When CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Brett Young stepped to center stage at the venerable Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 10 for his first sold-out headlining show at the Nashville institution, he was checking off a dream performance that has long been on his bucket list.
“I have a top 10 list of venues I’ve always wanted to play and the Ryman is definitely in that,” Young told MusicRow the day before his headlining show. “I played Madison Square Garden with Luke [Bryan], Hollywood Bowl and Bridgestone Arena with Lady Antebellum, and The Gorge [Amphitheater] for Watershed. The only two left have been the Ryman, and Red Rocks in Colorado.”
The Ryman’s highly-praised acoustics perfectly complemented Young’s warm voice, which dripped with blue-eyed soul as he offered renditions of his four No. 1 songs from his debut album, as well as new gems from his forthcoming second BMLG Records album Ticket To L.A., due Dec. 7.
Previously, Young had only appeared at the Ryman Auditorium twice—and both of those appearances were one-song performances.
“They were both great experiences, but with the Ryman being such a bucket list item for me, they don’t count—not until I’m a headliner and it’s my name on the ticket. It’s an honor to walk on that stage at any moment, but this feels like the real rite of passage.”
Just hours before his Ryman Auditorium show, Young celebrated the fourth consecutive No. 1 song from his self-titled BMLG Records debut album, with “Mercy.” The song spent two weeks at the top of the country charts and has been certified Platinum, as has his debut album. “Mercy” follows his Platinum-certified “Sleep Without You,” 3x Platinum “In Case You Didn’t Know,” and Platinum-certified “Like I Loved You.”
Industry members gathered to celebrate “Mercy” at Nashville Underground, a restaurant and music venue owned by pop star Gavin DeGraw, who also makes an appearance on Young’s Ticket To L.A.
ASCAP’s Michael Martin and BMI’s Leslie Roberts hosted the event, which feted songwriters Young (ASCAP) and Sean McConnell (BMI), as well as producer Dann Huff.
The song marked beloved Nashville artist and writer Sean McConnell’s first No. 1 country song. McConnell also co-wrote the final track on Young’s Ticket To L.A. album, titled “I Don’t Wanna Write This Song.”
Pinnacle Bank and First Tennessee Bank were also honored for their part in presenting the No. 1 party. Others celebrating the chart-topping hit were Warner/Chappell’s BJ Hill, Alicia Pruitt, Big Machine Music’s Mike Molinar, members of Young’s management team at 377 Management, and Big Machine Label Group’s Jimmy Harnen. Young and McConnell were also honored with MusicRow Magazine’s Challenge Coins, to honor their No. 1 song.
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