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The Hit Makers
- Grammy Award Winner
- 7 Carrie Underwood #1 Singles
- 12 Career #1 Songs
- Oscar and Two Time Golden Globe Nominee
- RIAA Certified 30 million records sold
Grammy Award-winning songstress Hillary Lindsey hails from the small town of Washington, GA and remembers writing songs as early as age 10. In 1994, Hillary entered Belmont University’s esteemed Music Business School. It was there that she discovered her penchant for song and forged the writing relationships that had her destined for success. Before finishing at Belmont, Hillary signed her first publishing deal and had eight songs recorded by major label recording artists in the very first year.
In 2002, Hillary enjoyed her first Billboard Country #1 song with ‘Blessed’ recorded by Martina McBride. During the years following this milestone, Hillary had a streak of top 30 singles with such artists as Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and again with Martina McBride, cracking the top 5 with ‘This One’s for the Girls.’ Lindsey returned to the top of the Country charts in January of 2006 with ‘Jesus Take The Wheel’ recorded by Carrie Underwood. The song, which she co-wrote with fellow Music City Hit-Makers cast members Brett James and Gordie Sampson, spent six weeks at the top of the chart tying the runner-up record for the longest-running song by a solo female artist. In 2007 ‘Jesus Take The Wheel’ won Hillary, Brett and Gordie a Grammy for Best Country Song at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards. The song had already received ACM honors for Single of the Year in the previous year. For Hillary, the Grammy win marked only the beginning of a string of #1 singles with Carrie Underwood; ‘So Small,’ ‘Wasted,’ ‘Last Name,’ ‘Just A Dream,’ ‘Two Black Cadillacs,’ and most recently ‘See You Again’ which earned Lindsey her 11th career #1 song!
Hillary’s songwriting successes have transcended genre into film. Her film credits include the songs in the feature films Where The Heart, is starring Natalie Portman, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Hannah Montana The Movie. In 2011, Hillary achieved career benchmarks with Golden Globe and Oscar Nominations for the song “Coming Home” from the major motion picture Country Strong. In the same year, she received a second Golden Globe nod for the song “There’s A Place For Us” from Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader co-written with and performed by Carrie Underwood.
Hillary Lindsey is no stranger to television as well as some of the worlds biggest stages. In 2012, the song "Telescope,” which Lindsey co-penned with her fiance Cary Barlowe, was featured prominently on the ABC-TV hit series Nashville and was the first song from the show released to country radio. Later that season, the duet “Change Your Mind,” co-written with Hit-Makers Gordie Sampson and Troy Verges, was performed by Clare Bowen (Scarlett) and Sam Palladio (Gunner). Hillary has also made numerous television appearances including performances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno and Kelly and Michael with Gary Allan in support of their single “Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain” which topped the Billboard Country chart in February. Lindsey also joined both Allan and Dierks Bentley on stage in front of sold out crowds at LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans, on successive nights during the 2013 CMA Fest. In July 2012, Hillary shared the stage with fellow Hit-Maker Brett James and Carried Underwood for the CMA Songwriters Series in Boston. Lindsey and James returned to Boston this past June for the Music City Hit-Makers debut with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall under the direction of Maestro Keith Lockhart.
- Grammy Award Winner
- 5 Kenny Chesney smash hits
- Two Time ASCAP Songwriter of the Year
- 13 #1's, 300+ songs recorded
For over a decade, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Brett James has been one of the most prolific and versatile songwriters in Nashville having had more than three hundred of his songs recorded by major label recording artists. James has become a fixture on the Billboard Country chart with thirteen #1 songs and scores of top 20 singles to his credit. In 2009, Brett achieved the Music Row “Triple Play,” an award for three #1 songs in a single chart year, and he did this not once, but twice! These six #1‘s; ‘It’s America,’ Rodney Atkins, ‘Out Last Night,’ Kenny Chesney, ‘Cowboy Cassanova,’ Carrie Underwood, ‘Summer Nights,’ Rascal Flatts, ‘The Truth’ Jason Aldean, and ‘The Man I Want To Be’ Chris Young earned James ASCAP Songwriter of the Year for a second time in October 2010.
