Country singer-songwriter Rhett Akins was only a modest success as a performer, but since turning to songwriting full-time, he’s become one of Nashville’s radio juggernauts. Warner/Chappell Nashville announced today that Akins has placed at least one song on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart every week for the past seven years, including this week’s No. 1, Dustin Lynch’s “Small Town Boy.”
Commented Warner/Chappell Nashville President Ben Vaughn, who signed Akins in September 2016 with Chairman/CEO Jon Platt: “This unique achievement is further proof that Rhett belongs among country music’s all-time greats. He has been shaping the modern-day country songbook that we’ve all sang along to each week for the past seven years.”
When Rhett Akins first arrived in Nashville in 1992, from his hometown of Valdosta, Georgia, he worked as a demo singer before signing to Decca Records to record his ’95 debut album, “A Thousand Memories” The release included his signature song as a performer, “That Ain’t My Truck,” which arguably kickstarted the whole tailgate-party movement in country music. By the time of his second album for the label, “Somebody New,” he topped the country charts with his one and only #1 hit, “Don’t Get Me Started.”
Four more albums followed, the last two self-released in 2007 and 2008, before Akins turned to songwriting full-time with partners Ben Haysip and Dallas Davidson, collectively known as the Peach Pickers, penning hits for Brooks & Dunn, Jack Ingram, Joe Nichols, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Josh Turner and Rodney Atkins, among others. He worked with both Vaughn and Platt at EMI Music Publishing several years back; the pair snapped him up for Warner/Chappell after his subsequent deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing ended.
Since then, Akins has written 28 country chart-toppers, including Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee,” Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night To End,” Jason Aldean’s “When She Says Baby” and Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This” (incidentally, Thomas Rhett is Akins’ son). In addition to Lynch’s “Small Town Boy,” Akins is represented on this week’s country airplay chart by Easton Corbin’s “A Girl Like You,” while Justin Moore’s “Kinda Don’t Care” impacts country radio nest week. Other recent hits include Luke Bryan’s “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” and Jason Aldean’s “Tonight Looks Good on You” and “Just Getting Started.”
Akins has also received 29 BMI Awards over the course of his career, as well as Triple Play Awards in January 2012 and February 2014, marking three No. 1 singles on the country chart over a 12-month period. He has twice been named BMI Songwriter of the Year, and his songs have been awarded both BMI Song of the Year and ASCAP Song of the Year.
“I write songs I hope people will relate to, so it’s humbling to see these numbers,” Akins said. “It’s also a testament to all the talented artists and co-writers I’ve worked with and to everyone on my team.”