Keith Urban Celebrates 20th No. 1 Hit, “Break On Me”
If it all starts with a song, why not start a No. 1 party with one too?
Label executives, publishers, songwriters and various industry members gathered at Jack White’s quirky, colorful Third Man Records in Nashville on Monday (Aug. 22) to celebrate Keith Urban’s 20th No. 1 hit, “Break On Me.”
Urban, flanked by “Break On Me” songwriters Jon Nite and Ross Copperman, as well as producer Nathan Chapman, jumpstarted the party with an acoustic rendition, with Urban, Nite and Copperman trading off lines throughout.
UMG Nashville Sr. VP, Promotion Royce Risser noted that “Break On Me” is not only a multi-week No. 1 song, but it marks Urban’s 36th consecutive Top 10, “which is the most of any country artist ever,” said Risser. “That makes Keith the most consistent hit-maker in our format, no question about it. No. 1 hits don’t come easy. In the case with Keith, it’s always a labor of love. It’s always fun. These No. 1s are the culmination of everyone’s work. I am very proud and I know we all at UMG are proud to work with artists like Keith. Someday we will be telling our grandchildren that we worked alongside one of the greatest men and artists in this format.”
ASCAP’s Beth Brinker paid tribute to Jon Nite, who was celebrating his sixth chart-topping song. Nite’s previous chart-toppers include Jake Owen’s “Beachin’,” Urban and Miranda Lambert’s “We Were Us,” Luke Bryan’s “Strip It Down,” and more.
BMI’s Leslie Roberts feted Urban and Copperman, who celebrated his 10th No. 1 song. Copperman’s previous No. 1 singles include Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and Brett Eldredge’s “Drunk On Your Love,” “Beat Of The Music,” and “Lose My Mind.”
Publishers for “Break On Me” include EMI Blackwood Music, EMI April Music, Jon Mark Nite Music, and Songs By Red Room. CRB’s Bill Mayne and CMA’s Brandi Simms also offered their praise to the songwriters. First Tennessee Bank and Avenue Bank were on hand to support the writers, with Avenue Bank’s Cooper Samuels announcing a donation to Thistle Farms on behalf of the songwriters.
Copperman recalled first writing with Nite in 2008, at the suggestion of Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s Josh Van Valkenburg and his wife Jenny. “I always looked at our sessions as ‘therapy sessions’ because we would talk about our pasts, our messed-up families, our lives, our father issues,” Copperman quipped, noting that the duo has penned nearly 100 songs that haven’t been cut. “So this song is so special to be me, because it’s the first two-way written song that Jon and I have had recorded. Then having an artist like Keith hear this and want to put his voice on it…”
Nite brought several in the room to tears when he recalled drawing inspiration for “Break On Me” from sending his daughter off to college. “I want to thank my wife and daughter and little boy for trying to make me a better person. Thank you Ashley for hating your dorm so much. I wanted to bring you back to our house so badly, but you have to grow up. I hope it means something to everybody like it does to me. I think about you every time I play it.”
He also thanked Copperman for taking a chance on the song. “Thank you Ross for writing such a sweet, sissy song with me. And for Keith for making it not sissy with your awesome voice.”
“It’s so not a sissy song, guys,” Urban was quick to reply. “I’ve been really lucky and blessed to cut some songs that have been really from the heart. I felt that way when I heard ‘You’ll Think Of Me.’ I felt that way when I heard ‘Making Memories of Us,’ and when I heard this song it felt like it was cut from that cloth.
“[Nashville is] a very smart town. Everyone can rhyme words and be really clever with lyrics, but for me there are certain songs that resonate in a different way because they come from a place of truth. This song for me had that place of truth in it. It was swimming in it. I wanted to do this song justice because I feel like I’ve been on both sides of this song. I’ve definitely had people be that rock for me and I’ve been fortunate enough to be that rock for others as well, so I relate to the song so strongly.”
Urban ended by giving a shout-out to producer Chapman and to “Break On Me” bassist Tal Wilkenfeld. “It was her idea to do the opening bass line you hear in the song,” said Urban. “The reason I give a shout out like that is because the musicians are incredibly creative in all of these songs, and they don’t get the props, and they certainly don’t get the royalty. I’d like to give a shout out to Tal for that cool little bass riff. “
He honored Chapman for his steadfast belief in the song. “I love working with Nathan because he either loves a song or he doesn’t. Some producers would be like, ‘Yeah, let’s cut them all,’ and he’s like, ‘I like this one, but not that one.’ He’ll pass up a song I think will be really successful if he’s not feeling it. He’ll be like, ‘I can’t do that.’ He only does stuff that he feels. That’s really a beautiful thing. God bless you for that. What a great way to be. I know that when I get into the studio, we are doing it for the right reason. He believes in it as much as I do.”
“Break On Me” is the second single from Urban’s current album Ripcord. Urban will embark on the international leg of his Ripcord tour this fall, including tour dates in Canada and Australia.
- CMA Honors Robert Deaton With Chairman’s Award - December 4, 2020
- Nashville Symphony, Nashville Musicians Association Reach Agreement - December 4, 2020
- Zach Williams’ “Chain Breaker” Is Most-Added On ‘MusicRow’ CountryBreakout Radio Chart - December 4, 2020
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!