CMA hosted its 13th CMA Triple Play Awards ceremony last night, March 1, at Saint Elle in Nashville. In addition to honoring 16 CMA Triple Play Award recipients, CMA also awarded Jody Williams, Founder of Jody Williams Songs, with the 2022 CMA Songwriter Advocate Award. The ceremony was hosted by CMA Board member and composer, Jim Beavers.
The CMA Triple Play Award is presented to songwriters who pen three No. 1 songs within a 12-month period based on the Country Aircheck, Billboard Country Airplay and Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. In total, the 16 songwriters awarded trophies this year account for those who achieved these three No. 1 songs a 12-month period: Rhett Akins, Kurt Allison, Luke Combs, Jesse Frasure, Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley (x2), Charlie Handsome, Michael Hardy, Ben Johnson, Tully Kennedy, Shane McAnally, Chase McGill, Thomas Rhett, Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson, and Morgan Wallen.
Throughout the evening, Triple Play recipients were honored with video packages highlighting their No. 1 songs. Liz Rose presented Williams with the CMA Songwriter Advocate Award, which was created to recognize an individual who has dedicated their life to supporting and advancing the art of songwriting and careers of songwriters. In honor of Williams’ legacy in the songwriting community, he was surprised with performances by Eric Church, Robert Earl Keen and Ashley McBryde. McBryde performed her newly released single, “Light On In The Kitchen,” Keen performed “Feelin’ Good Again,” and Church performed a brand-new, unreleased song “My Nebraska.”
Prior to Williams accepting his award, a video montage played with interviews and congratulatory messages from artists, songwriters and industry executives who have worked closely with Williams and whose careers have been impacted by his work. Beavers, Kix Brooks, Church, Bob DiPiero, Nina Jenkins Fisher, Vince Gill, Natalie Hemby, Layng Martine, Jr., McBryde, Maren Morris, Mike O’Neil, Peytan Porter, Rose, Troy Tomlinson, Sarah Trahern, Josh Turner, Ben Vaughn, son DriverWilliams and Kyle Young all spoke about William’s legacy in the songwriting community, his commitment to the song and the songwriter, and what it feels like when one of their songs makes Williams tear up, the ultimate sign of a great song. They also shared personal congratulatory messages to Williams for the much-deserved award.