
Henderson’s musical journey was truly extraordinary, characterized by his Grammy-awarded songwriting prowess and exceptional skill as a mandolin virtuoso. His collaboration with fellow SteelDrivers bandmate Chris Stapleton resulted in their Grammy-winning work on “Broken Halos,” a song that earned them the coveted title of Best Country Song at the Grammy Awards.
“Broken Halos” also marked a significant milestone in Stapleton’s career, as it became his very first Number One country hit in 2017, setting the stage for their remarkable journey as songwriters. Their creative partnership continued to flourish, giving rise to chart-toppers like “Starting Over,” the title track of Stapleton’s 2020 album. Henderson and Stapleton’s collaboration also gifted fans beloved classics, including “Death Row” and “Midnight Train to Memphis,” a gem initially recorded by the SteelDrivers.
In 2006, Mike Henderson orchestrated the formation of the SteelDrivers, an electrifying bluegrass ensemble, featuring Chris Stapleton as the vocalist. Together with the talents of Tammy Rogers on fiddle, Mike Fleming on bass, and Richard Bailey on banjo, they burst onto the bluegrass scene with a whirlwind of energy. Their self-titled debut album in 2008 garnered critical acclaim, and in 2009, they were honored as the New Artist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Their second album, “Reckless,” released in 2010, achieved the remarkable feat of earning a Grammy nomination in the Best Bluegrass Album category. Notably, their artistic influence extended beyond the bluegrass realm, as even the global sensation Adele paid homage to their work. She recorded “If It Hadn’t Been for Love,” written by Henderson and Stapleton, for the deluxe edition of her iconic album “21.”
In 2010, Chris Stapleton made the decision to part ways with the band in pursuit of a solo career, and a year later, Mike Henderson followed suit. Despite these departures, the SteelDrivers persevered, with dedicated members like Tammy Rogers and Mike Fleming at the helm.
Mike Henderson’s lasting legacy as a mandolin virtuoso and his pivotal role in shaping the bluegrass genre continue to resonate profoundly with music enthusiasts worldwide. His creative collaborations and exceptional musicianship have left an indelible imprint on the modern music landscape.