Shortly after rehearsing for his CMA Music Festival performance at Nashville’s LP Field, Blake Shelton stepped indoors for a private No. 1 party on Friday afternoon (June 7). Smiling but not saying much, Shelton was surrounded by the songwriters and publishers behind “Over” and “Sure Be Cool If You Did.”
Because the songs were written by writers with different industry affiliations — ASCAP, BMI and numerous publishing companies — the laid-back party took place in the club level of the stadium rather than an office’s headquarters on Music Row. That didn’t stop executives from crossing the Cumberland River to celebrate the achievement, though. For about 40 minutes, a parade of key people toasted Shelton and the songwriters.
Special guests included Keith Urban, who owns the publishing company representing songwriter Jimmy Robbins. “Sure Be Cool If You Did” was co-written by Robbins and long-established songwriters Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins. It was the lead single on Shelton’s current project, Based on a True Story.
Meanwhile, “Over” was written by Paul Jenkins and David Johnson. It was the fourth single from Shelton’s Red River Blue album. Jenkins and Warner Bros. executive and producer Scott Hendricks both recounted how the song had been bumped from a previous project (or two) before finally making it onto a record.
When it was finally his turn to speak, Shelton thanked the writers and publishers first. Referring to the Warner Music Nashville personnel who get singles up the chart, he added, “Sometimes I think I feel like it’s the promotion staffs that should be coming up here instead of me.”
Addressing that team, he continued, “I tell you, man, you do everything. You do everything. Once we make the record, once they write the song, it’s you guys that push it all the way up there. And Keith can tell you this: You almost feel guilty sometimes. Like tonight, I’m going to be out there on the stage, in front of all those people, soaking up all the glory. And I had the easiest part of all in this. It’s all the people on this stage and half the people in this audience that really make this happen. And I love all y’all for it. Thank you.”