No. 1 Party: ‘Hometown’ Throwdown

BMI hosted a celebration honoring Eric Church's most recent #1 hit single "Give Me Back My Hometown" amongst music industry VIPs at their Nashville office yesterday afternoon. Co-written by Church and Luke Laird, "Give Me Back My Hometown" is from Church's critically acclaimed fourth studio album, The Outsiders, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 and Top Country Albums charts. The song is the fifteenth #1 hit for BMI's 2012 Songwriter of the Year Luke Laird, and the third #1 for Eric Church. Pictured (l-r): BMI's Bradley Collins, Q Prime's John Peets, Songs of Universal's Kent Earls, Creative Nation's Beth Laird, Luke Laird, Eric Church, Longer and Louder Music's Arturo Buenahora, BMI's Jody Williams, Sony / ATV Tree Publishing's Troy Tomlinson, Universal Music Group's Mike Dungan. Photo credit: Ed Rode

BMI hosted a celebration honoring Eric Church’s most recent No. 1 single “Give Me Back My Hometown,” co-written by Church and Luke Laird. Pictured (l-r): BMI’s Bradley Collins, Q Prime’s John Peets, Songs of Universal’s Kent Earls, Creative Nation’s Beth Laird, Luke Laird, Eric Church, Longer and Louder Music’s Arturo Buenahora, BMI’s Jody Williams, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing’s Troy Tomlinson, Universal Music Group’s Mike Dungan. Photo: Ed Rode

When Luke Laird and Eric Church wrote the lyric “my friends try to cheer me up, get together at the Pizza Hut,” in “Give Me Back My Hometown,” they weren’t just trying to connect with listeners in Everytown, USA (although they did that too). Turns out Pizza Hut is one of Laird’s favorite places. His grandmother used to take him there when he returned home to Pennsylvania. So at yesterday’s (July 1) No. 1 party for “…Hometown” Laird’s wife and Creative Nation partner, Beth, handed out Pizza Hut gift cards to the team behind the song’s success, so they could celebrate “Luke Laird style.”

This was the first of many tributes to Laird’s and Church’s homegrown authenticity during the event in BMI’s lobby.

Thinking outside the (pizza) box, Beth also presented the writers with unique, handcrafted wooden plaques, carved in the shape of their respective homestates.

“…Hometown” marks Creative Nation’s third No. 1 and Luke Laird’s fifteenth. In between writing smash hits, he is also producing Native Run, Thomas Rhett and Kacey Musgraves’ next album.

Among those on hand to toast the songwriters were UMPG’s Kent Earls, who said, “Eric’s artistry never waivers.”

UMGN’s Mike Dungan saluted Church’s unconventionality. “When you boil it down, Eric is a songwriter,” he said. “A damn good songwriter.” Indeed, it Church’s third No. 1.

Also giving tributes were Sony/ATV’s Troy Tomlinson, and Little Louder Music’s Arturo Buenahora. This is the first No. 1 for Little Louder, the company founded by Buenahora, and Church, who celebrated “Eric Church style,” by wearing his sunglasses.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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