The party was planned to call attention to Sugarland’s latest career achievements, but Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush used the opportunity Thursday (Feb. 28) to shine the spotlight on singer-songwriter Bobby Pinson, the duo’s co-writer on their recent No. 1 single, “Want To.”
With a lavish array of food and beverage raising the spirits of the throngs of music industry well-wishers, the event at CMT’s offices in downtown Nashville celebrated the chart success of “Want To” and the fact that Sugarland’s latest Mercury Nashville CD, Enjoy the Ride, has been certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 1 million copies.
Although they previously reached No. 2 with “Baby Girl” and “Something More,” “Want To” is Sugarland’s first single to top the country airplay charts. Making the celebration even sweeter was the fact that it was also the first No. 1 song written by Nettles, Bush or Pinson.
As Universal Music Group Nashville chairman Luke Lewis told the crowd, “Bless the people who write the songs. Without them, we’re all at the house.”
Formerly an RCA recording artist, Pinson hit No. 16 on the country singles charts in 2005 with “Don’t Ask Me How I Know” and received critical acclaim for his debut album, Man Like Me. When his album sales failed to meet corporate expectations, he was dropped from the label. A successful songwriter, Pinson’s songs have been recorded by LeAnn Rimes, Blake Shelton, Tracy Lawrence, Van Zant and others.
Nettles recalled that she and Bush first heard “Don’t Ask Me How I Know” while they were driving in Atlanta.
“It was something that was different and fresh in country music,” Nettles said. “I went out and bought the record. I called Kristian and I said, ‘I’m giving you this record, man, because you are going to love it. It is going to break your heart.'”
At the party, Pinson laughed and chimed in, “It broke mine, too.”
Praising Nettles and Bush for their contributions to “Want To,” Pinson said, “It’s a song that has guts and heart and passion in it.”
Recalling his first encounter with Sugarland, Pinson said, “I first met [them] when we were both peddling our records. Obviously, they peddled faster — because there’s two of them.
“It’s just been great to work with these guys. They don’t have a pretentious bone in their body, and you wouldn’t know that they’re the hottest thing since duct tape.”
At the party, plaques, certificates and other keepsakes were presented by representatives of the Country Music Association, performing rights organizations BMI and ASCAP and the music publishing companies involved with “Want To.”
The platinum plaques Lewis presented for Enjoy the Ride featured a concealed motor to rotate the CD within the frame. When Bush noticed the spinning disc, he joked, “Is there a gerbil in there?”