Three times a charm
Growing up, Ben Hayslip dreamed of a time when a song he wrote would play on the radio. That dream came true and morphed into so much more.
Hayslip is one of Nashville's most awarded and prolific country music songwriters. The Mt. Juliet resident was all set to be a weekend sportscaster in Augusta, Ga. and also had football coaching offers at private schools.
But, in 1994, he followed his inner-voice, packed a moving truck and headed to Nashville, Tenn. He had read only 1 percent of songwriters ever made it, but he was determined and defied these odds. Big time.
For a second year in a row, Hayslip has been named ASCAP's "Songwriter of the Year," and also won top honors for "Song of the Year," Blake Shelton's "Honeybee."
Now Hayslip has been presented with the Country Music Association's "Triple Play" award. It represents three No.1 songs in a 12 month period.
"I never imagined having three No. 1 songs in a 12 month span," he said. "I guess I never dreamed that big. And now to accomplish this for a second time in my career is really unbelievable."
Three times a charm for Hayslip. During the awards event at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Hayslip and 11 other songwriters received the "three-peat" trophy from CMA Board Chairman Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing in Nashville.
"People from all over the world recognize that Nashville is not only Music City, but the epicenter of the songwriting community," said Tomlinson. "CMA celebrates this important membership group. The presentation of the Triple Play Awards is just another example of CMA's commitment to honoring the creators of songs."
Hayslip was accompanied by Dierks Bentley, Rodney Clawson, Brantley Gilbert, Josh Kear, Shane McAnally, Eric Paslay, Neil Thrasher and Chris Young.
Hayslip's "three peats" were "Honey Bee," "I Don't Want This Night to End," and "I'm Gonna Love You Though It."
And the hits keep playing for Hayslip. His "The Only Way I Know," by Jason Aldean was No. 1 on Billboard and Mediabase Chart for week one.
"The inspiration for the song is my love for that way of life," said Hayslip. "Myself and my cowriter(David Lee Murphy) both kind've grew up that way. My entire family grew up in a little town called Wadley, Ga. So, I was around these blue collar people my whole life. The way they live there lives and their work ethic really made a lasting impression on me. I have a lot of respect for people in little farm towns."
"As far the never quit, never give up, never back down mentality of this song goes, that's really the way I've treated my career. You have to be mentally tough. This song has also become a 'words to live by' song for my kids. I want them to get this message and live by it!"
Hayslip said he was happy to have Jason Aldean sing this song.
"He's a friend and we both come from Georgia," he said. "To make it even sweeter, my buddy Luke Bryan and Eric Church are singing on it with Jason. These guys are arguably the hottest three male acts in Country Music right now so it was an exciting ride to the top all the way around.
Hayslip also wrote "I Can Take It From There," which is Chris Young's current single. Jake Owens's new single "Anywhere with You" was written by Hayslip, as well as Justin Moore's "Point At You."
Hayslip said you can never make it at songwriting if you make it a hobby.
"I love it, so it doesn't feel like a job," he said. "You have to write everyday whether you are inspired or brain dead."