Dozens of guests at Lauren Alaina’s first No. 1 party strutted around in the garishly colorful “onesies” provided them Wednesday afternoon (May 24) as they entered the doors at Nashville’s Sutler nightclub.
The party was thrown by ASCAP and BMI, the performance rights organizations, to celebrate the chart-topping success of “Road Less Traveled,” which Alaina co-wrote with Meghan Trainor and Jesse Frasure, both of whom were on hand to bask in the revelry.
Partygoers who were there principally for the nourishment headed straight to the bar for wine, beer or less venturous drink or else lined up at the buffet table where club sandwiches, guacamole, dips, chips and fried pickles awaited them.
Some of the one-piece, pull-on costumes were not only brightly colored but also imaginatively designed in styles that ranged from astronaut suits to walrus skins, complete with tusks.
It was one of the strangest themes in an industry that always struggles to top itself in frivolity. Months earlier, the Sutler was also the scene of Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane” celebration, at which guests donned captain’s hats, dark glasses and mustaches of the kind seen in the song’s music video.
BMI’s Leslie Roberts called the party to order to apprise the crowd of Alaina’s and Frasure’s achievements.
Frasure, who also DJs under the name DJ Telemitry, has opened shows for Thomas Rhett, Roberts said, and currently has songwriting credits on five country chart singles (on songs by Old Dominion, LOCASH, Easton Corbin, Todd O’Neill and Brooke Eden).
“Road Less Traveled” is Frasure’s sixth No. 1, she Roberts reported, adding that he had recently won the Country Music Association’s Triple Play award for scoring three No. 1 songs within a year.
Roberts welcomed Alaina’s family to the party. She noted that Alaina has been singing for 19 of her 22 years, having first ventured onto the stage when she was 3.
“Road Less Traveled” is Alaina’s sixth Mercury Records single and her first No. 1. As is BMI’s custom for songwriters celebrating their initial hit, Alaina was presented with an acoustic guitar.
Mike Sistad spoke for ASCAP, of which Trainor is a member. She remains best-known for her 2014 hit, “All About That Bass.”
Sistad reminded the crowd that Trainor had been honored last week in Los Angeles with ASCAP’s Vanguard Award (given for “helping shape American music.”) He said this is her fourth No. 1 as a songwriter.
When Alaina came to the stage to accept her No. 1 plaque, she looked at it closely and then hoisted it over her head for the crowd to admire.
Roberts announced that Alaina had recently acted in her first movie, which is also titled Road Less Traveled.
Busbee, who produced “Road Less Traveled,” told the crowd, “These types of songs are really hard to get — I mean uptempo songs with meaning.”
The theme of “Road Less Traveled” is that one should follow one’s own instincts: “You won’t make yourself a name if you follow the rules/History gets made when you’re acting a fool,” it counsels.
Trainor agreed, “We were so happy and so proud of the message that we danced around like this.” And she danced around to illustrate that point.
To Alaina, she said, “We were both insecure — in all the right ways.”
Alaina said that after releasing “five singles that didn’t go No. 1,” she was fearful that her label would drop her. She thanked the team at Mercury for not doing so.
Looking out over the cheering (and colorful) crowd that packed the room, she said, “This is like my biggest dream come true.”