Carrie Underwood Joins Co-Writers to Salute “See You Again”

David Hodges, Hillary Lindsey Share in the Honors

Wearing a perky hat — and her eyes sparkling like a disco globe — Carrie Underwood joined co-writers David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey to accept congratulations for the chart success of her recent single, “See You Again.”

The Thursday afternoon (Sept. 19) celebration, jointly sponsored by the performance rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, was held at the Country Music Association building on Nashville’s Music Row. Underwood and Hodges are BMI writers. Lindsey is affiliated with ASCAP.

After completing a round of media interviews, Underwood, Hodges, Lindsey and Underwood’s producer Mark Bright came to the stage in the CMA’s reception area and stood side by side as their achievements were lauded.

Praising Underwood’s “consistently excellent” performances, BMI’s Jody Williams said, “She can sing anything, but what she chooses to sing is the key to her success.”

He added that her Blown Away tour sold more than 1 million tickets, that she will again be hosting the CMA Awards Show and that she will play the lead role in a live broadcast of The Sound of Music on NBC in December.

“As a songwriter,” Williams said, “Carrie is at the top of her game.” He pointed out that “See You Again” is the ninth hit she’s had a hand in composing.

Williams then cited Hodges’ list of accomplishments as a pop songwriter and producer since he left the band Evanescence. That Hodges is also doing well as a country songwriter should come as no surprise. Williams said with a grin, “He’s from Arkansas.”

Turning to Bright, Williams said, “Congratulations for never letting us down.”

LeAnn Phelan, speaking for ASCAP, also had kind words for Bright, enumerating his many successes since he produced the group Blackhawk.

Phelan noted that Lindsey has written or co-written 17 No. 1 songs and earned 26 ASCAP awards for her songwriting — as well as netting Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. Even so, Phelan reported, Lindsey’s trademark lament is, “I ain’t got shit goin’ on, y’all.”

She also praised Lindsey for having the foresight, business savvy and persistence to set up her own publishing company in 2003.

“It’s constantly surprising to me how this community embraces each other,” Hodges said.

Of Underwood, he added, “I have never been in contact with an artist who’s been so engaged [with all aspects of her music].”

Lindsey explained that “See You Again” grew out of a project to write songs for The Chronicles of Narnia film series.

“Thank you, Chronicles of Narnia, for bringing us all together,” she said.

“It’s a little sweeter when the song you’re celebrating means something awesome,” Underwood said. “The biggest reward is when you hear how a song has affected people.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.