"He's got a beer in his hand -- money's coming," said BMI host Perry Howard as he brought can-holding Kip Moore to the stage to pay tribute to Moore's latest (and lucrative) No. 1 single, "Beer Money."
Photo Credit: Marilu White
The celebration was held at noon Thursday (Feb. 14) in the reception hall of BMI's Music Row headquarters.
Also honored were Blair Daly and Troy Verges, Moore's "Beer Money" co-writers.
Howard noted that Daly has written hits in a variety of formats for acts ranging from John Michael Montgomery and Rascal Flatts to Uncle Kracker and that Verges had recently celebrated another No. 1, Hunter Hayes' "Wanted."
Last year, Moore scored his first chart-topper, "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck."
"This is the coolest No. 1 I've ever been a part of," exclaimed Chris Farren, Daly's publisher at Combustion Music.
"We've just extended Blair's deal," Farren told the crowd. "He's going to be working with us for a few more years."
Kent Earls, general manager at Universal Music Publishing Group, Verges' publisher, reminded the partygoers that "Beer Money" is Verges' fifth No. 1 and that he has just been nominated for the Academy of Country Music's song of the year award for "Wanted."
Moore's producer, Brett James, said Moore is the kind of songwriter who thinks the last song he's written is the best song he's written. So he confessed that he was a bit suspicious when Moore brought him "Beer Money," proclaiming it his best ever.
After hearing the song, though, James said he had to agree with him.
Royce Risser, head of promotion for Universal Music Group, Moore's label, praised the singer for pitching in to raise his profile at radio.
"This guy writes letters to every programmer," he said, "and I mean letters -- sometimes a page and a half. ... I've never had an artist that works this hard."
Moore told the crowd he would try to keep his composure better than he had done when he experienced his first hit. But he came close to breaking down as he told of his hardscrabble days of touring in a van for three years and living in a $200-a-month "shithole." ("I'm going to sound like Andrew Dice Clay up here," he warned, as he freely mixed expletives and superlatives.)
He thanked James and his writing partners for keeping his spirits up during the dark days. He recalled that after one particularly unrewarding performance, James came up to him and said, "No matter what people say, you're a rock star."
"My soul would be dead if I weren't doing music," he contended. Then, citing by name a throng of co-workers and supporters who stood in the audience watching him, he added, "My main prayer years ago was, 'Surround me with the right people.'"
He toyed with a No. 1 song medallion a representative of the Country Music Association had just hung around his neck and said, "I'm going to keep wearing this and flash it at Brett every time he says, 'I don't like that song.'"
View photos from the No. 1 party.