Music City recently celebrated its first No. 1 party of the new decade, honoring The Valory Music Co. artist Brantley Gilbert and Stoney Creek Records artist Lindsay Ell’s “What Happens In A Small Town.” The track marks Gilbert’s fifth No. 1 as an artist and his seventh as a songwriter.
Ell earned her very first No. 1 hit with the churning ballad, which laments the difficulty in ever truly leaving a relationship behind when you live in a tight-knit community.
Members of Nashville’s music industry gathered at Music City Indoor Karting on Jan. 8, for a party hosted by BMI.
Gilbert penned the track with Rhett Akins, Josh Dunne and Brock Berryhill. Dunne celebrated his very first No. 1 with the hit, while “What Happens In A Small Town” is Akins’s 31st chart-topper, and Berryhill’s second.
BMI’s Leslie Roberts hosted the event, which saw BMLG powerhouses Scott Borchetta, George Briner, Jake Basden, and Allison Jones, Revelry Music Group’s Greg Beeckman and AJ Burton, Kobalt’s Kevin Lane, Warner Chappell’s Ryan Beuschel and Will Overton, Morris Higham’s Clint Higham, Basak Kizilisik, Buffy Cooper, and Aaron Keiser among the attendees.
Brantley thanked his co-writers and his label team at Big Machine Label Group, as well as his new management home at Morris Higham; “What Happens In A Small Town” marks his first No. 1 since joining the management company. Gilbert also thanked Ell for joining him on the song. “When you look for a duet partner, you want somebody that is not only going to pull their weight but exceed expectations. You did that and more. I’m honored to share this stage and this song with you,” he said.
Ell, meanwhile, offered thanks to Brantley and his co-writers, as well as to Borchetta, for bringing her on as part of the project.
“The fact that you were the person to bring up my name and mention it to Brantley in that conference room, I’m truly humbled and honored,” she told Borchetta. “When you have a full roster of artists and pretty much anybody at your fingertips and you guys wanted me to be a part of this song, thank you from the bottom of my heart for changing my life.”
She also thanked The BBR Music Group CEO Jon Loba. “A huge thank you to Jon Loba. You have stood by me in this town ever since I got here. I have been in Nashville for 10 years and there are not a lot of labels that would stand by an artist and keep saying, ‘We just have to find the right 3 minutes,’ and you have told me that sentence so many times.”
Both Gilbert and Ell recently released new songs to country radio, including Gilbert’s “Fire’t Up” and Ell’s “I Don’t Love You.”
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