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Lee Brice had three people in particular to thank for his latest No. 1 hit, "Hard to Love": the trio of writers, Billy Montana, John Ozier and Ben Glover.
Lee and the writing crew, who also happen to be Lee's good buddies, celebrated the song's success at a packed industry party at the Country Music Association building in Nashville, Tuesday (Dec. 4). It marked Lee's second No. 1, following "A Woman Like You." Before the party, Lee told a group of reporters that even though he didn't write "Hard to Love," he was drawn to it immediately. He first heard the song when he and a few other writers headed to a retreat spot in Florida to write for Lee's album.
"I was outside writing and inside the house were Billy, John and Ben," Lee recalled. "They were laying down that groove and when I heard that hard to love, hard to love chorus, I just went, 'Wow!' This was a song that I gravitated to. It had some meat to it and it sounded like me."
Lee also loved the air of vulnerability that the song created, as the main character admits that he isn't always easy to get along with and has his insensitive moments. "That's true to who I am and to most guys, whether they admit it or not," Lee said. "I think guys want to be able to say the truth and women really want to hear the truth, especially truths like that." With a good-natured laugh, Lee, who recently became engaged, added, "I am figuring that out."
During the party, Lee and the writers received plaques and accolades from Lee's label, Curb Records, as well as BMI, ASCAP, the Country Music Association and Country Radio Broadcasters. Also on hand for the party was Kellie Pickler, whose husband, Kyle Jacobs, co-produced the record.