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Garth Brooks has paid tribute to late songwriter Dewayne Blackwell.
Blackwell co-wrote Brooks' 1990 smash-hit 'Friends In Low Places' with Earl Bud Lee and following Dewayne's death last week, Garth has spoken out about his late pal, crediting him with changing his life.
He told Billboard: "What we lost when we lost Dewayne Blackwell was someone who truly was a craftsman, not a settler. He would not settle. If everything lined up, it would take you five minutes to write a song; if things didn’t, it could take you five years to write a song. He was not one of those guys that would let anything pass. He did it for the sake of the song and for the sake of entertainment. He understood that.
"'Friends in Low Places,' I [sang] the demo for that. They were pitching it to [George] Strait and all I know was I did demos sometimes five, nine, a day, and this was the one I couldn’t get out of my head for months. It just kept circling back in. I never [could] believe that me as an artist would take that song on. And now I can’t imagine being the artist that I’ve got to be without that song."
Garth also praised Blackwell for helping him to develop as a songwriter.
He said: "While I [was] forming my writing habits as a young writer, [manager] Bob Doyle teamed me with Larry Bastian and Dewayne Blackwell. Both are pure rhymists, and they won’t allow a non-pure rhyme in. So the crazy thing to think about is the next time you’re hammered and you’re doing karaoke and you’re singing what could possibly be the most sung party song on the planet, know that 'Friends in Low Places' has pure rhyme 100 per cent through it. Isn’t it amazing? The song that’s probably the most slurred is a pure rhyme. That’s crazy."