A native of Oklahoma City, Brett attended Baylor University where he completed two years of medical school before moving to Nashville to pursue his dream of becoming a country star. In 1995, Brett James was signed to the Arista subsidiary Career Records and subsequently released his self-titled debut album. Career Records was later dissolved in consolidation and with it, James’s recording artist aspirations. Despite losing his record deal, Brett stayed the course as a writer at Patrick Joseph Publishing which fostered the relationships that destined him for success.
In the year 2000, James received his first major album cut with the song ‘Love Is A Sweet Thing,’ recorded by Faith Hill followed by a top 20 single ‘You Won’t Be Lonely Now,’ with Billy Ray Cyrus. It wasn’t long before Brett reached the benchmark that all songwriters and artists alike strive for, the coveted #1 song. In April of 2001, then break out artist Jessica Andrews landed James his first #1 with the song ‘Who I Am,’ a song he co-penned with best friend and fellow Music City Hit-Maker Troy Verges. James returned to the top of the Country chart in 2002, this time with country superstar Martina McBride and the song ‘Blessed’ which he wrote with Verges and Hit-Makers co-star Hillary Lindsey.
As his chart success continued, Brett appeared on Billboard Magazine’s top-ten country songwriters list for five consecutive years, the only writer to do so, and in 2006 reached yet another musical milestone winning ASCAP Songwriter of the Year. In 2007, along with Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson, Brett achieved the music industry’s highest honor winning the Grammy Award for Best Country Song ‘Jesus Take The Wheel,’ recorded by Carrie Underwood.
The list of artists that have recorded songs penned by Brett James resembles a who’s who in country music list, but also straddles genre lines into American and world pop music. Some notables include Kelly Clarkson, Jon Bon Jovi, Daughtry, The Backstreet Boys, Chicago, and Leona Lewis. Brett has also scored #1 songs in Europe and a worldwide top 5 Latin hit with the song ‘Todo Mi Amor’ recorded by Paulina Rubio.
Outside the writer’s room, Brett’s talents have earned production credits that include Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson, Josh Gracin and MCA recording artist Kip Moore who’s Best-selling debut country album and three consecutive #1 singles (‘Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck,’ ‘Beer Money,’ ‘Hey Pretty Girl’) earned him a CMA Award Nomination for New Artist of the Year! Brett is no stranger to the big show having shared the stage with Moore, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert at the annual CMA Songwriters Series in Boston and the US and European tours with Chris Young and Kristian Bush of Sugarland under the same brand. In June, James made his Boston Pops debut with the rest of the Music City Hit-Makers cast and premiered the song commissioned by the Pops called ‘Free’ co-written with Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges and arranged by Charles Judge.
- Grammy Award Winner
- 2 Carrie Underwood #1 songs
- SOCAN and Juno Award-winner
- Canadian artist with 4 commercial releases
Gordie Sampson is a musical whirlwind, perpetually creating – a brilliantwriter, an innovative producer and a dynamic performer.
Sampson’s musical genius is applauded by audiences and industry players alike. From his national debut in the early 90's to his presence today in Nashville’s songwriting seen and on Music Row where international recording stars are discovering and recording his material including Faith Hill ‘Paris,’ George Canyon ‘My Name,’ Keith Urban ‘The Hard Way’ and ‘You (or Somebody Like You)’ and the Billboard #1 songs recorded by country music mega-star Carrie Underwood ‘Jesus Take The Wheel’ and ‘Just A Dream’ which earned him numerous national and international awards including the prestigious 2007 Grammy Award for "Best Country Song of the Year" and a Juno Award for "Songwriter of the Year.”
Gordie's second solo recording; titled Sunburn is an intelligent, original and compelling hook laden cd. From the weary truth of the title track Sunburn to the aching melancholy of Paris, it has been worth the wait for avid fans of this musical phenomenon. Sunburn, has garnered him a Juno nomination for Songwriter of the Year and numerous East Coast Music Awards.
