Tim McGraw Celebrates 34th No. 1 Song

(L-R): Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore, Photo: Thien Phan

(L-R): Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore. Photo: Thien Phan.

There’s a new place to party in Nashville and Tim McGraw‘s latest No. 1 celebration was the perfect occasion yesterday (Aug. 20) to break in the Music City Tippler in Midtown’s Adelicia building.

McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care” with Taylor Swift, featuring Keith Urban on guitar, spent two weeks at the pinnacle of the chart. Written by Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren and Brett Warren, the song is McGraw’s 34th No. 1 song and second No. 1 from his Big Machine Records debut, Two Lanes of Freedom.

Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta welcomed the standing-room only crowd, revealing he had first heard about the song from Swift who told him, “I love it and I’m going to sing on that.” A video was then played for the crowd that offers a look at the evolution of the song, from an idea in the writers’ room to finding its place at the top of the charts. Interviews from the songwriters (including Kear who was out of the country and unable to attend the festivities), Urban and Swift, as well as industry leaders, were featured in the video. Also on hand to celebrate were BMI’s Jody Williams, Sony/ATV’s Troy Tomlinson and producer Byron Gallimore.

(L-R): McGraw, Urban, Photo Rick Diamond/Getty

Pictured (L-R): McGraw, Urban. Photo Rick Diamond/Getty

McGraw thanked the industry for the song’s success, including the song’s producer Byron Gallimore. He gave nods to the songwriters, stating, “This town revolves around songwriters,” and calling the tunesmiths “modern day poets.” He told guests this is the kind of song, “you don’t have to think, ‘let me listen to this again’.” Being a big fan of Urban and Swift, McGraw acknowledged how Urban, who was on hand for the celebration, has put a spotlight on Nashville, saying we all owe him a debt of gratitude. Regarding Swift’s performance of the song, McGraw confessed, “It was a big deal for her to sing on this song,” and called her a “spectacular songwriter.”

Songwriter Irwin celebrated his second No. 1 (his first being “Here In The Real World” released by Alan Jackson in 1990). Referring to Kear, Irwin said, “A songwriter couldn’t ask for a better co-writer.” He called being in the same writing room with the Warren brothers “inspirational.”

Celebrating their third No. 1, Brad and Brett Warren took the stage and as usual, quickly stole the show, garnering laughs from the packed room of friends, industry and press; but even among the quips, it was evident Brett and Brad were sincerely grateful and humbled by the song’s success.

Lucky attendees didn’t leave empty handed. Everyone received McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom, Accelerated Deluxe vinyl edition as they left the festivities.

Pictured (L-R): Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta, co-writers Brett and Brad Warren, Tim McGraw, Sony ATV Music Publishing’s Troy Tomlinson, Keith Urban, BMI’s Jody Williams, co-writer Mark Irwin and producer Byron Gallimore. Photos by Rick Diamond.

Pictured (L-R): Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta, co-writers Brett and Brad Warren, Tim McGraw, Sony ATV Music Publishing’s Troy Tomlinson, Keith Urban, BMI’s Jody Williams, co-writer Mark Irwin and producer Byron Gallimore. Photos by Rick Diamond.

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