Nashville’s top tunesmiths were recognized today as CMA Triple Play Awards were presented at the Seventh Annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon. Seventeen songwriters received the Award, which is presented to those who pen three chart-topping hits in a 12-month period.

“Songwriters keep Music City playing and I’m honored to return as host for this important event celebrating this significant milestone in their careers,” said Troy Tomlinson, President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Nashville and CMA Board member.

“We are very pleased to recognize these talented songwriters and songwriting artists for this impressive accomplishment and significant contribution to Country Music,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Their craft evokes emotion and we are grateful they’ve chosen the Country format to share their rare talents with the world.”

Honored at today’s luncheon were recipients Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Zach Crowell, Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley, Tyler Hubbard, Sam Hunt, Brett James, Jaren Johnston, Brian Kelley, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, and Brad Tursi.

In attendance were Akins, Copperman, Crowell, DeStefano, Gorley, Hubbard, James, Laird, Lindsey, McAnally, and Osborne. Also present were hit tunesmiths from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, as well as songwriter members of CMA and representatives of some of the most successful publishers in Music City.

For the first time since CMA began an annual recognition program for the Triple Play Awards, the Association presented THREE Triple Play trophies to one songwriter. Gorley had NINE songs reach No. 1. The three Triple Play Awards bring Gorley’s total number of Triple Play honors to seven.

“Being on stage today with so many friends is a great feeling,” Gorley said. “We are all thankful for the CMA and the community of Nashville for respecting and recognizing us as songwriters, and awarding what we do behind the scenes. I’m thankful to be a part of the day.”

Copperman, DeStefano, and McAnally each received two Triple Play trophies, all having six songs race to the top of the charts, bringing their Triple Play Awards career totals to two, three, and four, respectively.

Akins and Laird received their fifth Triple Play Awards during the luncheon. Receiving their first Triple Play Award today were Copperman, Crowell, Hubbard, Hunt, Johnston, Kelley, Ramsey, Rosen, and Tursi.

Upholding CMA’s mission of recognizing excellence in the format, the Association presents honors to songwriters through a variety of events each year including the CMA Awards, during which the CMA Award for Song of the Year is presented on the annual broadcast to the winning songwriters, and in a rotating category for songwriters in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame. CMA also proudly presents official No. 1 Medallions throughout the year to congratulate and honor songwriters at No. 1 parties.

In 2005, CMA’s Board of Directors created and launched the CMA Songwriter Series at Joe’s Pub in New York City, which has grown to include shows in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Washington D.C. at the Library of Congress, and at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2012, the series expanded to the U.K. and Ireland. To continue expanding the awareness of the genre internationally, the CMA Songwriters Series will return to London in the U.K. this year as part of the C2C (Country to Country) festival, which is a multi-day event presented in London, Dublin, Glasgow, Stockholm, and Oslo in partnership with CMA.

The CMA Songwriters Series continues reaching audiences nationwide through a partnership with CMA and Public Television’s acclaimed series “Front and Center.” The first two concert specials aired in the fall of 2014 and featured Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, and their songwriter collaborators. In 2015, the specials featured artists and songwriters such as Brandy Clark, Sara Evans, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, and Charlie Worsham. Five more songwriter specials have been taped to air this year featuring numerous hit songwriters alongside songwriter artists Ronnie Dunn, Brett Eldredge, Kip Moore, Darius Rucker, and Steven Tyler.

In alphabetical order, the recipients of CMA’s Triple Play Award included:

  • Rhett Akins: “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “Young & Crazy”
  • Ross Copperman: “Beat Of The Music,” “Don’t It,” “Smoke,” “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Strip It Down,” “Lose My Mind”
  • Zach Crowell: “Where It’s At,” “House Party,” “Hell Of A Night”
  • Chris DeStefano: “Rewind,” “Something In The Water,” “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Little Toy Guns,” “Kick The Dust Up,” “Smoke Break”
  • Ashley Gorley: “Play It Again,” “Yeah,” “I See You,” “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Don’t It,” “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “Kick The Dust Up,” “Young & Crazy,” “Nothin’ Like You”
  • Tyler Hubbard: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Sun Daze”
  • Sam Hunt: “We Are Tonight,” “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time”
  • Brett James: “I Hold On,” “Bottoms Up,” “Something In The Water”
  • Jaren Johnston: “Beachin’,” “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Raise ‘Em Up”
  • Brian Kelley: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Sun Daze”
  • Luke Laird: “American Kids,” “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Talladega”
  • Hillary Lindsey: “Shotgun Rider,” “Girl Crush,” “Little Toy Guns”
  • Shane McAnally: “American Kids,” “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Say You Do,” “Wild Child,” “Young & Crazy”
  • Josh Osborne: “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Wild Child”
  • Matthew Ramsey: “Say You Do,” “Save It For A Rainy Day,” “Break Up With Him”
  • Trevor Rosen: “Say You Do,” “Sangria,” “Break Up With Him”
  • Brad Tursi: “A Guy Walks Into A Bar,” “Save It For A Rainy Day,” “Break Up With Him”

For more information, visit CMAworld.com and CMAsongwritersseries.com.

About CMA: Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,450 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2016;  the CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education and is taped for a three-hour TV special; and “CMA Country Christmas,” featuring Country artists performing original music and Christmas classics. All of CMA’s television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021.