No. 1 Party: Lee Brice’s ‘Hard To Love’

(L-R): Founder and Chairman of Curb Records Mike Curb, CMA Senior Manager of Membership and Balloting Brandi Simms, songwriter Billy Montana, Curb recording artist Lee Brice, CMA CEO Steve Moore, songwriters John Ozier and Ben Glover, CMA Senior Coordinator of Member Relations and Services Betsy Walker, and CMA Membership and Balloting Assistant Brenden Oliver. Photo: Christian Bottorff, CMA

Curb Records’ Lee Brice celebrated his second No. 1 single, “Hard To Love,” with songwriters Ben Glover, Billy Montana and John Ozier during a party held at the CMA offices on Tuesday (Dec. 4).

Presentations were made by CMA’s Brandi Simms, Country Radio Seminar’s Bill Mayne, Avenue Bank’s Cooper Samuels, BMI’s Bradley Collins and ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel. Drew Alexander, Director of Publishing at Curb Records, congratulated Mike Curb on the 317th No. 1 record of his career.

“Hard To Love” marks Glover’s first No. 1 country hit, though he has had considerable success in Contemporary Christian music. He was named ASCAP’s 2012 Christian Songwriter of the Year and has had 15 No. 1 Christian songs in his career. His songs have been recorded by artists including Brandon Heath, Britt Nicole and Kari Jobe, as well as Steve Holy, Trace Adkins and Gloriana. “These guys are some of my dear friends,” he said of Brice, Ozier and Montana. “That’s one of the cool things [about working as a songwriter] is working with your friends.” He later told Brice, “You hope your song gets sung by someone who can sing really well, so thank God for you.”

Brice was quick to pass on praise to the songwriters. “This day wouldn’t have happened without my buddies,” said Brice. “This party is about them.” He also thanked fiancee Sarah, saying “Thank you for letting me work so hard. I’m gone a lot and it’s hard, so thank you for being so supportive.” He also thanked the promotion team at Curb Records. Producers Kyle Jacobs and Matt McClure were among those in attendance, as well as Jacobs’ wife and recording artist Kellie Pickler.

It was the first chart-topper for Ozier, who is also Curb Records’ VP of A&R. He wrote the song on his father’s 1967 Martin guitar. Montana, marking his fourth No. 1 single, perhaps best summed up the mood, saying, “Music speaks to people. Let’s not forget that music affects their lives and that’s a beautiful thing.”

Both “Hard To Love” and Brice’s previous hit, “A Woman Like You,” are platinum-selling singles.

(back row, l-r): Curb Records’ Mike Curb; Curb Music’s Drew Alexander; producer Matt McClure; and ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel (middle row, l-r): Lee Brice; co-writers Billy Montana, John Ozier, and Ben Glover; and Ariose Music Group’s Jeremy Ash; (front row, l-r): BMI’s Bradley Collins; producer Kyle Jacobs; and Ariose Music Group’s Eddie DeGarmo. Photo: Erika Goldring



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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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