Zac Brown, Hillary Scott and Others Earn SESAC Nashville Music Awards
The CMA Awards aren’t the only honors being bestowed this week, as one of the three major performing rights organizations, SESAC, awarded its annual Nashville Music Awards to several country artists and songwriters on Nov. 1.
The Zac Brown Band tune “Homegrown” off their most recent record Jekyll + Hyde earned Brown, Niko Moon and Wyatt Durrette an award for Song of the Year.
“To be able to do this for a living amazes me still,” Durrette tells the Tennessean. “Watching the crowds and talking to people about how the songs touched them in some way, made them feel happy or made them feel not alone in a bad situation, it’s why I fell in love with music to begin with.”
The song also earned a Country Performance Activity award, which recognizes the most-performed songs of the year. “Loving You Easy,” also from Jekyll + Hyde, earned Brown and Moon the honor as well.
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott received three Country Performance Activity awards for the group’s songs “Bartender,” “Long Stretch of Love” and “Freestyle,” which were all presented to her by friend and fellow country singer Kelsea Ballerini.
“Tonight was AWESOME!!!!” Scott wrote on Instagram afterward. “@SESACMusic, thank you for recognizing and championing the songwriter in every way."
Standout songwriter Cary Barlowe won not only Country Performance Activity awards for Dustin Lynch’s “Where It’s At” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze,” but also the prestigious Songwriter of the Year award.
“You might not always have this ‘move-mountain’ lyric or a crazy idea, but sometimes it works,” Barlowe says. “Sometimes it’s either just stupid enough or just catchy enough, and sometimes it is a ‘move-mountain’ lyric. Every now and then, you’ll accidentally spit something out and [think], ‘Damn. That was pretty good.'”
Reba McEntire and Crystal Gayle paid tribute to songwriter Richard Leigh with performances of his tunes “The Greatest Man I Never Knew “ and “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” celebrating his achievement of SESAC’s Songwriter Legacy Award.
“This is the highest honor of my life,” he said when accepting his award (quote via CMT). “I was so excited, I barely slept last night.”
To view the full list of SESAC Nashville Music Award winners, visit the organization’s website.
Zac Brown Band are slated to perform at the CMA awards this Wednesday, Nov. 4, as are Ballerini and Florida Georgia Line.
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