BMI, the performance rights organization, saluted songwriters Natalie Hemby and Delta Maid Monday (May 6) with a party at
its Nashville headquarters for the success of their song, “Tornado,”
recorded by Little Big Town.
The song rose to No. 2 on Billboard‘s country
Addressing the partygoers, BMI’s Jody Williams praised Hemby for her “state of the art songwriting”
and noted she also co-authored Little Big Town’s No. 1 single, “Pontoon,”
as well as Lady Antebellum’s chart-topping “Downtown.”
he said, “may be a new name to all of you, but that’s about to change.” He noted that the rising young singer-songwriter is
a native of Liverpool, England, and a devotee of such country music immortals as Hank Williams
and Lefty Frizzell.
Maid, whose birth name is Katie Foulkes, met and wrote “Tornado”
with Hemby on her first trip to Nashville in 2011.
“Coming to Nashville was a massive dream of mine,” she said.
lauded the four members of Little Big Town — who came onstage to stand beside the songwriters — as “the ultimate road warriors,”
a reference to their years of unheralded touring before they finally became headliners and Grammy winners.
chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, Little Big Town’s parent label, remarked on the struggle it took the
label’s promotion department to get “Tornado” to its final chart prominence.
“This one was ugly,” he recalled, “not
because of the music but because of the circumstances and competition.”
The always affable label chief explained to
the crowd that when he came onstage, he approached Maid and said, “I’ve never met you, but I’m going to kiss you on the mouth.”
Hemby took the microphone, she first thanked her husband for his support, declaring, “You are the better half of me.”
also expressed gratitude to her parents for impressing upon her the importance of acting with “integrity.”
to Maid, she continued, “This little firecracker here is the real tornado. … We just bonded immediately.”
Hemby alluded to the persistence it required to move “Tornado” up the chart. She said the night before the song peaked, Little
Big Town’s Karen Fairchild texted her the message, “This is a dog fight.”
To which Hemby said she responded, “And this
bitch is gonna win.”