UMPG On Andrew Dorff: ‘A Heart of Gold and Unparalleled Talent’

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• December 20, 2016

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Universal Music Publishing Group today issued a statement about the unexpected passing of their songwriter and friend Andrew Dorff.

Today we mourn the tragic loss of prolific songwriter Andrew Dorff, a man with a heart of gold and an unparalleled talent for songwriting.

He was beloved in the Nashville community. To us, he was family and a fixture in our office and in our writers rooms. As a songwriter he was extremely gifted and dedicated to the craft. It wasn’t unusual for Andrew to have two, or even three co-writing sessions a day.

So many great Nashville artists recorded his songs including Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Cole Swindell, and The Cadillac Three. Most recently Andrew co-wrote four No. 1 country singles: by Kenny Chesney (“Save It For A Rainy Day”), two by Blake Shelton (“My Eyes” and “Neon Light”), and Hunter Hayes (“Somebody’s Heartbreak”).

Yet with all his success, Andrew remained so humble and giving. He never met a stranger, nor walked away from anyone who needed help. He was an incredible mentor to younger writers. Everybody in Nashville reminisces how Andrew always packed an extra sandwich for his co-writer each day. He never wanted anyone to go hungry.

Finally, he was a brilliant lyricist with a process that he described as staring at a highway of words streaming across the ceiling. He said he would just simply reach out and grab the ones that fit together.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Andrew Dorff. We will truly miss our friend and hold him in our hearts.

Statement from Kent Earls, EVP/General Manager, Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville: “Andrew Dorff was family to all of us at UMPG Nashville. We’re completely heartbroken and saddened. His words will forever live in song and his light will forever shine on. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve and the rest of the Dorff family.”

Statement from Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group: “I’ve known Andrew’s dad, songwriter Steve Dorff, for many years. It was Steve who introduced me to Andrew in his early 20’s. We lost him too soon. My heart sincerely goes out to his family and all the people who loved him.”

Statement from Jody Williams, BMI, VP, Writer Publisher Relations, Nashville: “The BMI Family is incredibly shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of songwriter Andrew Dorff. The Nashville music business community will miss his kind and generous spirit, his unparalleled talent, and his gift of friendship. BMI was so fortunate to be a part of his career from the very beginning. Whether swinging by our office for a quick meeting or receiving an award at our annual dinner, Andrew’s presence was always a welcome one in the room. He will be sorely missed by our entire staff.”

Pictured (L-R): Front Row: BMI’s Phil Graham and Jody Williams, BMI songwriter Andrew Dorff, Universal Music Publishing’s Kent Earls. Back Row: BMI’s Bradley Collins, business manager Anna Marsh, Universal Music Publishing’s Cindi Forman, Missy Roberts, BMI Songwriter Steve Dorff, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, Universal Music Publishing’s Travis Gordon and Ron Stuve. Photo: Steve Lowry

Andrew Dorff and his team in July 2016 at Park Cafe, when he was honored with four BMI Million-Air Awards. Pictured (L-R): Front Row: BMI’s Phil Graham and Jody Williams, BMI songwriter Andrew Dorff, Universal Music Publishing’s Kent Earls. Back Row: BMI’s Bradley Collins, business manager Anna Marsh, Universal Music Publishing’s Cyndi Forman, Missy Roberts, BMI Songwriter Steve Dorff, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, Universal Music Publishing’s Travis Gordon and Ron Stuve. Photo: Steve Lowry

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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