Country singer and songwriter Ed Bruce passed away on January 8. \tHe died of natural causes in Clarksville, Tennessee at the age of 81. \tOne of his most enduring songs, "Mammas Don\u2019t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," rocketed him to fame while his songs helped other artists gain top hits in the genre. Country singer-songwriter Ed Bruce died on January 8. At the age of 81, he died of natural causes in Clarksville, Tennessee, with news of his passing shared by his publicist. One of his earliest and most enduring hits came from the song he penned, "Mammas Don\u2019t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." Bruce's career spanned over six decades in the music and entertainment industry where he worked as a singer, musician, songwriter, and actor. In 2018, the University of Little Rock honored the Arkansas native with the Arkansas Country Music Award for "Lifetime Achievement." The start of a successful journey for Ed Bruce Ed Bruce was a singer, songwriter, actor, and helpful mentor \/ Everett Collection Born on December 29, 1939, Ed Bruce called both Arkansas and Tennessee home in different ways. Born in one state and raised in another, Bruce was just 17 when he went to see Sun Records recording engineer Jack Clement. With this sense of initiative, he started his country music career as a teen with a bang. RELATED: Willie Nelson And Paul Simon Hope To Save Texas Hill Country During the early years of his Bruce's career, he composed and recorded songs that gained some traction. However, they really enjoyed popularity after others rerecorded them. The late '70s proved especially fruitful for his career when he recorded "Mamas Don\u2019t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." It became his first to make it into the Top 20s listings among country charts. He and then-wife Patsy Bruce warn mothers that, should they let their sons become cowboys, their boys will live hard, marauding lives. Mourning an icon https:\/\/twitter.com\/TraceAdkins\/status\/1347730298855858176 As Yahoo! Entertainment notes, "Mamas Don\u2019t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys finally gave Ed Bruce national regard. From then on, he also helped other artists score successes of their own. Prominently, he gave Tanya Tucker a second hit courtesy of Bruce with "\u201cTexas (When I Die)." Before then, she'd landed a Top Five song with \u201cThe Man That Turned My Mama On." https:\/\/twitter.com\/blakeshelton\/status\/1347672155975245824 Bruce teamed up with James Garner on TV for a Bret Maverick revival. He also hosted shows such as Truckin\u2019 USA and American Sports Cavalcade. With such a sprawling impact, it's no wonder many now mourn the passing of such an icon. Trace Adkins writes, "It was an honor to perform on stage with Ed Bruce. The memories of sitting in the living room with him and a couple of guitars are priceless. I appreciate his counsel and encouragement. My heartfelt condolences to his family. Thanks, Ed." Blake Shelton honored him with, "Just hearing that Ed Bruce passed away\u2026 What a stand alone voice he had. He\u2019ll be remembered for his many talents including acting and maybe most important his songwriting\u2026 Rest In Peace cowboy..."