ASCAP and BMI, the performance rights organizations, joined forces Tuesday (June 2) at a trendy Nashville restaurant to honor Clint Lagerberg and Chris Sligh, the writers of Rascal Flatts’ latest No. 1 single, “Here Comes Goodbye.”
Lagerberg is an ASCAP writer. Sligh is affiliated with BMI. This was the first No. 1 for each composer.
To add to the excitement, Rascal Flatts dropped by the festivities to cheer the winners on.
ASCAP’s Connie Bradley pointed out that Lagerberg has already distinguished himself as a writer of Christian music. She presented him a guitar, ASCAP’s traditional gift for its first-time No. 1 songwriters, and then handed him a miniature ASCAP T-shirt to give to his week-old son.
“We’ll be signing him in about six months,” she promised.
Clay Bradley, BMI’s spokesman, noted that Sligh, a former contestant on American Idol, came to country music from a classical music background and that he had once been expelled from ultraconservative Bob Jones University for attending a concert.
BMI also gifted Sligh with a commemorative guitar.
Connie Bradley then conferred plaques on the three members of Rascal Flatts, noting that vocalist Gary LeVox and guitarist Joe Don Rooney had signed to ASCAP 10 years ago. In the years since, she continued, they scored 10 No. 1 singles and sold 20 million albums. “You’re much richer than I am,” she told the trio.
Clay Bradley praised Flatts for its charity work. “They support out community hugely,” he said, pointing out that the group has raised $3 million for Vanderbilt University’s children’s hospital.
“This is life-changing,” said Lagerberg when he was asked to comment on the song’s success.
“After coming in 10th place on American Idol,” Sligh observed, “it’s good to be No. 1.”