Andrew Dorff, a well-known and awarded country songwriter, has died.

Dorff was 40 years old; per a post on Instagram from Universal Music Publishing Group, he had just celebrated his birthday on Dec. 16. The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) reported the sad news of Dorff's death via Facebook early Tuesday (Dec. 20) morning.

“Our songwriting community is small and close, and this loss will hurt us all deeply," says NSAI President Lee Thomas Miller in a statement. "Andrew was a good man and a good friend. He was an elite songwriter at the peak of his life and career.

"Our sincerest prayers go out to his family," Miller's statement continues. "May we all hug each other a little tighter this week and remember that life is fragile."

A writer with Universal Music Publishing Group, Dorff was originally from Los Angeles, but visited Nashville often throughout his life, as his father is Stephen "Steve" Dorff Sr., the award-winning songwriter behind tunes such as George Strait's "I Cross My Heart." His brother is actor Stephen Dorff.

Andrew Dorff spent a decade in LA writing and touring as an artist himself, then moved to Nashville in 2003 to focus on songwriting full-time. His best-known songs include Blake Shelton's "My Eyes" and "Neon Light;" Kenny Chesney's "Save It for a Rainy Day" and Hunter Hayes' "Somebody's Heartbreak" -- all No. 1 songs.

“I’ve been fortunate the artists that have cut my songs are some of the great artists,” Dorff recently told MusicRow. “So those songs are going to live on.”

In a statement, Universal Music Publishing Group calls Dorff "a man with a heart of gold and an unparalleled talent for songwriting."

"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 ...," the statement continues. "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 ..."

The Tennessean reports that Dorff died on Monday (Dec. 19), though further details about his death were not available. Information about remembrance services is also not available.

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