Ashley Gorley claimed songwriter of the year for the fourth time, and the Blake Shelton hit “I’ll Name the Dogs” fetched song of the year for its three composers as the Nashville Songwriters Association International presented its annual awards on Sept. 19 in a new public format.
NSAI peers hailed two of Gorley’s copyrights, the Thomas Rhett hit “Marry Me” and the Shelton single “I Lived It,” among the 10 “Songs I Wish I’d Written” as Gorley claimed the songwriter honor for the fourth time in the last five years. “Dogs” bagged the song of the year award for Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson and Ben Hayslip, who also co-wrote “I Lived It” with Gorley.
“Marry Me” co-writer Shane McAnally also logged two of the 10 “Songs I Wish I’d Written.” He was cited for his part in the Old Dominion recording “Written in the Sand.”
LANCO frontman Brandon Lancaster swiped the NSAI songwriter/-artist of the year trophy, thanks in great part to his solo-penned “Greatest Love Story.” In the process, he became the first member of a group to be -singled out in the songwriter/artist category since the award was established in 1989.
The NSAI honors were cast as a stand-alone event at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for the first time in well over a decade with the public able to buy tickets for the evening. The NSAI has long held its awards in conjunction with the Nashville Songwriters Foundation’s induction of new members in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Oct. 28.
In addition to 2018 trophies, NSAI presented the Kris Kristofferson -Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Anderson, the White Hat Award to Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and the Stephen Foster Award to RIAA chairman/CEO Cary Sherman.