It’s been nearly a month since beloved country songwriter Kyle Jacobs died on Feb. 17, 2023, and country duo Thompson Square are still in disbelief.

"That was devastating," Thompson Square's Keifer Thompson tells Taste of Country in a recent interview, speaking about the loss of a man who many in the community called a friend. Jacobs was known for penning Garth Brooks’ “More Than a Memory” and Tim McGraw’s “Still," among hundreds of others.

“You know, he's my age and a very, very close friend," continues Keifer. Jacobs died by suicide in the home he shared with wife Kellie Pickler. "Those things will make you look at your life, and if there's anything in the way that's going to block your happiness, you need to figure out a way to get rid of it."

Getting priorities in order has been a must for Thompson Square in recent years — the husband-wife country duo have spoken more than once about their decision to focus more of their attention on their 7-year-old son, Cooper, while also partnering with a new label they say sees their professional vision in a whole new way.

"This business will consume you completely," explains the duo's Shawna Thompson. “After you lose a parent or someone special to you, you realize how short life is."

"We just wanted to just take a minute, you know?" she adds after a pause.

So, they did. Thompson Square's new single “Without You" is their first song in awhile to go to country radio. Now they're hard at work on a new album, which would be the first since their independent release of Masterpiece in 2018.

And while there is much to be excited about, there remains sadness in their voices when they speak of the passing of their friend.

"It’s just been a really sad moment," remarks Keifer. "I mean, we're just trying to be happy. We're trying to create and get back out there."

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