On this evening, Morris and company were celebrating her first solo No. 1 single, “I Could Use A Love Song.”
“I remember three or four years ago coming to the No.1 party for Little Big Town’s ‘Tornado’” recalled Morris, a BMI songwriter. “I was standing at the back at BMI and just thinking, ‘I want to have that validation someday. I want to be making a speech like this and Jody Williams always assured me that I would someday.”
She also thanked her co-writers Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz, as well as longtime champions, Big Yellow Dog Music’s Carla Wallace, and her manager Janet Weir.
“Carla, you were one of the first people to sit me down and forcefully say, ‘You are an artist. You’re not just a writer. Stop saying you are just a writer, cause that’s not true. I remember really needing that fire under my a**. Janet, thank you for getting so excited with me about my demos. I feel like I can talk to you about anything and you are right there with me. You inspire me every day to be the example to someone, that you don’t need to be a b**ch to get things done.
“This is the speech I’ve wanted to make for so long,” she continued, tearing up before thanking her husband-to-be, fellow artist Ryan Hurd. “Ryan, I really could have used a love song years ago and every day you give that to me. I can’t wait to marry you next month.”
“I Could Use A Love Song,” which has also been certified Gold, is the third single from Morris’ debut album on Columbia Nashville.
“No matter how long of a career I get, this will always be one of the most important ones I’ve been a part of,” said ASCAP writer Jimmy Robbins. “You are two of my favorite people in the world.” He also gave thanks to busbee, Weir, as well as to Round Hill and Columbia Nashville, and to his wife Sarah Robbins.
“She was still working at Big Yellow Dog when this song happened, and it was because of her that the session happened. You are everything. You are amazing. The biggest gift ever was that this song went No.1 the week our first baby was born. So I felt like it was God saying, ‘You know, Sarah, you are awesome.’”BMI writer Laura Veltz was moved to tears, saying, “This is a very meaningful day. These two people are my community. I moved to Nashville 10 years ago…I’m so thankful for Nashville and I love this community of people so much.”
Among those celebrating were Big Yellow Dog’s Carla Wallace, Big Machine Music’s Mike Molinar, Round Hill Music’s Sarah Robbins and Mark Brown, Sony Music Nashville’s Randy Goodman and Shane Allen, and Morris’ co-producer on the track busbee.
Others who were on hand to celebrate include MusicRow Magazine’s Sherod Robertson, CMA’s Brandi Simms, and Country Aircheck’s Lon Helton, who noted that Morris is a rare artist to have earned Grammy, CMA, and ACM Awards, all before notching her first solo No. 1 song. Pinnacle Bank was also a partner at the No. 1 party.
“What’s going on with Sony Music Nashville now, in the past three years was defined in such a huge part by you Maren and you Janet,” Sony’s Randy Goodman said. “You have redefined the legacy of these great imprints, of Columbia and brought a new sense of purpose and focus for us and you chose to plant your flag with us and we will never, ever forget that. It has defined who we are and the success that we are having. We are very, very proud of that.
“Your decision to come with us and be with us meant the world. It changed our dynamic, it changed our culture, it changed our future and I can’t tell you how much that means and Janet you are part of that as well. Thank you for believing in us. That has meant the world.”
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