Little Big Town Celebrate 'Tornado''s Sweep

Group Previewed Album at Same Venue Last August

Slightly less than a year after Little Big Town previewed its album Tornado at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center via a live performance, the group returned to the same venue Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 13) to celebrate having sold a million copies of the album.

And there were a few other achievements to cheer about as well.

Guests clustered shoulder-to-shoulder in one of the center's out-of-the-way party spaces for the event and diverted themselves with champagne, canapés and gossip until Little Big Town's arrival.

Mike Dungan, chief of Universal Music Group Nashville, the group's label, called the party to order.

"Each one of them individually could be a solo artist," Dungan said of the four-member band. "Together, they're unstoppable."

In addition to being a platinum album, Dungan noted, Tornado topped Billboard's country albums chart for five weeks and spawned the 2-million-selling single "Pontoon" and the million-selling "Tornado." "Pontoon" also earned both a Grammy and a CMA award for single of the year.

After coming to the stage to accept their platinum plaques, Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet took turns thanking the legions of music industry people who helped LBT attain its current prominence.

"We felt something special happening in the studio [during the recording of Tornado]," Westbrook recalled.

Fairchild, his wife, remembered a special moment, too. Addressing F. Reid Shippen, who recorded and mixed the album, she said, "Reid, you called it in the studio. You said, 'Let's win a Grammy.' And we did it."

Lucian Grainge, the worldwide chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, was on hand to add to the crowd's applause.

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