Alumnus Ashley Gorley (’99) was named the performing rights organization’s Songwriter of the Year at the Rhyman this week for the fourth consecutive year. He has won this award five times now, setting a record for ASCAP country songwriters. “It’s amazing,” Gorley said. “There’s so many people I wish I could write more like that are out in the audience tonight.”
Gorley has written more than 34 No. 1 singles and has had more than 300 songs recorded by artists such as Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean and Darius Rucker. He was named the ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017; Billboard Country Songwriter of the Year 2013 and 2016; and the NSAI Songwriter of the Year 2013 and 2016.
Gorley has been nominated for multiple Grammy and CMA Awards, he was nominated for ACM Awards Songwriter of the Year in 2016 and 2017, and has received the CMA’s Triple Play Award nine times in his career, which recognizes songwriters with three or more No. 1 songs in one year. In 2016, he became the first songwriter to be honored with three CMA Triple Play Awards in a single year, for earning nine chart-topping songs in a 12-month period.
In 2011, Gorley partnered with Combustion Music and Warner/Chappell Music to begin his own publishing venture, Tape Room Music. Writers for Tape Room Music have already celebrated eleven #1 songs and eight top ten singles by artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Keith Urban and Dustin Lynch.