Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 28), Nashville’s BMI lobby was packed with the friends, family, industry peers and fellow co-writers of Eric Church, as they all had the same goal in mind: to pour a cold cocktail and celebrate one of country music’s hottest stars for his first ever No. 1 single, ‘Drink in My Hand.’

Church and his two co-writers on ‘Drink in My Hand’ — Luke Laird and Michael Heeney — were presented with countless awards, trophies and plaques throughout the party, and Church received his very first BMI acoustic guitar for being a co-writer on a No. 1 tune.

“Just hearing your song on the radio is like oh, I still have a job … that’s good,” songwriter Luke Laird tells Taste of Country of his recent successes.’Drink in My Hand’ marks his ninth chart-topper. “I just feel so grateful to be getting to do this — just wake up and make music. It definitely doesn’t get old [laughs]!”

“Not many get through to get to do this and have a job doing it,” adds Heeney, who has been cranking out hits for Tracy Byrd, Johnny Paycheck, Aaron Tippin, Trent Willmon, Brooks and Dunn and more for nearly 30 years. “It’s just really cool.”

The crowd gathered at BMI for the party was a who’s who of the songwriting world, which included faces like that of Jim Beavers, Rhett Akins, Casey Beathard and Marv Green. Church was accompanied by his lovely wife, Katherine, who was also celebrating her birthday.

After the room of supporters sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to the misses, all eyes were on the Church, who humbly stood side stage while BMI officials spoke about the amazing accomplishments he has encountered in his career — just within the past several months. Church was all smiles in his signature Ray Ban sunglasses, as they read the ongoing list of his victorious career moments, such as topping both the Billboard Top 200 all-genre and country albums chart with his latest album ‘Chief,’ breaking ticket sales records on his first headlining tour that kicked off in January, and of course, his first chart-topping hit, ‘Drink in My Hand.’

“I came [to Nashville] to be a songwriter,” Church said when he took the podium at the party to say his thanks. “I’ve been to a lot of these [No. 1 parties], but I’ve never stood up here. We’ve had a helluva year with a No. 1 album and now a No. 1 single … we want to be back up here on this stage again really soon!”

While watching Church graciously accept some new wall decor, party-goers enjoyed the “drink” themed spread of Jack Daniel’s panna cotta, white Russian, piña colada and margarita cake pops and lemony deviled eggs with candied Benton bacon. Other tasty treats offered were orange panna cotta, praline and peanut butter cheesecakes, smoked salmon, mozzarella cheese wrapped in prosciutto, salami and pepperoni, Parmesan thyme crackers, cheese wafers, roasted pecans, and assorted cheeses and fruits, all nestled in-between a flower arrangement made out of empty Jack Daniel’s, beer and wine bottles.

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