Luke Bryan Celebrates Seven Consecutive No. 1 Hits
Luke Bryan took over the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Monday (Oct. 24) to celebrate seven of more than a dozen hit singles: “Play it Again,” “Roller Coaster,” “I See You,” “Kick the Dust Up,” “Strip It Down,” “Home Alone Tonight” and “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day.” The superstar and writers behind the hits across BMI and ASCAP were in attendance to celebrate the milestone, including Ashley Gorley, Luke Laird, Chris DeStefano, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Atkins, Ross Copperman, Jody Stevens, Tommy Cecil, Jaida Dreyer, Michael Carter, Jon Nite and Cole Taylor.
"I'm excited to get everybody together and really honor these songs," Bryan told the crowd inside the City National Bank room at the CMHoF. "[I have] a lot of history with a lot of these guys and then there's new writers up here that I've been lucky to be able to record their songs."
Dallas Davidson — who co-wrote Bryan’s hits “Play it Again,” “Kick the Dust Up” and “Huntin’, Fishin’” — explains what it’s like to write with the star, speaking highly of the singer’s talent and dedication to the craft.
"Writing with Luke is writing with a true songwriter,” the songwriter says. “When you're in the room with Luke Bryan, you're not with an artist, you're with a songwriter and I think that really shines in his hit songs that his name's on. He's most definitely a part of them from every angle of it."
Bryan also reminisced of a time when he was just an unknown songwriter, waiting for his music to be heard. “I remember being the young writer trying to write songs for other people and I remember how daunting that was,” he says. “And it's very flattering to know that these writers and all writers sit down and think about that. I tell you it's amazing to have an idea and bounce it off these guys and really be able to knock it out of the park when you get in the room with them."
The press conference celebrating his recent string of No. 1s was followed by a stellar performance in the packed CMA Theater, where Bryan was joined by each of the writers he collaborated with to sing the seven chart-toppers. The show kicked off with “Play it Again,” accompanied by Davidson and Gorley, as Bryan told the audience how he was instantly hooked when he heard the first line of the chorus.
“It just had me at that moment,” the superstar says.
Copperman and Nite joined Bryan on stage for the sultry “Strip it Down,” with Copperman saying it was the “best day of our lives” when he and his fellow songwriter headed to Bryan’s farm to write the track, which marked the first time Bryan and had partnered with both writers. The party continued with a performance of “Home Alone Tonight,” Bryan’s first duet with another artist featuring Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, with its writers Cecil, Dreyer, Stevens and Taylor. Dreyer told a sweet story of how the event brought her experience with Bryan full circle, revealing that she used to open for hitmaker, who gave her a high-five every night when she got offstage and always commended her performance.
It's clear the admiration is mutual between Bryan and Nashville's most notable writers.
"It's an amazing situation that I have been blessed to be in and it's a situation where it takes a group of writers like this to make it happen,” Bryan says, also attributing his success to his team behind-the-scenes. “It's the best job in the world — certainly on days like this."
Bryan was recently named one of CMT’s Artists of the Year for the fifth consecutive year in a row. He’s up for two 2016 CMA Awards, including the coveted Entertainer of the Year and Musical Event of the Year with Fairchild for "Home Alone Tonight."
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