Industry Celebrates Brantley Gilbert’s “Country Wide” No. 1

(L-R): Jon Freeman, Brantley Gilbert, Scott Borchetta and George Briner. Photo: Caitlin Rantala

Tuesday night (1/17), music industry professionals joined the Valory Music Co. in congratulating Brantley Gilbert on his first no. 1 hit as an artist, “Country Must Be Country Wide.” The party gathered at Cabana in Nashville, where Gilbert and the single’s songwriters Colt Ford and Mike Dekle were honored.

BMI’s Clay Bradley shared that each time he hears the chorus “In every state, there’s a station / Playing Cash, Hank, Willie and Waylon,” he gets, what he referred to as, the “Music City measles,” causing the hair on the back of his neck to rise. ASCAP’s Marc Driskill and Big Machine Label Group Pres./CEO Scott Borchetta also shared Bradley’s enthusiasm for the song, as they each handed out their congratulatory plaques.

MusicRow also presented the country singer with a no. 1 plaque. Jon Freeman, managing editor and chart director of MusicRow did the honors, noting that “Country Must Be Country Wide” went no. 1 on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart on Oct 27, 2011.

Dekle, Ford and Gilbert each shared their gratitude with the crowd.

(L-R): ASCAP’s Marc Driskill, Average ZJs Music Publishing’s Noah Gordon, producer Dann Huff, co-writers Colt Ford and Mike Dekle, Brantley Gilbert, Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corporation’s Steve Markland, and BMI’s Clay Bradley. Photo by Eric England

“I cried like you hit me with a trace train,” Dekle said, referring to the first time he heard Gilbert’s “Country Must Be Country Wide.”

Ford teared up for a moment when he was given the mic. He expressed how happy he was to see Gilbert greeted with so much success.

But Gilbert was quick to pass the credit on, pointing into the audience to single out his band members. “I’ve got the best band in world,” he said proudly of the musicians, who not only tour with him but also play on his album.

While “Country Must Be Country Wide,” produced by Dann Huff, is Gilbert’s first no. 1 as an artist, it’s not the first time his talent has been recognized. Gilbert also wrote Jason Aldean’s “My Kind Of Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” Both songs reached no. 1 status.

After the celebration, Gilbert was headed out of town with Eric Church Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour. The tour kicks off today (1/19) in Fort Smith, AR.


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