Jason Aldean celebrated his 22nd No. 1 single, “Girl Like You,” on Wednesday (May 22) with a party at Diskin Cider in Nashville. The smoldering hit was penned by Jaron Boyer, Michael Tyler and Josh Mirenda.
ASCAP’s Beth Brinker toasted Mirenda, while SESAC’s Shannan Hatch honored Tyler and Boyer. The event was also supported by First Tennessee Bank. The song marks the second No. 1 hit for both Mirenda and Tyler, and Boyer’s fifth No. 1 hit. Cornman Music’s Nate Lowry, represented both Cornman and Warner Chappell Music Publishing in celebrating Mirenda.
“When I first heard this song, I thought ‘It is baby-making music.’” BBR Music Group’s Jon Loba said. “I called up Aldean and said, ‘I hope you never stop doing what you’re doing, but if you ever want to be in A&R, I want you to be on my team, because album after album, you just crush it. Your song selection and knowing your brand and your ability to pick great songs has given us amazing product to work.”
Hatch feted Boyer and Tyler, who are both aligned with Michael Knox’s peermusic. Tyler recalled how he first connected with Knox when Tyler was still a teenager, and how that connection led to a publishing deal.
“I messaged Michael Knox on MySpace. I was a huge Jason Aldean fan. I think ‘Hicktown’ or ‘Amarillo Sky’ came on TV one day and I just thought, ‘Man, this is the kind of music I want to play.’ I told my mom we needed to find out who produces this guy and we sent him a message on MySpace. He replied, ‘Do you ever play in Nashville?’ and I said, ‘All the time!’ I had never even been to Nashville. So we called Tootsie’s and said, ‘We need to play for a guy named Michael Knox. Can you help us out?’ They said yes, and Michael and Shalacy came. I played like 10 Jason Aldean songs, and then three songs at the end that I had written.”
The meeting worked and 12 years later, Tyler is celebrating his latest No. 1 song. “Knox hooked me up with Josh and Jaron and the first time I met Jaron, we moved in with each other and kept writing songs—just two broke dudes trying to be songwriters in Nashville, and splitting money for Firehouse Subs. We can afford our own now.”
“These guys are tailor-made. Jaron and Michael, their whole career is Aldean, almost,” said Knox. “Their first cuts, and their most recent cuts, have been Jason Aldean. You can throw in ‘Somewhere On A Beach’ [recorded by Dierks Bentley] all they want, but their first and last is us, baby. It’s amazing for us as peermusic, having these teams around Jason and it’s awesome to watch these guys grow up—10 years in the business. I appreciate everything he allows me to do for his career.”
Boyer noted that the day “Girl Like You” went No. 1, he found out he and his wife were having a baby girl.
“I heard that baby over there was made after listening to the demo for this song,” quipped Brinker.
“I was backstage and they said Aldean sold 10 million tickets? Well I’ve sold out the Bluebird a bunch,” he laughed. “It’s great to be here with my best friends and celebrating a No. 1. I got a new baby girl here, Margo Sinclair.
“I want to thank Knox. He’s not just my publisher, he’s one of my best friends. He’s done a lot for my career, and I’ve done a lot for his,” he had the crowd laughing. “Sorry I had a little too much cider before the show. It’s awesome to have a No. 1 with my best friends. These two guys are some of the best writers I’ve worked with and hopefully we are going to be up here for 10, 20 more years getting No. 1s.”
Meanwhile, Mirenda had Dan Keen to thank for helping him to put aside his career plans of becoming a dental surgeon to focus on songwriting. Keen heard Mirenda’s songs while Mirenda was still a student at Belmont University.
“I was playing the country showcase, still wearing scrubs, and he came up to me and said, ‘Do you play music? Come talk to me.’ I didn’t even know you could get paid to write songs until I met that guy.
“You get to drink on the job doing this. You don’t get to do that when you’re operating on people. Thanks mom and dad for letting me chase down my songwriting dream, instead of being a surgeon. Sorry about that.”
Mirenda also recalled a time he bid on a Jason Aldean hat at an auction. “A long time ago when we were broke, my wife and I were at a Titans benefit. There was a signed Jason Aldean benefit hat for $200. I said, ‘I’m going to put $250 on this.’ She was like, ‘You are not putting that much money up for that.’ I didn’t get the hat, but I did get a No. 1 with you. This is way better.”
“I’m a little upset that my hat only got $200. That, and I would never let you do any kind of surgery on my mouth,” entertainer Aldean quipped, before thanking the writers.
“But this, this never gets old and I think the biggest thing for us, creating our team has always been a big part of what made things work for us. These guys have been a great part of writing these songs and sending them our way. Knox and I have been up here a lot and it’s always as exciting as when we celebrated the first one back on ‘05 or ‘06. My youngest daughter was born the week this went No. 1 so I think it was a cool thing for all of us in that aspect. Thank you to these guys for writing these songs. Knox and I have been working together for like 20 years…”
“I promise I did not find him on Facebook or MySpace,” Knox quipped.
“But I was pretty young, I’m just sayin’. It was about one in the morning, it was in a bar in Atlanta, though,” Aldean replied. “But all the things I’ve wanted to do in the music business, Michael’s helped me achieve that and helped make the records sound the way we wanted them to. We kind of changed the game in Nashville without even knowing it a lot of the time.” He also thanked Broken Bow, BMG, country radio, and the publishers.
“It’s been a fun ride and it doesn’t happen without guys like this, writing great songs,” Aldean summed.
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