When Chris Young spent multiple weeks at No. 1 with “The Man I Want To Be,” he had the perfect reason to throw a party.
Even better, he found the perfect time, celebrating the feat with songwriters Brett James and Tim Nichols at the Tin Roof in Nashville on Thursday, the first day of wall-to-wall concerts during the CMA Music Festival. Chris made the most of it. Not only did he perform a few of his own songs for the party, hosted by RCA and BMI, but he also brought up classic-country singer Gene Watson for a rendition of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried.”
“The Man I Want To Be” repeated the success of Chris’ previous release, “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” which also topped all the other singles on the national chart. The long-term significance of that accomplishment is not lost on him.
“If not anything else,” Chris said, “there’s no way I’ll ever be a one-hit wonder, and there’s no way I’ll ever only have one No. 1. So I mean, getting stuff like that out of the way is really cool. It sounds like it’s not that big a deal… but bein’ able to go, ‘Yeah, we’ve got these two No. 1 records’ when people ask me 20 years down the road, ‘What do you have that I would know?’ I love that question. I can look at ‘em and go, ‘I’ve got these two No. 1 records.’”
Particularly impressive is that Chris got both No. 1s before his 25th birthday, which comes on Saturday. By getting a hit, he’s made one of the goals he’d laid out for himself by the time he reached that age.
“Would I admit [it was a goal] if it hadn’t happened? Probably not,” he conceded. “It would’ve been the goal for 30, but it definitely was a goal.”
The No. 1 party is just one event on a very tight schedule for Chris. He took part Wednesday in the GAC Kick-Off Breakfast at the Country Music Hall of Fame. He’s also hosting a fan club party at the Nashville Palace on his birthday, he’s signing autographs at the exhibit hall all day on Sunday, and he performs on the Riverfront Stage Friday. Joining him in the lineup are Gretchen Wilson, Craig Morgan, the Eli Young Band, Sawyer Brown, Patty Loveless and Jack Ingram, among others.