Jason Aldean Celebrates No. 1 With Songwriters Neil Thrasher and Michael Dulaney

"Fly Over States" Is Fifth Hit Single From His My Kinda Party Album

ASCAP, the performance rights organization, celebrated the No. 1 success of the song “Fly Over States” Tuesday (July 17) with a party that filled the reception hall of its Nashville headquarters.

Honored specifically were singer Jason Aldean, who scored the hit, and the song’s writers, Neil Thrasher and Michael Dulaney.

Speaking on behalf of ASCAP, Michael Martin noted that Thrasher and Dulaney were also co-writers of Aldean’s previous hit, “Tattoos on This Town,” which reached No. 2 in Billboard.

Martin also reminded the partygoers that Thrasher had been honored a few weeks earlier as co-writer of Rascal Flatts’ latest No. 1, “Banjo,” and that in 2004 was named ASCAP’s country songwriter of the year.

“Fly Over States” is the fifth single from Aldean’s current album, My Kinda Party. It’s also the seventh No. 1 of his career.

Martin announced that the newly-released “Take a Little Ride,” from Aldean’s forthcoming album, was the most-added song at radio this week and that it ranks No. 1 on iTunes’ all-genres chart.

Observing that “Fly Over States” was written seven years ago and considered for an earlier Aldean album, publisher Michael Hollandsworth told the crowd, “This song shows what a true copyright is” — one, he explained, whose elements are timeless rather than tailored to current trends.

Carson James, senior vice president for promotion at Broken Bow Records, Aldean’s label, announced that Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” has to date sold 3 million singles, a first, he said, for any country artist.

The Country Music Association’s Brandi Simms said her organization will henceforth award the writers of No. 1 songs a medallion rather than a framed certificate, as has been the custom. Then she presented medallions to the honorees.

Aldean was in a joking mood when it came his turn to speak.

“I really had no choice but to cut this song,” he said somberly. “Neil kept calling and bugging me. I don’t know what was going on at home.”

He then acknowledged that he and his producer, Michael Knox, came close to recording “Fly Over States” on his 2009 album, Wide Open, but ultimately passed on it.

He said it was Broken Bow’s owner, Benny Brown, who decided “Fly Over States” was strong enough to serve as the fifth single from the current album.

After all the awards were distributed and all the pictures taken, the crowd lingered for conversation and drinks, dreading, no doubt, to face the furnace blast of Music Row heat.

View photos from the No. 1 party.
Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.