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Billy Currington has a sexy new single in “Tangled Up” and he’s just earned his first platinum album. Here’s some of what he had to say to CW at his recent platinum record party in Nashville.
CW: Did you know your album was about to go platinum, or did it sneak up on you?
BC: It did sneak up on me! [Laughs] In a way … but in a way it didn’t. I didn’t see it comin’ … it was out of the blue. Because we had the first album, and I just thought there was a lot of songs on there I wish would’ve made the radio. And because of the way the business is, they didn’t make the radio, so it didn’t allow the record to get out there and sell and do what it needed to do. So, at 200,000 … it was crashed. And it sat on the shelf … but it didn’t sit on the shelf … ’cause there was no more on the shelf, you know? [No more had been distributed.] So it was like a heartbreak back then.
Then you got the Doin’ Somethin’ Right album and we did the “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” song and it sells gold. And I think, “Wow! We’re on our way to platinum.” Then all the sudden, record sales just dropped for some strange reason … it’s just part of it. And I was told we had to move on to the next album, so there would be no platinum on Doin’ Somethin’ Right also. And that just crushed me. It broke my heart. ‘Cause when you’re a songwriter and you dream this big dream for years and years … and it doesn’t happen … and it’s OK that it doesn’t happen. But it’s like, “Wow, man … just put another song out there and I know it’ll go platinum, you know?”
And they were so nice. My record label was so good to me. They were like, “All right, Billy. You want to put the turnip green song out there, let’s put it out there.” And they did … and they got behind it. And we’re sittin’ at platinum. It’s such a cool experience to see it happen like that.
CW: Do you still feel like a new artist, like you’re still struggling … or can you sort of have a big sigh of relief now?
BC: It’s so funny that you’d ask me that question. We’re sittin’ here going, “You’ve got platinum status!” What is it supposed to mean? A yacht by now! Know what I mean? It’s supposed to mean a big house and the whole deal. Just do as many shows as you want and act like George Strait, you know? That’s what platinum meant to me back in the days of 15 years old, and 18 years old.
And all those days I was lookin’ at all those records. What they were doin’. It’s so weird … as a kid I kept up with that. Kept up with who wrote the song, who produced the song and who played drums on the session. I don’t know why I did it, but I did. Course, gettin’ here to platinum … and thinking it’s supposed to be all those things I named … it still feels like a struggle sometimes. Not struggle like, “Oh my God … I ain’t payin’ my bills” and all that. To me, the songwriter Frank Dycus said it best, “It ain’t what you did … it’s what you’re doin’ now … that’s what people think of you.”
So, yeah, I’m platinum … but I’m still playin’ fairs and festivals and eating hot dogs and cotton candy every day, every night … and bars. Watching all my good buddies like Rascal Flatts, who I played on Broadway with … and played in Printers Alley with … we played in bands together. Lookin’ at them sellin’ multimillions and I [was] like, “Please throw me a bone, man!” Platinum what!? [Laughs]
So it always feels like you’ve just gotta keep workin’ … which is good for me. ‘Cause if I ain’t workin’, it’s like my grandma said, “Idle time is the Devil’s workshop” … and I’ll get in trouble. So, I’m just glad to be continuing working. I’m glad to have a record deal … it’s very hard to come by.
To learn more about Billy, check out his story in the Aug. 13 Country Weekly.