Sampson’s certainly no stranger to the music scene. As a co-writer, guitarist and singer, Sampson played a key role in the Canadian Top 20 success of pop/rock band Realworld in the early 1990s. Gordie then shifted his attention to the more traditional music of his native Cape Breton Island and soon found himself working with the top traditional acts of the day. He continued to expand his horizons by working as musical director for stage and television productions and honing his skills in the studio.
When “Stones” was released to rave reviews, Gordie earned a Juno nomination and half a dozen East Coast Music and Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia Awards. The second single, Sorry, would draw particular attention to Gordie as a songwriter, while touring with The Rankins introduced him to new audiences as a performer, and producing Natalie MacMaster’s 1999 album “In My Hands,” earned Gordie a new level of respect and a pair of national music awards.
In 2012, Gordie scored a top 20 record with the song “Storm Warning” recorded by CMA New Artist of the Year Hunter Hayes. Sampson can be seen on ABC.com’s Music Lounge performing the song ‘Change Your Mind’ alongside Music City Hit-Maker’s Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges. The song was featured in an episode of the ABC hit series “Nashville” and performed by Claire Bowen (Scarlett) and Sam Paladio (Gunner). Sampson’s song “All Cried Out” was performed by Kree Harrison on the American Idol finale in 2012 and was released to country radio as Harrison’s debut single in May of this year.
- Oscar Nominee
- 8 Billboard Country #1 Songs
- Billboard Music Awards Nominee 2013
- BMI Songwriter of the Year
Troy Verges grew up in Louisiana and when he got his first guitar at age 10, his impulse wasn’t to learn other people’s songs but to make up his own. He played in bands from age 14 and listened to everything from 1960s folk to punk rock to traditional Cajun music. After high school, he was able to satisfy both his parents and a desire to pursue a music career by aiming for a music business degree. With no such program available in Louisiana, he moved to Murfreesboro to attend Middle Tennessee State University and then to Nashville to finish out his degree at Belmont. It was during those college years that Verges first discovered the profession of songwriting and the vast Nashville music publishing industry.
The early years weren’t easy, especially for somebody who won his first publishing deal before college graduation, but Verges stuck to his own vision. While paying hard dues, landing only a handful of cuts in his first three years, he’s now as in demand as any writer in Nashville. After he placed “Love Is A Sweet Thing” on Faith Hill’s “Breathe” album, a line formed to be the first to listen to his songs. Verges emerged as one of UMPG Nashville’s greatest success stories. Within a year of the Faith Hill record, he scored #1 songs on Jessica Andrews “Who I Am” and Martina McBride’s “Blessed” from her Greatest Hits collection both written with best friend and Music City Hit-Makers co-star Brett James. Those songs helped Troy take home Songwriter of the Year honors at the 2002 BMI Awards. Verges was also named NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) Songwriter of the Year and Music Row magazine’s “Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year.”
In 2012 Verges scored another #1 smash with “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes. More successes include Carrie Underwood’s multi-week #1 hit “Wasted,” Kenny Chesney’s Top 5 record “You Save Me” and Kellie Pickler’s “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You.” In 2011, Verges received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations in the Best Original Song category for the song “Coming Home” from the feature film Country Strong performed by Gwenyth Paltrow and co-penned with fellow Hit-Maker Hillary Lindsey.
Troy’s songs can be heard on albums by such multi-platinum artists as Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and many more. Other recordings include artists as diverse as the Celine Dion, Il Divo, The Backstreet Boys and Paulina Rubio. 2013 has been another banner year for Verges scoring two more #1 Country singles with the songs “Beer Money” recorded by CMA New Artist of the Year Nominee Kip Moore co-written with Moore and long time friend Blair Daly and “I Want Crazy” his second #1 recorded by and co-written with Country rising star Hunter Hayes.
November 14 • 2013
Songs For Sound Benefit
Information & Tickets
November 16 • 2013
The Orchestra Kentucky
Bowling Green, KY
Information & Tickets
June 6 & 7 • 2014
West Michigan Symphony
Information & Tickets