Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year honoree Luke Laird at the 2012 BMI Country Awards
Luke Laird went home with top honors at the 60th annual BMI Country Awards, held last night in Nashville, TN. The prolific writer shared BMI Country Songwriter of the Year honors with Dallas Davidson, while “Take a Back Road,” written by Laird and Rhett Akins, was named BMI Country Song of the Year.
Laird earned the prestigious Songwriter of the Year title thanks to writing five songs that ranked among the 50 most-performed country songs in the BMI catalogue over the past year: “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans; “Baggage Claim” by Miranda Lambert; “Drink in My Hand” by Eric Church; “You” by Chris Young; and “Take a Back Road,” recorded by Rodney Atkins.
Song of the Year “Take a Back Road” earned more than one million performances in 2011 alone – the equivalent of the song being performed back-to-back for six consecutive years – making it one of the most-performed songs of the year in any musical genre.
The BMI Country Awards ceremony honors capped off an incredible year for Laird, who recently scored his tenth No. 1 single with Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” and stepped behind the boards to produce Kacey Musgraves’ soon-to-be-released major label debut. The versatile hit-maker also continued to work with a diverse selection of the world’s top R&B, pop and rock songwriters and producers, and co-founded Creative Nation, an innovative music publishing and management company, with wife Beth Laird.
Billboard's No. 3 Hot Country Songwriter of 2011, Luke Laird grew up in the small farming town of Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania. Pursuing a lifelong love of making music, he moved to Nashville in 1997 to attend Middle Tennessee State University. After graduation, he got a job as assistant tour manager for Brooks & Dunn and honed his songwriting ability on the road. Encouraged and mentored by established Nashville songwriter Bill Luther and music publisher Chris Oglesby, he landed a publishing deal with BMG Music Publishing in 2002. Laird's songs have been recorded by Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Amy Grant, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Sara Evans, Cassandra Wilson (duet feat. John Legend), Holly Williams, Trace Adkins, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Charlotte Church, Chris Young, Blake Shelton, Clay Walker, Emerson Drive, Jessica Simpson, Jannette McCurdy, Tyler Farr, Joe Nichols, Lee Ann Womack, Katharine McPhee, Francesca Battistelli, and Laura Bell Bundy, among others. A prolific and sought after writer, producer and collaborator, Laird's songs have been on more than 25 million albums sold.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of BMI