Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and More Shine at the Nashville Songwriter Awards

Between winners Garth Brooks, Ashley Gorley and Taylor Swift, plus performers Luke Combs and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, more than 100 No. 1 hits were represented on stage at the Ryman Auditorium for Tuesday night’s fifth annual Nashville Songwriter Awards. .

Superstar Christian artist Matthew West kicked off the event with a performance of his Anne Wilson duet ‘Me On Your Mind’ to celebrate being ‘Songwriter-Artist of the Year’ “. Like many other entertainers during the evening, he recalled his humble artistic roots: he sang his version of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance” during a karaoke contest at the Enchanted Castle amusement park in the suburbs. from Chicago. Her goal was to win the Caribbean cruise grand prize and send her parents on vacation.

He lost. However – in what became a recurring theme of the evening – he offered some advice to the multitudes of artists, songwriters and music industry professionals in attendance:

Matthew West and Anne Wilson perform at the NSAI Awards at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

Rejection is both “preparing for more around the corner” and “isn’t rejection when you know who your story is.” Additionally, Music City songwriter-of-the-moment Ashley Gorley was named “Songwriter of the Year”, and shared “Songwriter of the Decade” honors with Swift.

After:Taylor Swift Named ‘Songwriter-Artist of the Decade’ at Nashville Songwriter Awards

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On the event’s red carpet, Gorley, when asked about the consistency required to achieve 63 No. 1 hit radio singles, shared his love of the craft and that “every time he writes feels like the first time. “. Additionally, before realizing he was there to celebrate, he noted the impact of 90s R&B superstars like the previously mentioned Babyface and Bobby Brown (noting the significance of the latter’s 1990 hits” Rock Wit’cha” and “Roni” as inspirations) as important in his professional rise.

Of the 28 songs spanning three decades performed by 38 artists on the evening, it was Babyface’s version of Thomas Rhett’s 2017 single “Unforgettable” that proved the flexibility of great songs to span genres and have a diverse impact on musicians and fans.

“Nashville’s best songs take a little longer to find their way around and take a little longer than others to find the right voice and artist to deliver them,” the singer-songwriter said. Alana Springsteen, standing on the red carpet at the event alongside singing superstars Gorley, Rhett Akins and Shane McAnally.

“[Great story songs] are a three-minute journey,” added McAnally who hopes the industry can reinvigorate fan attention to return to the ’90s era when epic storytelling was more in vogue.

Babyface performs at the NSAI Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

For Garth Brooks, winner of the Kris Kristofferson Lifetime Achievement Award, his wife, Trisha Yearwood, noted his “planet of influence” as an artist, performer and songwriter, as well as his nine albums sold in diamonds and sales total eclipsing those of the Beatles. Always affable, Brooks took the stage to receive his honor and noted that he was a kid who “just wanted to be George Strait”, and that as “not a songwriter, but a guy who can hang out with songwriters, that there were “no greater dreamers on the planet.”

This was preceded by a stunning love-in of iconic Brooks material, sung by legendary songwriters and superstar artists. In order, Pat Alger sang “The Thunder Rolls, followed by Kent Blazy performing “Ain’t Goin Down (Til The Sun Comes Up)”, with Tony Arata stirring souls with “The Dance” and Luke Combs doing the cleaning with Cheyenne’s “The Beaches.”

Taylor Swift has been named the

And then there was Taylor Swift, who appeared and sang an epic ten-minute version of her award-winning single “All Too Well.”

Asked about the impact of Taylor Swift, GAYLE, a burgeoning 18-year-old songwriting star whose rise to prominence mirrors that of the ‘Our Song’ singer – and whose rocking performance of her hit n 1 ‘abcdefu’ shook the pews on the Upper Deck of Mother Church – noted: ‘I’m by no means Taylor Swift, but I’m honored to achieve success that compares me to someone so affect my career, and that of others as well.”

Swift’s comments were the ultimate musical moment of the evening.

As the music industry assesses its post-COVID state, there are songs like 2022 NSAI Song of the Year “Buy Dirt” by Jordan David and Luke Bryan, which have surged via radio and traditional means and put highlight all the senses of the classical tradition. The song is written by two groups of brothers about grounding oneself in faith and family. And then there’s Walker Hayes or GAYLE, who with “Fancy Like” and “abcdefu” wrote songs about mundane emotions – the lower middle class struggles to get by and hates everything about your ex-boyfriend friend except his pet – which reflect something of the chaos that two years of indoors staring at our cellphone apps have spawned.

Taylor Swift poses for photos at the NSAI Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

Swift, through her comments, offered a visionary path.

“A song can defy logic or time,” noted the seven-time NSAI Songwriter of the Year. “A good song transports you to your truest feelings and translates those feelings for you. A good song stays with you even when people or feelings don’t. Songwriting is a calling and being able to call it your career makes you very lucky. I have to be grateful to you every day, and everyone who thought your words were worth listening to. This town is the school that taught me that.

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