An inherent part of the Music Row experience, No. 1 parties are one of the rare occasions where everyone who has had anything to do with a song’s rise up the charts comes together to celebrate.
They’re even more special when the song being honored is a songwriter’s first hit. Looking out at the small community of people who helped bring the song to life from its creation to its release can be an emotional experience for any first-time hitmaker.
On Tuesday (Jan. 30), Dan & Shay’s double No. 1 celebration for “How Not To” and “From the Ground Up” hosted a packed crowd at Nashville’s ASCAP headquarters and had at least three partygoers fighting back their tears over achieving the unicorn that is a chart-topping smash.
After getting showered with an array of plaques and gifts (including iPads and Yeti coolers), songwriters Kevin Bard, Adam Hambrick and Shay Mooney each got visibly emotional expressing thank yous to friends and family for their support. “How Not To” is Bard’s first No. 1 with co-writers Hambrick and Boys Like Girls’ guitarist Paul DiGiovanni. “From the Ground Up” is Mooney’s third hit as a songwriter (He co-wrote Rascal Flatts’ “I Like the Sound of That.”) and his second with Dan Smyers and songwriter Chris DeStefano, the latter of whom was celebrating his 14th No. 1.
Each artist took time to speak and recognize those who have been there for them. When it was Dan & Shay’s turn, Smyers spoke for eight minutes, thanking everyone who has ever believed in their music and saying that it’s an honor to perform with his best friend night after night.
“Every time I hear this guy sing, I’m like, ’How did I get so lucky,'” Smyers said. “’How do I get to sing next to this guy?’ This guy right here is the best singer in the entire world.”
Mooney thanked God for country music and said he’s blown away every time they celebrate a No. 1. Then he lost his breath when he looked at his wife Hannah who was standing in the crowd holding their infant son, Asher James.
“There’s a lot of terrible things that go on in the world, but that’s the best thing in my life right there,” he said pointing to his family. “I just can’t believe that we get to do music for a living and be this family that is country music. We are so blessed to get to do this.”
Before leaving the stage, Dan & Shay’s record label, Warner Music Nashville, surprised the duo with a plaque honoring their first gold-selling album, Where It All Began.