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Though Georgia native Brantley Gilbert has been to the top of the Billboard Country charts a couple of times before, his most recent No. 1 was something new for the singer. Brantley previously co-wrote two of Jason Aldean’s chart-topping hits, “Dirt Road Anthem” and “My Kinda Party,” but scored his first No.1 single as an artist with “Country Must Be Country Wide,” which he co-wrote with fellow artist Colt Ford and songwriter Mike Dekle. Brantley, along with a slew of industry supporters, celebrated at Nashville restaurant Cabana on Tuesday (Jan. 17).
Brantley got another surprise before the party. “My dad drove up from Georgia and surprised me today,” Brantley told CountryWeekly.com. “He’s so excited for me. It’s great seeing all my friends coming out and all the guys from the label.”
Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta, Brantley’s "Country Must Be Country Wide" co-writers Mike and Colt, producer Dann Huff and representatives from the Country Radio Broadcasters, Country Music Association and BMI were in attendance. The occasion nearly brought the normally jovial and quick-witted Colt to tears. “It means a lot to see this happen to a good friend,” he told the crowd.
Brantley will hit the road with Eric Church on Eric’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour, which kicks off Thursday (Jan. 19) at the Fort Smith Convention Center in Fort Smith, Ark.
"He’s kind of like us. He didn’t do it the traditional way, he did it his own way. We’re kind of cut from the same mold,” Brantley says of Eric. “I’ve been a fan of his for a long time.
"Tickets are selling like crazy. We’ve got new production—lights and stuff,” says Brantley. “I’m excited to get out there.”