No. 1 Party: Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert’s “We Were Us”

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Pictured (L-R): Jon Nite, Keith Urban, Nicolle Galyon, and Jimmy Robbins.

Members of the Country music industry gathered for a lunchtime celebration for Keith Urban‘s 16th No. 1 single Monday (Aug. 25) at Nashville restaurant The Tippler. Urban recorded “We Were Us” as a duet with Miranda Lambert.

ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan and BMI’s Jody Williams were on hand to honor the song’s writers, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy Robbins, and Jon Nite. Though Galyon and Nite have celebrated No. 1 singles with other No. 1 parties in recent months, “We Were Us” is technically the first No. 1 single for both writers. It marks Robbins’ fifth chart-topper.

Though the jaunty tune featured two superstar vocalists, the song wasn’t a lock for a radio single, due to scheduling conflicts.

Urban recalled that upon hearing the song, “Miranda’s voice and face immediately came to mind.” The duo were able to record the song together in the studio. “So many times with duets, it’s like, ‘Well, send me the thing and I’ll sing it into my computer and send it back to you.’ It was so nice to be at the studio at the same time at the microphone singing it together. To me it felt really special the first time we heard it with her voice.”

Still, the song’s journey from recording to radio single was challenging. “The song went through this strange journey,” said Urban. “Trying to get the timing for singles is very complicated at the best of times. We had great support but timing was not on our side to get the single right. The discussion came up that maybe we should get another girl for the song. These poor songwriters went through a period of hell because I made the decision that I would rather have Miranda on the track and have to let it just live as an album track than put someone else on it, just to have a radio single. I’m of the belief that when a song is right, it’s right,” he said, while thanking his Capitol Nashville team, Lambert and her Sony Nashville team, and the songwriters for all making the hit happen.

Lambert couldn’t attend the celebration, but did offer her thanks to Urban and the songwriters, publishers and labels via a video message. “I’m so thrilled about this song going No.1 and I loved being a part of it. It should be celebrated and I’m thrilled to have a little piece of it,” she said.

Pictured, Seated: Jon Nite, Keith Urban, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy Robbins. Standing: UMG's Royce Risser,  Sony/ATV Tree's Josh VanValkenburg,  ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan, Producer Nathan Chapman, BMI's Jody Williams, UMG's Joe Fisher, Warner/Chappell's BJ HIll, ASCAP's Mike                  Sistad, Universal Publishing's Kent Earls, BMI's Bradley Collins and UMG's Cindy Mabe. Photo: Rick Diamond

Pictured, Seated: Jon Nite, Keith Urban, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy Robbins. Standing: UMG’s Royce Risser, Sony/ATV Tree’s Josh VanValkenburg, ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan, Producer Nathan Chapman, BMI’s Jody Williams, UMG’s Joe Fisher, Warner/Chappell’s BJ HIll, ASCAP’s Mike Sistad, Universal Publishing’s Kent Earls, BMI’s Bradley Collins and UMG’s Cindy Mabe. Photo: Rick Diamond

“A lot of people pray to have a publishing deal and very few get one who fights for you,” said Galyon, who recognized the staff at Warner/Chappell, her publishing home for the past several years. “Now we have Ben Vaughn on our team and I think everyone in this town knows he’s not afraid to be the first person to believe in something. I’m so honored to work with both of them day in and day out.” She also recognized those in publishing administration. “I get to wake up every morning and just figure out how to rhyme, because they are pushing all the paper that I don’t have to worry about, and they never get thanked. All I’ve ever wanted to do is write songs and this song has bought me the creative freedom to do that.”

Northwestern Mutual and Avenue Bank sponsored the event to celebrate the song’s success. Warner/Chappell and Avenue Bank both made donations on behalf of the songwriters to Thistle Farms.

Urban took home plenty of hardware of his own. The singer-songwriter received plaques honoring the platinum-selling success of two of his singles, “We Were Us” and “Cop Car.” “My dad said to me very early on, ‘If you can, try to work with people who you would have dinner with when there is no work to discuss.’ I feel so fortunate since I’ve moved to this town, I would have dinner with everyone that I work with when there is no work to discuss, except ‘How are you doing and how is your family?’ That is a huge blessing because this is a short life. No matter how long you live, it’s a short life—unless you are standing in line in the DMV,” he quipped.

The party ended on another high note, as Urban performed an acoustic take on the single with Galyon, Nite, and Robbins.

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About the Author

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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