Carrie Underwood, Co-Writers Celebrate Success of “Little Toy Guns”

Hillary Lindsey, Chris DeStefano Join Her at BMI Party

Well-wishers filled the reception hall at the BMI building in Nashville Friday afternoon (Aug. 14) to celebrate the chart success of Carrie Underwood’s most recent single, “Little Toy Guns.”

The track hit No.1 on the Mediabase chart and No. 2 on the Billboard country airplay chart.

Underwood was there for the festivities, along with her co-writers of the song, Hillary Lindsey and Chris DeStefano. Underwood is a writer for the BMI performance rights organization. The other two are affiliated with ASCAP.

Just before the three honorees came to the stage to receive their awards, the crowd watched and applauded the dramatic music video of the song.

Underwood was the visual focal point in her perilously high heels and thigh-high black miniskirt.

BMI’s Jody Williams contrasted Underwood’s quick rise to stardom via her 2005 win on American Idol to the step-by-step, years-long process by which most country singers are launched.

His point was to praise Underwood for her rapid adaptation to the demands, hazards and complexities of the music business.

“She learned the business the hard way,” he said, and “instantly resonated with the public.”

The upshot, Williams continued, is that Underwood has sold 56 million albums worldwide, won seven Grammy awards and is currently the country artist with the most digital single sales.

Williams noted Underwood will co-host the upcoming CMA Awards show, the eighth time to shoulder that responsibility, and he complimented her for her “constant commitment to charity.”

Ron Cox, a senior vice president of Avenue Bank, which co-sponsors songwriter celebrations with BMI, announced that the bank, in recognition of “Little Toy Guns,” has made a contribution to the Checotah Animal, Town and School Foundation, the charity Underwood established for her Oklahoma hometown.

Speaking for ASCAP, Mike Sistad reminded the celebrants that DeStefano also co-wrote the chart-topping “Good Girl” with Underwood and that Lindsey had won a Grammy for co-writing Underwood’s first No. 1 single, “Jesus Take the Wheel.”

Lindsey’s songs have also been nominated for Academy Award and Golden Globe prizes, Sistad added.

“So I’m pregnant, and I’m going to cry even more [than usual],” Lindsey sniffled as she accepted her trophies.

DeStefano expressed his appreciation for being embraced into the music business so quickly and thoroughly.

“Since day one of me coming to Nashville, it felt like home,” he said. “I can’t tell you how gratified I am to be a part of the Nashville community.”

“Normally, when we work together,” Underwood said of Lindsey and DeStefano, “I know we’ll have a good day.” She labeled her two co-writers “the best of the best.”

After voicing her gratitude to everyone who stood with her onstage, Underwood then thanked her baby son, Isaiah, who wasn’t at the party.

“He had nothing to do with this,” she admitted, “but I want to thank him anyway.”

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