CMA Honors Triple Play Award-Winning Songwriters During Eighth Annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon Scott Frans February 15, 2017 Industry Leader Donna Hilley Posthumously Receives Irving Waugh Award of Excellence NASHVILLE – Twenty of Nashville’s top songwriters were recognized with CMA Triple Play Awards during the Eighth Annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon Wednesday at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. This prestigious trophy is presented to songwriters who pen three No. 1 songs within a 12-month period. The luncheon was hosted by Troy Tomlinson, President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Nashville and CMA Board member. “Songwriters are often honored for their creativity, and rightly so,” said Tomlinson. “The Triple Play Awards honor not only that creativity inherent in the craft, but also the work ethic it takes to achieve the milestone of three chart-topping songs in 12 months.” Ross Copperman received two trophies in recognition for six No. 1 songs, bringing his total Triple Play Awards count to four. “I know there are a lot of people here with a dream like I had and I’m thankful it’s turned into a career,” remarked Copperman. “For fans to drive these songs to No. 1 and then to receive this recognition from CMA is such an honor.” Many Triple Play Award recipients were in attendance, including Rhett Akins, Luke Bryan, Rodney Clawson, Copperman, Zach Crowell, Dallas Davidson, Brett Eldredge, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Matt Jenkins, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Niko Moon, Shay Mooney, Cole Swindell, and Craig Wiseman. Each winner received a video message from a fellow recipient that played before each Award presentation. Triple Play recipients Zac Brown, Jon Nite, and Carrie Underwood joined in with fellow honorees by submitting special congratulatory video messages. Eldredge, Frasure, Jenkins, Moon, and Mooney are first time Triple Play Awards recipients. In alphabetical order, the CMA Triple Play Award recipients are: Rhett Akins: “Mind Reader,” “Huntin’, Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day,” “I Know Somebody” Zac Brown: “Homegrown,” “Loving You Easy,” “Beautiful Drug” Luke Bryan: “Strip It Down,” “Huntin’, Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day,” “Move” Rodney Clawson: “Confession,” “You Look Like I Need A Drink,” “May We All” Ross Copperman: “Break On Me,” “Drunk On Your Love,” “Confession,” “American Country Love Song,” “Setting The World On Fire,” “I Know Somebody” Zach Crowell: “Heartbeat,” “Church Bells,” “Middle Of A Memory” Dallas Davidson: “Tonight Looks Good On You,” Kick The Dust Up,” “Huntin’, Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day” Brett Eldredge: “Mean To Me,” “Lose My Mind,” “Drunk On Your Love” Jesse Frasure: “Crash And Burn,” “I Like The Sound Of That,” “Fix” Ashley Gorley: “Heartbeat,” “You Should Be Here,” “T-Shirt” Matt Jenkins: “Confession,” “Setting The World On Fire,” “Song For Another Time” Luke Laird: “Gonna,” “T-Shirt,” “Head Over Boots” Hillary Lindsey: “Smoke Break,” “Church Bells,” “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Shane McAnally: “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Stay A Little Longer,” “T-Shirt” Niko Moon: “Homegrown,” “Loving You Easy,” “Beautiful Drug” Shay Mooney: “Nothin’ Like You,” “I Like The Sound Of That,” “From The Ground Up” Jon Nite: “Smoke,” “Strip It Down,” “Break On Me” Cole Swindell: “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey,” “Let Me See Ya Girl,” “You Should Be Here” Carrie Underwood: “Little Toy Guns,” “Smoke Break,” “Heartbeat” Craig Wiseman: “Anything Goes,” “Gonna,” “Came Here To Forget” During the program, CMA also presented the Irving Waugh Award of Excellence posthumously to Donna Hilley, former Chief Executive Officer of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. On hand to accept the Award on Hilley’s behalf was the pioneering publishing executive’s daughter, Debbie Tenpenny, who is Sony/ATV Music Publishing Senior Director of Creative Services Administration. “On behalf of my sisters, Vickie Arney and Whitney Stewart, and our family, I’m honored to accept the Irving Waugh Award of Excellence on behalf of our mother, Donna Hilley,” said Tenpenny. “She loved Country Music and everything that entailed. She went to Washington on many occasions to lobby for stronger protection for writers. Most importantly to her was her love of her writers. She felt as if each and every one of them were her own. She was never one who wanted recognition for anything, because she did it out of love. However, I know that today she is smiling up in heaven. We want to thank CMA for this distinguished honor.” “Donna Hilley had a deep admiration for songwriters and artists. She played an instrumental role in so many iconic and legendary careers. Her tenacity, grace, and commitment to this industry won’t be forgotten,” said Trahern. The Irving Waugh Award of Excellence is awarded to an individual who is the originator and caretaker of demonstrated ideas and actions that have dramatically broadened and improved Country Music’s influence on a national or international level for the benefit of the industry as a whole. It is the intention that these ideas and actions typically will have run a course of years and shall have a proven historical impact on Country Music. Although Hilley had humble beginnings in Birmingham, Alabama, she would go on to become one of Nashville’s first female CEOs. With a high school degree and zero work experience, Hilley found work at Nashville radio station WKDA and shortly after landed a position with ad firm, Bill Hudson and Associates. Hilley’s career catapulted when her previous radio employer, who also ran a music publishing company, contacted her to fill a secretary position. This role at Tree Publishing began her ascent towards ultimately becoming President and CEO of Sony/ATV Publishing in 1994. She spent 31 years at Sony/ATV and was an industry trailblazer who was integral in acquisitions for publishing catalogs containing some of Country Music’s biggest hits. She has been inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and has received prestigious honors from NSAI, Leadership Music, and Belmont University. Hilley died June 20, 2012 of an extended illness. CMA presents honors to songwriters through a variety of events each year. In April, CMA will announce the 2017 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees, which will include the rotating Songwriter category. During the CMA Awards each fall, the CMA Award for Song of the Year is presented during the broadcast to the winning songwriters. CMA also proudly presents official No. 1 Medallions throughout the year to congratulate and honor songwriters. CMA Songwriters Series reaches audiences nationally and around the world, traveling to cities including Austin, Belfast, Boston, Chicago, Dublin, London, Nashville, New York, Paris, Washington, D.C., and more, highlighting the songwriting community. CMA’s partnership with Public Television’s acclaimed series “Front and Center” also takes CMA Songwriters Series to television audiences across the U.S. For more information, visit CMAworld.com.