Under a shining sun and clear blue sky, members of the Nashville music community congregated on the BMI rooftop Friday afternoon (April 14) to recognize the hard work behind Mitchell Tenpenny‘s No. 1 hit “Truth About You,” which he wrote alongside Matt Alderman and Thomas Archer.
The warmth of the weather combined with the warmth and smiles brought by attendees was rejuvenating and exuded a sense of relaxed excitement as everyone mingled while enjoying food and refreshments.
BMI’s Josh Tomlinson took the stage to welcome everyone before calling Tenpenny, Alderman, Archer and producer Jordan Schmidt up to join him and congratulating the group. He began by acknowledging the crucial part Schmidt played in the project.
“I would be totally remiss if I didn’t emphasize Jordan’s work on this song and the entire [This Is The Heavy] album.” Turning to Schmidt, he continued, “Literally, there is not a miss on this record and I think that’s due in part to your touch on it, so congrats on an awesome record on top of another No. 1.”
Tomlinson then moved on to salute BMI writers Tenpenny and Archer, complimenting their character as well as their work ethic. SESAC’s Lydia Schultz Cahill was on deck to commend Alderman. She started by thanking BMI for hosting and welcoming Alderman’s family, who were present, to their first No. 1 party.
“On behalf of SESAC, I just want to say congratulations to you Matt. You are a joy to work with. You are so kind and truly a soft, thoughtful person,” she stated while adding “I realize you’re kind of a mystery because you don’t talk about yourself that much, but you don’t need to talk about yourself because your work speaks for itself. You’ve celebrated three No. 1s as a producer, two as a songwriter, and here we are today at your very first No. 1 party.”
Up next was MV2 Entertainment’s Tony Harrell, who took time to thank Clay Bradley and the rest of the BMI team for consistently supporting songwriters and for “ordering in the incredible weather.” He continued by addressing Tenpenny and Schmidt, noting that they “nailed this song.”
“‘Truth About You’ took a minute to get up there but kudos to Sony for standing behind it and taking it all the way to the top. Now it’s Platinum. I first met Mitchell at a studio called the Freeway with Dallas Wilson. It’s been a few years but we knew that night there was something special going on, and tonight you’re playing Nissan Stadium, opening up for Luke Combs, and you’re just getting started. So, congrats to you, congrats to Matt, and a special congrats to Thomas Archer.”
He continued, “Thomas, we at MV2 Entertainment are so grateful we’ve celebrated several No. 1s with you and we’ve got more coming. We’re so proud of you, it’s been great to see you grow as writer. Thomas is a guy who writes before he goes to the write. He shows up armed and ready to roll, and he comes out with a hit song.”
Riser House’s Jennifer Johnson took the mic “to share a few truths” about Tenpenny, inserting a few fun facts about his Nike shoe collection and affinity for Pokemon Go before she announced the truth of the single’s streaming stats.
“This song has streamed over 217 million times, and that’s a testament to all of these amazing songwriters. You guys have written songs that people want to consume and that people love,” she noted. “Thank you for believing in Mitchell as an artist. I know these songwriters create such a great community here. Mitchell also loves to support the songwriting community. He’s always been an advocate for helping songwriters get more pay. He’s always going to be the person who’s going to lead the charge in that, and I just want y’all to know that you couldn’t have a better champion for your community.”
Johnson went on to discuss the efforts and plans Riser House as a whole is making to advocate for songwriters, noting that we will be hearing some things soon from them. She then reminisced on the early days of the record label and acknowledged each team member. “We came together and we started Riser House Records. [Tenpenny] actually named it. He said, ‘You know what, if we come together and do something completely different than anyone else in town and are not afraid, are bold and take chances, we will rise above the noise and rise above all the rest.'” She concluded by explaining Tenpenny’s gratitude and support of the women in his life including his mother, industry veteran Debbie Tenpenny, and his predominantly female team.
Curb’s Colt Murski then congratulated everyone and walked the crowd through the “Truth About You” timeline.
“Feb. 13, 2019, these guys wrote this song. Then about a year later, in February 2020, Matt put a new mix on it and I think that just helped rejuvenate the song and get [everyone] back on the same page about it. In June of 2020, Sony put it on hold. In May of 2020, Mitchell teased it on TikTok and it had this viral moment, which was really cool. I think that’s what really got him back rolling and got Sony really interested in your new music. Y’all released it July 9, and in that first week, it had 3.4 million streams, which was an amazing feat. It went to radio in August of 2021 and went No. 1 in September of 2022.”
Murski moved on to salute his “little brother” Alderman, expressing that being a part of a writer’s firsts is the most special part of the business to him, before acknowledging the work of Tenpenny, Archer, Schmidt and all of the teams involved in the track.
In honor of the No. 1, Studio Bank’s Kari Barnhart announced that they plan to make a donation to the 10Penny Fund, which seeks to support cancer patients beyond traditional medical treatments, on behalf of the “Truth About You” writers.
Sony Music Nashville’s Lauren Thomas then stated that “Truth About You” hit No. 1 three weeks after Tenpenny found himself at No. 1 with ACM Award-nominated song “At The End Of The Bar” with Chris Young, which was the shortest span between No. 1s for an artist since May 1982. “We could not ask for a harder working person than you. Thank you for your trust and all of the effort you put in to this,” she said while facing Tenpenny before shouting out the Sony team individually.
Finally, the writers and producer took the floor.
Archer started, acknowledging all of the puzzle pieces it takes to put a song together and thanking his family and all of the tune’s contributors. Next, Alderman took the mic, his first time doing so at a No. 1 celebration, and thanked his family in the crowd as well as Murski and the Curb team, Sony, his cowriters and everyone who supported the song.
Schmidt began by thanking the writers, Sony, the contributors behind the success and his family—including his brother and pregnant wife who were present. Last was Tenpenny, he thanked everyone for being there and expressed his immense gratitude for his team at Sony—noting that they have been his family since he was little—as well as Riser House and his wife, fellow artist Meghan Patrick, among many others.
“It’s just fun to do this with your friends. It’s really cool that we get paid to sit in a room, pick up a guitar and write songs with our best friends. That’s what Nashville is about. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he shared.
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