Industry members and artists gathered for an emotional No. 1 party earlier this week when Broken Bow Records star Lainey Wilson celebrated her first chart-topper, “Things A Man Oughta Know.”
The crowd filled the Melrose Billiards hall, and a slew of Wilson’s artist friends—including Ian Munsick, Ashland Craft, Meghan Patrick, Mitchell Tenpenny, and more—were there to support the young artist.
The party, hosted by BMI’s MaryAnn Keen, honored the song’s co-writers Wilson, Jason Nix and Jonathan Singleton. “Things A Man Oughta Know” is Wilson and Nix’s first No. 1 hit, and Singleton’s fourteenth. “I feel very lucky and honored to talk about all three of these writers,” Keen said.
Keen started what was an array of high praise for Wilson throughout the event. “You’re such a force to be reckoned with,” she said. “You deserve all the good things that come your way, and I know there’s going to be a lot of them.”
Keen also recognized Pinnacle bank for their support of No. 1 parties. Pinnacle’s David DeVaul hopped on the mic to congratulate everyone.
Representatives from Spirit Music Group, Big Machine Music, and Sony Music Publishing were on hand to gush about their songwriters.
Spirit’s Frank Rogers spoke about hit writer Singleton. “It’s a joy to work with you. You’re one of the hardest working writers in town,” he said. Rogers also mentioned Wilson’s importance to the country music genre, saying, “As a fan, we need Lainey Wilson. As a publisher, we need Lainey Wilson. As a music community, we need Lainey Wilson.”
Big Machine’s Mike Molinar, Singleton’s former publisher, spoke about the song and Wilson’s impact. He made sure to mention the song’s ACM nomination for Song of the Year. “I think you know what to do,” he said. “All five songs are great, all of those writers are great, but a song like this is going to keep connecting with people so much longer than we’re even going to know what an Applebee’s is.”
Rusty Gaston from Sony Music Publishing seconded Molinar on ACM voting. He also highlighted co-writer Nix’s work ethic, pointing out that he commutes two hours to write in Nashville. “That is somebody that is determined to make his dreams come true,” he said.
Gaston piled on the praise for Wilson. “What’s unique about Lainey is she isn’t someone who just has a dream. She has a vision to make that dream happen,” Gaston said. “You’re going to be using Lainey Wilson’s name in the future when we have conversations about artists that have defined a decade, that defined our genre…Lainey, everyone in this building loves you to death. You are the future of country music.”
With the crowd fired up after Gaston’s speech, BBR head Jon Loba got up to speak. He first recognized the BBR promotion staff, marketing and digital team, and A&R staff. “They will always carry a torch for Lainey,” he said.
“We were at the Ryman opening for Ashley McBryde. 50% of the audience knew her at the beginning, the entire audience was on their feet at the end,” Loba recalled. “I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I sat there watching Lainey on that hallowed stage and said, ‘We’re not going to see you on that stage for the next two, five, or ten years. We’re going to see you on that stage for decades.’ And I believe it.”
When it came time to hear from the songwriters, Nix started things off. “I know your mom and daddy are here,” Nix said to Wilson. “I want to thank y’all for raising someone who knows what she wants to say and how she wants to say it. I’m thankful to work with you and to know you.”
Singleton added, “I’m super excited about this song. I’m most excited that it’s Lainey and Jason’s first No. 1.”
Wilson held herself together as she began to speak. “I’m looking around the room right now and see my best friends,” she said. “I’m going to try not to cry.
“This is a moment I’ve been dreaming about since I was knee-high,” she added. “This is all I know how to do. Country music is my life.”
Wilson talked about her drive to become a country music artist, her family’s support, and her journey trying to make it in Nashville. “I knew absolutely nobody, but I knew this was what I was going to do. I have been bound and determined to do this thing. There’s been no plan B for me.”
She closed with some words on the song. “This song is not about whether or not you can change a tire, you can YouTube all that stuff. This song is about having good character, treating people right, and having the courage and discernment to do the right thing,” she said. “I’m so thankful that this song was my first No. 1 because, to my core, it tells who I am and what I stand for.”
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