All it took was one visit to the Bluebird Café for Pennsylvania native Luke Laird to know he is for Nashville.
Laird has become one of Nashville’s powerhouse hit-makers
He’s the reigning Academy of Country Music Awards Songwriter of the Year and has won Country Music Association Triple Play Awards – which are awarded to songwriters with three number ones in one calendar year – four of the past five years. He’s also a GRAMMY-winning producer for Kacey Musgraves’ debut album Same Trailer, Different Park, on which Laird helped pen 6 of the 12 tracks.
The then-teenager was a huge country music fan but didn’t listen to music like your typical fan; he relished dissecting lyrics and studying the writing and producer credits on albums. He was in between his sophomore and junior years of high school when he went on what became a life-changing family vacation to Music City.
The 2007 Carrie Underwood hit “So Small” is Laird’s first number-one song. Notably, it was the first single Underwood had a part in co-writing and became the highest chart entry on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart by a solo country female in more than four decades. Other songs of Underwood that penned are “Last Name”, “Temporary Home”, and “Undo It”.
Laird’s written hits
As a songwriter, Laird has had 46 radio singles – 23 of which were Billboard #1 hits and four of which were in the Billboard top five. His #1 hits include: “Fast” and “I See You” (Luke Bryan); “Head Over Boots” (Jon Pardi); “T-Shirt” (Thomas Rhett); “Gonna” and “Hillbilly Bone” (Blake Shelton); “Talladega,” “Give Me Back My Hometown,” and “Drink In My Hand” (Eric Church); “American Kids” (Kenny Chesney); “Sunshine & Whiskey” (Frankie Ballard); “One of Those Nights” (Tim McGraw); “Downtown” (Lady Antebellum); “Somebody’s Heartbreak” (Hunter Hayes); “Beat This Summer” (Brad Paisley); “Pontoon” (Little Big Town); “You” (Chris Young); “A Little Bit Stronger” (Sara Evans); “Take A Back Road” (Rodney Atkins); and “Temporary Home,” “Undo It,” “So Small,” and “Last Name” (Carrie Underwood).
According to BMI’s (Broadcast Music, Inc.), he is the Country Songwriter of the Year in 2012, having co-written five songs that appeared on the year’s most played list. Additionally, his song with Rodney Atkins, “Take a Back Road” was named Song of the Year. Both in 2012 and 2013, he was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards
He’s also an award-winning producer
While Laird is primarily known for his songwriting chops, it’s producing that landed him his first GRAMMY trophy. How does the busy creator split his time between the two? “I definitely see myself as a songwriter first,” Laird says. “I enjoy the production, but I want to do it minimally so I can put the time and attention into the projects I take on.”
In 2014, Laird received a Grammy Award for his work as a producer on Kacey Musgraves album Same Trailer Different Park. It was named Best Country Album
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