Jerrod Niemann had just climbed aboard his tour bus after a March benefit show in Chattanooga, Tenn., for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital when his friend and fellow artist Lee Brice smelled something all too familiar — the acrid odor of a bus beginning to burn.
It’s no secret that Lee Brice knows how to write strong, successful songs. In 2007, Garth Brooks’ “More than a Memory,” written by Brice, Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana, became the first song ever to debut at the top spot of the Billboard Country chart. More recently, Eli Young Band achieved its first No. 1 with Brice’s and Liz Rose’s “Crazy Girl.” Other Brice songs have been cut by Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton.
As an artist, though, Brice hadn’t yet ridden any of his own tunes to No. 1, when he reflected on the prospects for his sophomore album, Hard 2 Love, released April 24 by Curb Records.
“There are a billion different reasons why ‘Love Like Crazy’ went to No. 3,” he said, referencing the song that became his first career Top 5 single when released in 2010. “There is so much involved in getting a No. 1 record. It’s not necessarily about the song at all. It’s extremely hard for a new artist to slip through the cracks and go up the charts. You have to beat out every superstar to have a No. 1 record.”
Written by Tim James and Doug Johnson, the single and title cut from Brice’s first album broke the record for most weeks spent on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and was rated by Billboard the most-played Country song of 2010. “Even though that wasn’t a No. 1, that’s what broke Lee Brice,” said Adrian Michaels, VP, Promotions, Curb Records. “That was a huge accomplishment to take an unknown act and get the most played song of the year.”
“I want a No. 1, but ‘Love Like Crazy’ did so much for me,” Brice agreed. “My career changed just as it would have if it was a No. 1.” Read the rest of this entry