The Sony Music Publishing Nashville parking lot pulsated with party energy as Music Row came together to recognize the hard work behind Lainey Wilson‘s No. 1 hit “Heart Like A Truck” last week.
Written by The Heart Wranglers—Lainey, Trannie Anderson and Dallas Wilson—and produced by Jay Joyce, the song has garnered numerous accolades including the title of NSAI Song of the Year for 2023 and CMT Female Video of the Year as well as two nominations at the upcoming CMA Awards. Lainey is CMA’s most-nominated artist this year.
To get the party started, ASCAP’s Mike Sistad brought everyone’s attention to the left side of the lot where three trucks with their tailgates lowered were parked. He called up the writer trio, who seated themselves on the middle truck’s tailgate, and congratulated them. Mike then detailed Lainey’s award-filled year and introduced BMI’s Leslie Roberts.
Leslie praised the song and commended its creators individually before presenting Trannie with a special Gibson guitar in honor of “Heart Like A Truck” marking her first No. 1. Sony Music Publishing Nashville’s Rusty Gaston then took the mic. He noted that the hit was the first song The Heart Wranglers ever wrote together, and took a moment to applaud each of them.
“When I think of the three [writers], what really comes to mind is the word ‘tenacity.’ Today, we’re celebrating tenacity like a truck,” Rusty said. “The first time I met Dallas he was learning to write songs, but he was [also] filming and editing wedding videos and doing whatever it took to feed that songwriting habit. When Trannie moved here, she started a dog-sitting business, and would do whatever it took to be able to write songs. When Lainey moved here, she lived in a camper to get it done. These guys have the want-to, they have the drive, they have that tenacity like a truck that has put them here today.”
Rusty also thanked and honored the Riser House and BMG/BBR Music Group teams as well as Lainey’s manager, Red Light Management’s Mandelyn Monchick, and everyone else involved in the chart-topper.
Mike Sistad returned to thank Sony Music Publishing for hosting the event and welcome Riser House’s Brandon Perdue. Brandon echoed the appreciation for everyone behind the scenes, giving a special shoutout to Mandelyn, as well as each of the writers and their dedication to the craft.
BMG Nashville/BBR Music Group’s Jon Loba was up next. He thanked the previous speakers for the kind words and reciprocated those feelings of gratitude. Jon recalled the powerful emotions he felt the first time he heard “Heart Like A Truck,” and moved on to recognize the writers, the label’s promotion team and country radio, and detail process of getting the single on the radio.
Finally, The Heart Wranglers had the floor. Trannie was the first of three to take the mic. She started by thanking everyone for being present and supporting the song. Trannie then expressed her gratitude for her co-writers and all of the contributing teams.
“I’m so proud to call this song my first hit, especially [alongside] two of my best friends, Lainey and Dallas, and so many people I love on the teams surrounding it. It’s beyond special and so meaningful to me,” she stated.
Dallas followed and took a moment to soak in all the love from the prior speakers. He then acknowledged his family in the crowd, and shared how they helped him get to where he is today. Dallas also praised his Riser House family, before reminiscing on his first time writing with his two collaborators individually.
“They’ve separately been such partners in crime [of mine] for so long. I’d been praying for us three to write for a long time, and it happened at the perfect time with ‘Heart Like A Truck.'”
He finished by shouting out all of the other industry members and companies involved.
Lastly, Lainey took the mic. “Looking out here, I think every single one of y’all have served some kind of purpose in my life,” she began. The artist then zeroed in on her family members who were in attendance, including her mother, father and grandmother, and thanked them for their love and support. She shifted to focus to Mandelyn and listed all the ways she has lifted her up throughout her career. Lainey then addressed her co-writers and all of the supporters within the industry.
“It’s special in general when you get to write a No. 1 song, but when you get to do it with your best friends, there’s something really cool about that moment and celebrating this. I’m soaking it in today, I really am.”
She moved on to explain that this was a full circle moment for her, as she had performed at Sony Music Publishing’s fall carnival in the back of a truck almost a month before she signed her publishing deal. Lainey then thanked the Sony Music Publishing team, her friends, her label, BMI and ASCAP before praising her co-writers one last time and presenting them with custom Wrangler jackets sporting a red Heart Wranglers logo.
The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year concluded by talking about her recently-announced “Heart Like A Truck” Fund, which will actively contribute to an array of diverse philanthropic endeavors and organizations aimed to transform lives and offer resources to a variety of causes.
“This song has changed a lot of lives. I hear stories every single day [during] my meet-and-greets. Whether its people who are going through sicknesses or divorces, this song has become their anthem,” she shared. “I’m so proud to say that we’ve started the ‘Heart Like A Truck’ Fund. It’s just really exciting to finally be a place where I feel like I can come up for air and we can actually do something. I know we’re making a difference with our music, but I mean really make a difference and that’s where the ‘Heart Like A Truck’ Fund is about.”
The Heart Wranglers wrapped the celebration by performing their smash single and “Country’s Cool Again” in the three truck beds.
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