The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) hosted its annual Gold & Platinum Gala at the Country Music Hall of Fame Wednesday night (Oct. 25). With throngs of songwriters and publishers fellowshipping together, the night was abuzz with reunions and celebrations.
The NMPA Gold & Platinum Program honors the songwriters of RIAA-certified singles. In an exciting carousel of honors, NMPA gave out plaques to 85 multi-Platinum songwriters Wednesday night, including hitmakers such as Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby, Chris DeStefano, Dallas Davidson and many more. As each songwriter joined the stage to receive their plaque, their peers and colleagues hooped and hollered as the hit song they wrote played over the speaker.
Flanking the plaque presentations were some awesome performances, with Ian Munsick kicking off the show with his Gold-certified single “Long Live Cowgirls,” which got a big reaction. Newly-inducted Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, Keith Urban, gave a rousing performance of his “Blue Ain’t Your Color”—and was subsequently presented with a plaque for his 18 Gold and Platinum certifications.
The event culminated with the honoring of the top male and top female songwriters of the past year. Over the eligibility period, Ashley Gorley achieved an astounding 26 certifications, making him the Top Male Songwriter of the Year.
When speaking about Gorley, NMPA President & CEO David Israelite compared his success to that of star footballer Tom Brady, sharing that as a Kansas City Chiefs fan, he used to feel that he hated Brady because of his success, but eventually realized he admired his excellence. Rightly so, he encouraged those in the room to acknowledge the privilege of working with Gorley.
“Appreciate this moment. If you got to see Tom Brady play, or if you have gotten to see Ashley Gorley write, you are witnessing something that is greatness,” Israelite said.
Gorley was honored with a performance of “Rumor” from Lee Brice.
Top Female Songwriter of the Year went to Hillary Lindsey, who scored 10 certifications overall. Israelite spoke about Lindsey’s impact as one of the most succesful country songwriters of her generation.
“She has been such an inspiration to all songwriters, [especially] to all women songwriters. What she’s done with Liz [Rose] and others, I don’t think we’re going to see much in our lifetimes.”
Lindsey was honored with a hair-raising rendition of “Girl Crush,” performed by Brittney Spencer.
During the event, Israelite officially launched the Gold & Platinum (G&P) Club. The Club encompasses all songwriters who have achieved Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum certifications. Israelite also announced that the Club’s Co-Chairs are Rose and Ryan Tedder.
Israelite said, “The NMPA Gold & Platinum Program is the most definitive measurement of a song’s success. We are thrilled with the growth of the Gala and the opportunity to recognize the most elite songwriters in Nashville. The unprecedented number of honorees at this year’s event demonstrates the expansion and dominance of country music. We congratulate the brilliant minds behind these songs and are excited about the launch of the Gold & Platinum Club which will foster community among them.”
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