Seventeen Triple Play writers received the CMA’s coveted Triple Play Award at the organization’s Annual luncheon hosted again by Troy Tomlinson, Pres./CEO Sony/ATV Music Nashville and CMA Board member.
Ashley Gorley received three Triple Play Awards signifying nine #1 songs in 12 months and marking the first time any writer earned three trophies in one year. Gorley has now received a total of seven TP awards. Ross Copperman, Chris DeStefano and Shane McAnally each received two honors bringing their career totals to two, three and four, respectively.
The following sampling of acceptance speeches were heartfelt and offer insight to the character of these writers whose songs are the bricks that build country music.
Here’s what they had to say when asked to step up to the mic…
Tyler Hubbard: It’s a true honor as an artist to be a triple play winner and be able to call yourself a songwriter. This is what FGL moved to Nashville to do and our dreams are coming true every day. I want to thank Cole and Jason for each believing in a song we wrote and taking it to the top. Thanks to all the people here that made that happen as well. On behalf of BK and myself we love you guys. Thanks for accepting us and letting us do what we love. Hopefully we can get up here again. (“Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Sun Daze”)
Luke Laird: It’s such an honor to be part of this community. I was talking to Ashley Gorley earlier and he said can you believe us all getting three number ones in a year? And I was thinking, “You had about nine this year, so how do you do that?” The writers that have been up here are friends and we all write together. Sure it’s competitive because we are trying to get on the same records, but what makes Nashville so unique is the community and that Nashville, Music Row vibe. I want to thank all my people at Creative Nation, Beth and all the artists that recorded the songs and the co-writers. I also have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because I know that without a creator there is no creativity… (“American Kids,” “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Talladega”)
…these writers whose songs are the bricks that build country music.
Ashley Gorley (3 awards): Thank you guys. Not to sound like a broken record, everybody today has been bragging on the community and our friends,. but just thank God for Nashville and for CMA giving us an honor like this. Thanks to ASCAP and my publishers Warner Chappell and Combustion music—Ben Vaughan and Chris Farrell—and everybody who is here, that champions and cheerleads for us and makes us feel like all our songs are awesome even when sometimes they’re not. I’m way too ADD to write songs by myself or sit at the piano for too long if I didn’t have other people in the room shaking it up and creating the vibe. And like Ross and Shane and others have said it’s amazing to get to work together all day and have that as part of our gig. The guys that have been up here, they write songs that blow me away. Constantly I listen and think, “Why wasn’t I in the room for that? How come I can’t write like that?” The motivation that we give each other is amazing, so again thanks to everyone… (“Play It Again,” “Yeah,” “I See You,” “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Don’t It,” “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “Kick The Dust Up,” “Young & Crazy,” “Nothin’ Like You”)
Josh Osborne: First I want to clear something up that was misunderstood. I think Ashley was saying from his point of view, “How do you only write three number one songs in a year?” [crowd laughs] It was always a dream of mine to get one of these which I did last year for the first time. And today it’s still very gratifying. I’d like to thank my wife Toni, my publisher Smack and my other publishing family Black River. I’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of really great people and write with most of the people that have been up here today. Every generation is probably predisposed to think their music is the best but I feel so fortunate to be alive and writing songs at this time with this group of people. I can’t speak to what is best because it is all opinion, but I can’t imagine a harder working group of people than the group of songwriters here today. So thank you all and thanks CMA. (“Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Wild Child”)
Hillary Lindsey: Hey y’all this is such an honor. I had a baby about a month ago and so it feels crazy to be up here and out of the house. I don’t even know how to speak to anybody over the age of four weeks right now, but I just love writing and writing with all of you all so much. We all have such a deep deep core of love for music and I’m so thankful we get to share it with each other daily. Thanks to BMG for believing in me and slinging the songs and thanks to Cary Barlowe for changing the diapers. (“Shotgun Rider,” “Girl Crush,” “Little Toy Guns”)
Shane McAnally (2 awards): First I have to say I’m disappointed in you guys [CMA] for not taking a chance and putting “Girl Crush” as one of the songs the kids had to describe. [crowd laughed.] (Before each songwriter came up to get their award CMA played video of young school kids guessing, based mostly just on hearing the title, what one of the writer’s songs were about.) Thank God songs like “Girl Crush” are still getting written and recorded because it makes us all better. I remember thinking, how in the world could you write three No. 1 songs in a year? And then when I finally got my first Triple Play I saw some people had doubles. Now today I’ve finally got a double and there’s Ashley Gorley—with three. [laughs] We have an incredible team at Smack. It blows my mind that this tiny company has 5 Triple Play awards today. All the hard working people in this room live and breath this and it makes me emotional because the writers in this town—even those that don’t have any awards yet—are working their asses off for the song. And that happens only in Nashville. Thanks to the CMA and Kobalt for always building us up and championing this team. (“American Kids,” “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Say You Do,” “Wild Child,” “Young & Crazy”)
Ross Copperman (2 awards): I’m so grateful to everyone in this room for everything you do for us. I’m a lucky guy that my wife has not left me yet because I work way too much. The group of writers in this room are enjoying a special time. We work together, we’re friends and we cheer each other on. Thanks to the CMA for helping us raise our heads and recognize the moment because usually we are always thinking about the next thing. Like the Kerouac quote says, for giving us a moment to “suck this in.” (“Beat Of The Music,” “Don’t It,” “Smoke,” “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Strip It Down,” “Lose My Mind”)
Chris DeStefano (2 awards): This is all so much bigger than me. Heartfelt thanks to my co-writers. Imagine, the best writers in the world are also my best friends and the ones I get to spend my days with. Can’t underline it enough how fortunate I feel to be a part of this community. I started coming here about 5 years ago, after spending a lot of time in LA. I still love LA, but coming to Nashville and becoming best friends with such amazing people is a perspective for which I’ll always be so grateful. A huge thanks to my publisher Sony/ATV and Josh Van Valkenburg for championing me since day one. I got off the plane, went to a write and that evening we were at Station Inn watching Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers and hanging with Vince. I have all the best memories in the world here. So thank you to CMA for this incredible honor and the teams of people that made this moment possible. (“Rewind,” “Something In The Water,” “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Little Toy Guns,” “Kick The Dust Up,” “Smoke Break”)
Additional TPA Winners
Rhett Akins: “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “Young & Crazy”
Zach Crowell: “Where It’s At,” “House Party,” “Hell Of A Night”
Sam Hunt: “We Are Tonight,” “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time”
Jaren Johnston: “Beachin’,” “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Raise ‘Em Up”
Brian Kelley: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Sun Daze”
Matthew Ramsey: “Say You Do,” “Save It For A Rainy Day,” “Break Up With Him”
Trevor Rosen: “Say You Do,” “Sangria,” “Break Up With Him”
Brad Tursi: “A Guy Walks Into A Bar,” “Save It For A Rainy Day,” “Break Up With Him”
Brett James: “I Hold On,” “Bottoms Up,” “Something In The Water”