It was three cheers for three No. 1s at the annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon with the presentation of the CMA Triple Play Awards, which honor songwriters who pen three chart-topping hits in a 12 month period.
The Triple Play Awards were presented at the Second Annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon, which was held at the Pinnacle at Symphony Place in Nashville and attended by several artist/songwriters including Dierks Bentley, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban in addition to hit tunesmiths from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, as well as songwriter members of CMA, NSAI, and representatives of some of the most successful publishers in Music City.
In alphabetical order, the recipients of CMA’s Triple Play Award included:
Rhett Akins: “Gimmie That Girl,” “All About Tonight,” “All Over Me”
Casey Beathard: “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” “Don’t Blink,” “Ready, Set, Don’t Go”
Dierks Bentley: “Feel That Fire,” “Sideways,” “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes”
Zac Brown: “Chicken Fried,” “Whatever It Is,” “Toes”
Kristian Bush: “All I Want To Do,” “Already Gone,” “It Happens
Dallas Davidson: “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “Gimmie That Girl,” “Rain is a Good Thing”
Tom Douglas: “I Run to You,” “Southern Voice,” “The House That Built Me”
Chris DuBois: “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” “Then,” “Welcome to The Future”
Wyatt Durrette: “Chicken Fried,” “Whatever It Is,” “Toes”
Ashley Gorley: “All-American Girl,” “You’re Gonna Miss This,” “Start a Band 2009″
Ashley Gorley: “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” “Then,” “American Saturday Night”
Ben Hayslip: “I’ll Just Hold On,” “Gimmie That Girl,” “All About Tonight”
Alan Jackson: “Small Town Southern Man,” “Good Time,” “Country Boy”
Brett James: “It’s America,” “Out Last Night,” “Summer Nights”
Brett James: “Cowboy Casanova,” “The Truth,” “The Man I Want To Be”
Luke Laird: “Hillbilly Bone,” “Temporary Home,” “Undo It”
Hillary Lindsey: “So Small,” “Last Name,” “Just A Dream”
Kelley Lovelace: “Online,” “All-American Girl,” “I’m Still A Guy”
Jennifer Nettles: “Stay,” “All I Want To Do,” “Already Gone”
Brad Paisley: “Online,” “Letter to Me,” “I’m Still A Guy”
Brad Paisley: “Then,” “Welcome To The Future,” “American Saturday Night”
Bobby Pinson: “All I Want To Do,” “She Never Cried In Front Of Me,” “Already Gone”
Monty Powell: “Sweet Thing,” “Kiss A Girl,” “Til Summer Comes Around”
Darius Rucker: “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” “Alright”
Stephony Smith: “How Was I To Know,” “It’s Your Love,” “Perfect Love”
Jeffrey Steele: “Love Is A Beautiful Thing,” “Everyday,” “Here”
Taylor Swift: “Should’ve Said No,” “Love Story,” “White Horse”
Carrie Underwood: “Cowboy Casanova,” “Temporary Home,” “Undo It”
Carrie Underwood: “So Small,” “All-American Girl,” “Last Name”
Keith Urban: “Sweet Thing,” “Kiss A Girl,” “Til Summer Comes Around”
You would expect these award-winning songwriters to have a lot to say. Here’s a sample:
“The first day I moved to this town, I was 19 years old. I had no problem finding where the bars were but I had no idea how to get a boot into this community or how to get started, or anything. I got a job interning at CMA to try to figure out how to even begin to get moving. So this is really cool. I don’t take for granted anything that involves CMA,” said Dierks Bentley.
“I’ve been a fan and a student of Country Music since I was a kid. To be up here and be in this room is truly a blessing. I still can’t believe I get to do this for a living,” said Wyatt Durrette.
“We get to wake up in the morning and write songs for a living. Is that the craziest thing in the world?” said Brett James.
“It’s great to be a part of Country Music. I appreciate you not kicking me out yet.I’d like to thank all the writers and artists in this room. I think I get as much inspiration currently from what’s on the radio as I did from old Country Music. I’m really proud to be a part of it these days,” said Brad Paisley.
“I got a ticket on the way here for running a red light. Three hundred yards after that, a car hit me. I actually had to get out of the car and run to this and leave Anna (Wilson, frequent collaborator) to deal with a wrecked car. So if this is a Triple Play, I hate to think of what the third thing is going to be because I have to fly in about two hours!” said Monty Powell.
“The song is what music is all about. Thank you guys for helping me write some pretty good ones,” said Darius Rucker.
“I absolutely live in awe of all the people in this room. I’ve had the time of my life knowing you over the years of writing with you. I think you guys just make other songwriters better. A lot of times I’ve gone back in my memories of when I started writing songs. I would sit there in my room and write a new song, and the first thing I would feel is, I’d feel proud of this new song. The next thing I would feel was fear because I was afraid that nobody would ever hear it. Then I was fortunate enough to meet people like Jody Williams, Troy Tomlinson, Scott Borchetta, and the team at Big Machine Records. Everyone at CMA has been so good to me. I’m very thankful that I don’t have to fear that no one is going to hear my songs anymore,” said Taylor Swift.
“To all the writers in this room, you guys have the hardest job. I can stand up there all day and sing – and I love that – but you create something out of air. And that is so amazing. I have so much respect for you. I love you guys. Thank you so much. Maybe someday I’ll consider myself one of you, but I’ve got a long way to go,” said Carrie Underwood.
“Thank you so much for this, CMA. I guess the new phrase should be ‘God bless the girls and the boys who make the noise down on 16th Avenue.’ Thank you very much,” said Keith Urban.