Jessica Nicholson • October 6, 2016 •
Dierks Bentley and Elle King welcomed songwriters, publishers, label executives, media and more to Nashville venue Moto on Tuesday (Oct. 4) to celebrate the No. 1 hit, “Different For Girls.”
ASCAP’s Mike Sistad and Robert Filhart led the festivities. Among those making remarks were Global Music Rights’ (GMR) Randy Gimmett, SMACK’s Robert Carlton, UMG Nashville’s Royce Risser (filling in for an ailing Mike Dungan) and producer Ross Copperman.
The Gold-certified hit marks Bentley’s 15th career No. 2, and King’s first country No. 1 single.
“Different For Girls” was penned by GMR writer Shane McAnally and ASCAP writer JT Harding. The longtime co-writers earned their first No. 1 songs together six years ago, when they penned Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere With You.” “Different For Girls” is McAnally’s 19th No. 1 song, and Harding’s fifth.
Speaking about Harding, McAnally noted, “He brings joy to the room. Even when you write a song like this, you leave the room feeling like you learned something about bringing positivity to the world.” He continued, “Ross Copperman, you handled this song with such care. I could have become just an artful moment on a record, but you took this to where it sounded like the radio without compromising the lyrics and the message. That is hard to do. Thank you for taking such good care of this song.”
“I knew this song was special when Robert Carlton starting texting us about it when it was just a recording on Shane’s phone,” said Harding. “It’s scary to think about what Nashville would have been like for me without you. Everywhere I go, people ask me, ‘What’s Shane McAnally like?’ I tell them he’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met and he’s so quick to share credit. He believes in songwriters, especially up-and-coming writers, and Nashville is so lucky to have you. Also to my new publisher Rusty Gaston, thank you for believing in me.”
“I never thought that this would happen,” said King. “Thank you guys for writing a great song. It wouldn’t have existed without you guys working so hard on this.”
“It really changed my life,” said Bentley of the song. Describing the party atmosphere and subsequent recovery from life on the road, the singer thanked the songwriters “who know you better than you know yourself sometimes, and see paths for your career that you don’t even get a chance to see, because you’re just not fully conscious — other than when you’ve had two or three vodka Redbulls and it’s time to go onstage.”
He added, “A big part of the success has been the reach into the community. It’s taken me a while to realize that—12 or 13 years. You make great records when you balance out your own songs with great songs from the community.”
Joking about releasing other people’s songs as singles, he concluded, “It’s four in a row now I’ve cut. I need to maybe pull one of mine out at some point. I’m really thankful for that. Singing with Elle was a dream come true. Thank you guys for a great song and a great couple of years.”
“Different For Girls” is nominated for Musical Event of the Year at the upcoming 50th annual CMA Awards, while Bentley also has nominations in the Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (for Black) and Video of the Year categories.