With velvety Frank Sinatra tunes playing in the background, a crowd of music industryites gathered at Nashville’s BMI headquarters Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 9) to toast the success of Brett Eldredge’s recent single, “Drunk on Your Love.”
Co-written and co-produced by Eldredge and Ross Copperman, “Drunk” rose to No. 2 on both Billboard’s hot country songs and country airplay charts.
The Sinatra music was a nod to Eldredge’s admiration for and occasional live covers of the icon’s classics.
While waiting for the presentations to start, guests buzzed around the well-stocked wine bar and grazed on the buffet of gourmet cheeses, fruits, grilled breads, heirloom tomato-and-bacon finger sandwiches, grilled chicken sliders, four-layer chickpea hummus and fancy desserts.
BMI’s Bradley Collins hosted the event, inviting to the stage not only the two honorees but Copperman’s 4-year old daughter Iris and Eldredge’s dog Edgar, as well. Iris proved to be irresistibly cute, while Edgar, a Vizsla-Weimaraner mix, seemed regally indifferent to the whole thing.
Collins reminded the crowd that Eldredge is on tour with Keith Urban and announced that Avenue Bank, which co-sponsor s BMI songwriter parties, had made a contribution to the Alzheimer’s Foundation in Eldredge’s and Copperman’s names.
Josh Van Valkenburg, senior vice president of Sony/ATV Music, the pair’s publisher, praised Eldredge and Copperman for combining a reverence for traditional country music while being willing to stretch the format’s boundaries.
“Country music is better with both of you in it,” he concluded.
John Esposito, president and CEO of Warner Music Nashville, the parent company of Eldredge’s record label, said “Drunk on Your Love” has already been certified gold (signifying the sale of 500,000 copies) and is close to the million-selling platinum mark.
Also a Sinatra fanatic, Esposito declared that Eldredge has just recorded a lavishly orchestrated Christmas album that is better than any of Sinatra’s holiday collections.
“We’re just at the beginning of a very long ride by an artist who’s going to be culturally important,” Esposito asserted. “He’s not just a country singer — he’s going to take our music to the world. … This Christmas album shows he’s a voice for the ages.”
Copperman recalled his and Eldredge’s leaner days together when nothing much was happening except the stirring of each other’s musical enthusiasms. He said Eldredge would come to his home in the Nashville suburb of Bellevue, and the two of them would write songs as Eldredge held the family dachshund on top of his head.
“This Christmas album is going to blow everyone’s mind,” Copperman promised.
Holding a glass of white wine, the rangy Eldredge proffered thanks to everyone who’d aided and encouraged him on his slow climb to fame. There were times, he noted, he couldn’t even have made it as a guest to such a party. A career in music, he said, is “not a sprint but a marathon.”
Learning to face rejection, he continued, is just part of the business.
“You’ve got to be told no a lot, and you’ve got to have people standing with you who say yes,” he noted.
On this cloudy, muggy, rain-spattered afternoon, he had a legion of yea-sayers.