The duo Dan + Shay celebrated its first No. 1 single — “Nothin’ Like You” — Wednesday afternoon (March 16) at the South bar on Nashville’s Music Row.
Joining Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney were the songs two other co-writers, Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano, plus a roomful of business associates, family and friends and general well-wishers.
DeStefano also produced the record.
“Nothin’ Like You” topped Billboard’s country airplay chart in December.
The celebration was jointly sponsored by the performance rights organizations ASCAP, of which Smyers, Gorley and DeStefano are members, and BMI, to which Mooney is affiliated.
All four songwriters were given multiple awards, as were their publishing companies and the duo’s label, Warner Bros. Nashville.
Speaking for ASCAP, Beth Brinker told the crowd that DeStefano had won two County Music Association Triple Play awards during the past year. The award is given to songwriters who score three No. 1 singles within a given year, which meant DeStefano had racked up six within that time.
“Nothin’ Like You,” Brinker continued, was DeStefano’s second chart-topper as a producer.
The statistics were even more impressive for Gorley, Brinker revealed. He won three Triple Plays last year. He also has songwriting credits on the current No. 1 country song, Carrie Undewood’s “Heartbeat,” and has been ASCAP’s songwriter of the year for the past two years.
Smyers had fewer trophies to brag about, this being his first songwriting award. But Brinker lauded him for his work in rescuing dogs. He wore a T-shirt with “Puppies” emblazoned across the front.
Dogs figure prominently in the “Nothin’ Like You” music video.
BMI’s Perry Howard sang Mooney’s praises. He said the Arkansas native had spent time working in the Atlanta hip-hop scene before coming to Nashville and turning to country music.
He added that Mooney was a co-writer of Rascal Flatts’ 2015 single, “I Like the Sound of That.”
Alluding to the fact that celebrations such as this one have become a source of free food and drinks for many of those still on the fringes of the music industry, Howard quipped, “No. 1 parties are like soup kitchens for struggling songwriters.”
Shay agreed, saying later that he and Dan would, in the early stages of their career, “take meetings” with anyone who’d buy them lunch.
Warner Music Nashville chief John Esposito recounted that he was so excited about Dan + Shay’s potential as recording artists that he wouldn’t let them leave the negotiating session until they agreed to record for his label. He said he even took them home and had his wife cook a meal for them.
He noted that Blake Shelton, who also records for Warner, was such a fan of the duo and so impressed with the prospect of “Nothin’ Like You” going No. 1 that he asked Esposito to be sure his own single didn’t stand in the way of that happening.
“The one thing Nashville has taught me,” DeStefano said, “is that life is a family. … This [No. 1] party feels like the first one.”
Gorley cited Dan + Shay’s high standards for their music.
“These guys will not leave a melodic or lyrical stone unturned,” he asserted.
Said Mooney, “This feels like our first No. 1 — because it is. That’s the only joke I could think of.”
He said he began visiting Nashville with his parents when he was 8 years old.
“This is a town of dreams,” he declared.