MusicRow Awards: Breakthrough Songwriter Nominees

category 2 breakthrough songwriter headerNominees fMusicRow awards Slider2015or the 27th annual MusicRow Awards, Nashville’s longest running music industry trade publication honors, have been revealed.

The BREAKTHROUGH SONGWRITER award honors a writer who had his or her first Top 10 hit during the eligibility period (May 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015), but the nominees are hardly overnight success stories.

Michael Carter, longtime band leader for Luke Bryan, scored three No. 1 hits as a songwriter that helped him qualify for nomination. He had a hand in writing Bryan’s “Roller Coaster” and Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That.” Carter is also producer for last year’s Breakthrough Songwriter Cole Swindell, and co-writer of Swindell’s hit “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.” Swindell returns this year as a Breakthrough Artist nominee. Also garnering a cut by Swindell were rising songwriters Josh Martin and Adam Sanders who teamed with the artist to pen his latest smash “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey.”

Heather Morgan is the sole female vying for Breakthrough Songwriter honors, as a co-writer of Brett Eldredge’s No. 1 “Beat Of The Music.” Also earning their first top 10 hits during the eligibility period were Justin Weaver and Jesse Frasure, whose respective songs went all the way to No. 1. Weaver co-wrote the thumpping Brantley Gilbert hit “Bottoms Up.” After tallying album credits as a writer and producer for years, Frasure scored a charttopper with “Sun Daze” by Florida Georgia Line.

Nominees Brent Anderson and Ryan Hurd are co-writers on “Lonely Tonight,” recorded by Blake Shelton ft. Ashley Monroe, which reached No. 1 at country radio. Additionally, Hurd scored Top 10s on the MusicRow chart with “Later On” (The Swon Brothers) and “Payback” (Rascal Flatts).

Before Breakthrough Songwriter nominees Matthew Ramsey and Brad Tursi started climbing the radio charts with their band Old Dominion, they penned their first top 10 hits recorded by other artists. Ramsey co-wrote “Chainsaw,” recorded by The Band Perry, and “Say You Do,” recorded by Dierks Bentley, both of which went No. 1 on MusicRow’s chart. Tursi is in the middle of major hit with Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar.”

Award winners are voted on exclusively by Subscriber Members of MusicRow. Honors will be presented during an invitation-only ceremony at ASCAP on Tuesday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m., saluting the Breakthrough Songwriter, Breakthrough Artist, Producer of the Year, Song of the Year, and the Top Ten Album AllStar Musicians.

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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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