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Keith Urban, LoCash Cowboys Celebrate Success of ‘You Gonna Fly’ in Nashville

Keith Urban, LoCash Cowboys
Alanna Conaway for Taste of Country

On Wednesday (April 11), Keith Urban hosted yet another No. 1 party — his favorite one yet — at Chappy’s restaurant in Nashville celebrating his latest chart-topping hit, ‘You Gonna Fly.’ Joining Urban for the upbeat celebration were the songwriters, Preston Brust and Chris Lucas of the LoCash Cowboys, as well as country rocker Jaren Johnston.

The tune marked the very first time the three writers have had an outside cut, an outside single and a No. 1 hit by another artist, giving Urban his 14th chart-topper. Urban says he always knew the song would be a single, but wanted to wait until the time was right. Obviously the timing worked out for everyone involved, especially the writers whose lives have been forever changed.

“When we found out it was going to be a single, that’s when I flipped out,” Lucas told Taste of Country at the party. “I will never forget sitting in my apartment at the time, thinking I don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet or how I was going to get by this year. Then two minutes later, I got the call that Keith was putting it out as a single.”

“I just might be a little nervous right now, but instead of butterflies being in my stomach, I have blackbirds in my stomach,” Brust added with a laugh, referencing the line in the song about a blackbird. “Everything just started to happen. The song got recorded, [Keith] sang it on the Super Bowl, it became a single and it went to No. 1. I think when all those things started happening — and then today — it just starts to hit you more and more and more that this is really something special.”

The success of ‘You Gonna Fly’ is extra sweet for Johnston, who was looking for a way to break into the country music scene after fronting the rock band American Bang for years. “I’ve been trying to work that angle for a long time, but I didn’t think it would happen like this,” he said. “I thought I might get a cut or two, but this is pretty exciting.”

As partygoers made their way into the upscale Nashville restaurant, they were given white “1″ keychains with a blackbird on the front — a token to remember the very special day. While waiting for the party to be underway, everyone enjoyed an amazing spread of Creole-style food that included yellow fin tuna and chicken sliders, deviled eggs, meatballs, fried chicken and cheesecakes.

The party, put on by both BMI and ASCAP publishing companies, was filled with many laughs once Urban and the writers took the stage. Following passing out the awards, each star had the opportunity to take the microphone for a few words, which included comical stories from Brust, Lucas and Johnston about their first encounters with Urban after the song topped the charts.

“He called me up on the phone, and said, ‘This is Keith Urban!’” Brust told the crowd, as Urban stood behind him on the stage laughing at the reenactment of their conversation. “I said, ‘Get out of here! You gotta sing a song or something! I don’t know about this … I got a lot of friends with Australian accents!’ I got so nervous because it was Keith Urban on my phone! I said, ‘How are you, Keith?’ And he says, ‘I’m good, how are you?’ I said, ‘I’m good, how are you?’ [laughs] I said ‘How are you?’ like three times in a row!”

Brust went on to share another story about the genuine kindness Urban showed following the song topping the chart for two consecutive weeks. He sent all three writers a bottle of 2004 Cristal champagne along with personalized thank you cards, which the LoCash Cowboys received while in the studio recording new songs.

“We were [two] redneck kids holding these bottles of Cristal!” Brust said, laughing. “We were like, ‘What do we do with this? Do you save it, like in the movies, or do you open it and drink it?’ All we had in the kitchen were these little paper dixie cups. We were like, ‘Well, let’s Google it and make sure [we know] how to open it.’ We Google Cristal, and it says: ‘Don’t open — it’s too expensive!’ But I was like, ‘Oh, we’re gonna open this!’”

As the crowd’s laughter got louder and louder, Brust continued his story, admitting the bottle “exploded” when opened, showering them with the high-dollar bubbly. “It was like the World Series Championship Game,” he said. “It was going all over all of us, just pumping! We were like, ‘This is a celebration! Keith knew what he was doing when he sent this!’ It’s a party in a bottle … we didn’t mean to waste $200 worth of it, but it was an amazing moment.”

Johnston took the podium next, sharing his personal stories, followed by Lucas. Lucas closed out his speech by presenting a special gift to Urban on behalf of the LoCash Cowboys and Johnston — a 24-karat gold whistle in a special engraved box that read “Best Use of a Whistle in a Song Award.”

Urban, amazed, said “That’s crazy … it’s a real gold whistle.” He returned the kind gesture by presenting the three writers with custom and personalized Fender Telecaster guitars with gold-plated pickguards.

“I’m either going to write with you guys and/or just get a song from you, just in hopes that we’ll have another No. 1 party,” Urban said when it was his turn to thank those who made the song possible. “Hands down, [this is] the best No. 1 party I have ever been to. Thank you for trusting me with the song. It’s in the repertoire now, so for me, I get to play it, and I really love you guys for that.”

The evening came to a close after Urban and took the stage with Brust, Lucas and Johnston for a rockin’ performance of the song that brought them all together — and yes, Urban’s brand new whistle was used!

Also in attendance at the special celebration was Urban’s actress wife Nicole Kidman and award-winning songwriter Jeffrey Steele.

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