“He will be the Entertainer of the Year.”
That was Warner Music Nashville’s CEO John Esposito‘s exclamation during the recent party held for Chris Janson, as the singer-songwriter started off the new decade with very “Good Vibes,” celebrating his third No. 1 single on country radio.
BMI-affiliated writer Janson co-wrote the track with ASCAP-aligned writers Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley. The song marks Gorley’s 45th No. 1 hit (he has since added two more chart-toppers to that tally), and Crowell’s 11th as a writer. Crowell and Janson co-produced the track.
BMI’s David Preston and ASCAP’s Mike Sistad led the festivities, which were held at BMI’s Nashville office, and also included congratulatory remarks from Anthem’s Tim Hunze, Round Hill Music’s Penny Gattis, Spirit Music’s Frank Rogers and Tape Room Music’s Blain Rhodes. Pinnacle Bank and First Horizon Bank were also on hand to celebrate the writers.
During the shindig, Esposito surprised Janson with the news that “Good Vibes” has now been certified Gold by the RIAA.
“I really love this guy,” Espo said. “I wish I had his energy, and I gotta lot of energy, but I gotta tap into some more of that. He’s amazing.”
“Good Vibes” was the first single released from Janson’s recent album Real Friends. Appropriately, congratulatory video clips were shown from some of Janson’s real friends, including Kid Rock, Dallas Davidson, Charles Esten, members of The Cadillac Three, Dierks Bentley’s Hot Country Knights, and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris.
Producer-songwriter Crowell was short on words to the crowd, simply saying, “I love everybody. This is all good. Thank you.”
Gorley added, “This song on this day was just Chris top to bottom as far as the vibe and everything—no pun intended, there. Everything just seemed to fit and a a lot of that has to do with Zach coming in with the production and the title and everybody just catching the groove. Without Chris’ energy, the song would not happen and I’m just happy to be part of this album and the previous one, and hopefully we’ll do some more in the future.”
Throughout the evening, attendees thanked Chris but also his wife and manager Kelly Lynn Janson for their teamwork.
“If I’m thanking Chris, I’m thanking Kelly in the same breath,” Gorley said. “And Cris Lacy and Warner because everything is a team effort with Chris [Janson]. He’s very thankful for that inspiration just as a creative person.”
“This has by far been my favorite No. 1 party that I’ve been part of,” Janson told the crowd. Speaking to Espo, Janson said, “The reason I signed with Warner Brothers was because of you and Cris Lacy. One reason we signed is the first person you thanked is my wife. That means everything to us. Thank you for respecting her the way you do. It means a lot…we are a team. We built this together. It’s hard to get a record deal and to get the right record deal—and I’ve been through three, I would know. I finally got one that worked and my ears on songs comes straight from Kelly and Cris. That’s where it starts.
“I’m so humbled to stand in front of a crowd to accept a third No. 1. It was not that long ago that Kelly and I were sitting at home going, ‘If we could just get one No. 1, it would change our life.’ We got one, and then it was like, ‘If we could get two No. 1s…’ and then we got it. Then it’s that pivotal moment of having a third No. 1. It’s so important because you feel like you’re turning a page and putting a key in the lock and it’s finally opening…We wake up every day and we pray over our kids and we pray over our career and we speak these things. We prayed over ‘Good Vibes’ from the [beginning]. She spoke it, she spoke it, we wrote it down. You don’t have to be a Christian or religious to understand or experience the miracles that can happen in the world, but trust me, babies are born, it’s a miracle. Songs going No.1, it’s a different type of miracle. We all did it together.”
He went on to thank several members of his label and management team individually, including Brian Jones (WME), and label execs including James Marsh, Chad Schultz, Taylor Aretz, Tom Martens, Victoria Chaitoff, Wes Vause, Matt Signore, Heather Propper, and Tom Starr (who recently won a battle with cancer over the past year).
“Talk about a ‘good vibe,’” Janson said. “He still worked this record when I know he didn’t feel like it and probably frankly didn’t want to get out of bed. Thank you so much—that’s a whole other level.”
Janson ended by also offering thanks to country radio.
“The one thing that pays the songwriter is country music radio, the one thing I always wanted to be on is country music radio and I am so proud to be on country music radio. This is a No. 1 song because of country music radio, so thank you.”
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