Duet partners and pals Chris Young and Cassadee Pope saluted “Think of You” with songwriters Corey Crowder and Josh Hoge during a No. 1 party at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s rotunda on Tuesday night (Aug. 16). They were surrounded by dozens of well-wishers, family members and longtime supporters.
The gathering showed the power of teamwork. Beyond the two singers, there were three songwriters (Crowder, Hoge and Young), two record labels (RCA Nashville and Republic Nashville), three PROs (ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC) and three publishing companies (Liz Rose Music, Sony/ATV, and Warner/Chappell Music). With so much muscle behind the song, it’s not surprising to discover the single topped the chart in just 15 weeks.
“One of my favorite things about this song is having Cassadee Pope,” Young told the crowd at the beginning of his speech. “This song would not be the same thing without that voice. She is absolutely one of the most stunningly talented vocalists that I’ve ever gotten to be around, much less get to work with and tour with.”
Young, who is signed to Sony/ATV as a songwriter, insisted that duets are particularly hard to write and record. “There’s that one more extra piece that has to be correct to make the song what it’s supposed to be,” he said. “And I truly want to say thank you that we got this right. Whether you work with me, or work with Cassadee, or these two guys behind me who are two of my best friends, thank you guys so much for letting this song live and have its own space. It is incredibly, incredibly special.”
Crowder, who co-produced Young’s I’m Comin’ Over album with the singer, thanked the studio players, the studio engineer, the publishers, the label radio team, Tri Star Sports Entertainment, Dickinson Wright, ASCAP and his co-writers. Crowder is published by Liz Rose Music and Warner/Chappell Music.
He said the song idea was spurred by imagining how a breakup with his wife would affect their circle of friends. In contrast, Crowder was gracious to thank his wife, “for putting up with me and listening to all my songs, good and bad—mostly bad.” During the party, Crowder and Young accepted a plaque from RCA Nashville for a gold certification of I’m Comin’ Over.
After dryly announcing that he was going to be swimming in the 2020 Olympics, Hoge thanked SESAC, his publisher Sony/ATV, RCA Nashville and his lawyer, Kent Marcus. His mom and dad also got a shout-out.
He told the crowd, “You don’t often get to do this stuff with people that you’re actually best friends with, but we are best friends, and I’ve added a new friend, Cassadee, to this. When you can stand by these two [singers], for those of you who don’t know, there are no tricks that are done. That’s how good of singers they are. It makes our job so much more fun. Also, I’m going to finish up because we need to talk about Chris. He’s one of the top artists in the whole game in my opinion.”
BMI’s Bradley Collins presided over the event; ASCAP’s Mike Sistad and SESAC’s Shannan Hatch also took turns at the mic. Scott Ponce of Liz Rose Music, Travis Carter of Warner/Chappell Music and Hannah Williams of Sony/ATV spoke as well. Additionally, Holly Lane of Country Radio Broadcasters provided remarks about the success of the song, while Ron Cox of Avenue Bank announced a donation to the TJ Martell Foundation on behalf of the writers.
The party speeches began with Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Randy Goodman reminding the crowd that Young is an incredible “male vocalist,” a term he emphasized four times. Not to be outdone, Keith Gale, Sr. VP of RCA promotion, slipped in the same reference five more times.
Big Machine Records President and CEO Scott Borchetta and BMLG Records (formerly Republic Nashville) President Jimmy Harnen kept their remarks brief but sincere. Borchetta said that partnering Young and Pope was an easy decision, while Harnen tipped his hat to the Sony radio promotion team for reaching the pole position.
Pope’s time at the podium came early in the event. During her remarks, she said, “I remember getting the demo in January 2015 and I thought already this was an incredible song, but more importantly I thought, ‘Holy crap, the girl gets time to sing! She gets a verse, and she’s not just singing harmonies! This is an actual duet!’”
Predicting that she would get a little bit emotional, she decided to write out her thank you speech to Chris Young. Reading it aloud, she said, “You have no idea what you’ve done for me, for my spirit, my career. You chose me to sing this song with you, when I may not have been the obvious choice at that time. You’ve completely given me that resurgence I wasn’t sure I would get again. Yes, it’s been an absolute dream to sing with you. You’re one of the best singers I have ever heard, hands down, but even more importantly you’ve become one of the best friends I could ever ask for.”
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