Even as the sky turned menacingly gray and threatened snow, Music Row folk streamed out of their cozy offices late Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 12) and shivered into the lobby of ASCAP’s Nashville headquarters to celebrate Florida Georgia Line’s fourth No. 1 single, “Stay.”
Being toasted as well were the song’s co-writers — producer Joey Moi, and Jon Lawhon, Chris Robertson, Ben Wells and John Fred Young, members of the rock band Black Stone Cherry.
ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel opened the proceedings by directing the crowd’s attention to a table filled with cupcakes which, he explained, was there to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the performance rights society.
“Stay,” Beuschel explained, is also Moi’s fourth No. 1 as FGL’s producer and his second as a songwriter.
“Stay” first appeared on Black Stone Cherry’s 2011 album, Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea. It is the Kentucky-based group’s first self-penned No. 1 in any genre.
Awards were handed out lavishly.
Jimmy Harnen, head of Republic Nashville, FGL’s label, came forward to announce to the crowd that “Stay” is the 11th No. 1 his company has scored in just under five years of operation.
He said FGL has sold 12 million tracks in its brief history and that “Stay” is approaching 1 million sales.
“It’s important to understand how special these moments are,” said Scott Borchetta, under whose Big Machine Label Group umbrella Republic Nashville functions.
R. J. Curtis, representing Country Radio Broadcasters, quoted a radio programmer as saying that FGL has created “a whole other branch of the country music tree.”
“I’d like to thank these cats for dragging me up to Kentucky,” Moi said to the band members. He also thanked FGL for being keeping busy on the road and “never coming home.”
Responding to the barrage of adulation and awards, FGL’s Brian Kelley said, “It’s really humbling for Tyler [Hubbard, his bandmate] and me.”
He praised Moi for creating a sound that “screamed out of the radio” and gave listeners “no choice but to listen to it.”
“This is crazy,” said Black Stone Cherry’s John Fred Young in a tone of awe. “Anybody who says it’s not is full of crap.”
Young is the son of Kentucky Headhunters co-founder, Richard Young, who stood in the crowd beaming paternally.
“We thought it was going to be a hit for us, but it wasn’t,” said Wells.
He added that he is begging FGL to take Black Stone Cherry along on its tours.
“We just happened to learn how to sing because Joey taught us,” FGL’s Hubbard said.
Referring to “Stay,” he observed, “This was the scariest song for us to cut.” He said he used to ride around listening to and admiring Black Stone Cherry’s original rendition.
Craig Wiseman, whose Big Loud Shirt Industries oversees the fortunes of FGL and Moi, capped the event by rushing through the crowd with an armload of beer to hand out to the honorees.