So when Blake celebrated the song at a No. 1 party on Wednesday, it was only appropriate that a couple of other artist attachments came into play. The party took place at the Starstruck offices, a building owned by Reba McEntire. Reba’s husband, Narvel Blackstock, is Blake’s manager. Blake also brought along Miranda Lambert, to whom he’s newly engaged, though Miranda remained out of sight for most of the event, presumably to avoid distracting attention from the accomplishment of her future husband.
At the party, Blake picked up plaques and awards from several organizations, including the performing-rights agencies BMI and ASCAP, plus the Country Music Association, which also gave $10,000 worth of dog bones to the Nashville Humane Association in honor of “Hillbilly Bone.”
Blake wasn’t the only person honored. The songwriters, Craig Wiseman and Luke Laird, were celebrated, as was producer Scott Hendricks.
Oddly enough, the ultra-country lyrics of “Hillbilly Bone” have a rap-related back story. Luke — a mild-mannered soul who’s co-written Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name,” “Temporary Home” and “So Small” — is known to break into an alter-ego hip-hop persona known as Snow Flake, a “blue-eyed rapper dude that is just killer,” Craig says. “He was messin’ around with the verses, and the verses were very rappable.”
When the writers recorded the demo that Blake and Trace ultimately heard, Craig sang the verses just one time. And Snow Flake made an appearance to do a second version of the song.
“Luke showed up in this hoodie, man, pulls the hood up and gets there on the microphone — all you could see was just the hoodie and the microphone,” Craig recalls. The only version of the demo Craig “ever listened to was Luke rappin’ and me singin’ the choruses. So [later] I went in to hear Blake’s cut, and he was singin’ the verses. I was like, ‘Oh wow, yeah, that’s how the verses go. I forgot.’”
Craig likely will not forget Blake’s short speech at the No. 1 party. Blake spares no one on his Twitter account, and he didn’t spare the writers when he briefly addressed the crowd at Starstruck.
“To be honest with y’all, it’s tough enough to go do interviews with people like Chelsea [Handler] and talk about a song called ‘Hillbilly Bone,’” Blake deadpanned. “I been defendin’ that for a while, you know — ‘My hillbilly bone got really big’ and all that stuff that you have to hear — but then to actually stand off to the side about 20 minutes ago and hear Craig Wiseman do an interview, which I’d never heard before, about writing the song and about how he and Luke were ‘messing around’ and came up with a song called ‘Hillbilly Bone’…”
The remark generated plenty of laughter before he could even finish the sentence. He turned to Craig and Luke in sarcastic approval.
“Between y’all,” Blake smirked, “that’s awesome, man.”
In truth, Luke is getting married next month.
Blake meanwhile takes “Hillbilly Bone” on the road for a free show May 26 at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind. The concert will be filmed and recorded for release later this year.