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It may have been Eric Church's wife Katherine's birthday Tuesday (Feb. 28), but she spent the afternoon helping her singer/songwriter husband celebrate his first No. 1 single, "Drink in My Hand."
An industry party commemorating the event was held at performing rights organization BMI's Nashville offices, where Eric and his co-writers Luke Laird and Michael Heeney were honored. The songwriters were awarded plaques from publisher Sony/ATV's Troy Tomlinson. Awards also went to the radio promotions team at Eric's label, EMI Nashville. BMI awarded silver cups to the songwriters and the industry members who made the No. 1 hit possible.
Capitol Nashville CEO MIke Dungan also surprised Eric with a little extra award—his own wooden Indian statue, alluding to the title of Eric's BIllboard chart-topping album, Chief. Eric's wife, Katherine, wasn't left out of the festivities either—she and Eric were given a plaque meant for their newborn son, Boone McCoy, to commemorate Eric's No. 1. The crowd also serenaded her with "Happy Birthday."
Eric, who was briefly put on vocal rest, nevertheless thanked his team for their hard work and brought his loyal band members onstage to join him. "I came to town to be a songwriter and have never stood here [to be honored for a No. 1 song]. I hope I've thanked you all a million times in person," he said before thanking the EMI promotions team, who took over radio marketing of Eric's music from parent Capitol Nashville in 2010. "The first single was 'Smoke a Little Smoke' [from Eric's second album, Carolina] and they didn't flinch. The second was 'Homeboy' [the lead single from Chief] and they didn't flinch. There's been bloodshed—they break out the knives to make a song break at No. 15. But that No. 15 [song] resonated with people. Capitol laid the foundation, but you went to the mat for it," Eric told the EMI team.
"We expect to be back on this stage [with another No. 1 single] soon," Eric said confidently. "We're a force to be reckoned with and we will be heard from."