Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott and songwriter Anthony Smith were the top winners at last night’s SESAC Awards in Nashville, held at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place. The Tennessean reports the royalties-collecting organization SESAC gave Hillary its songwriter of the year award for the third time in the last four years.
Hillary won the award for co-writing three Lady A hits: “Just a Kiss,” “Need You Now” and “Our Kind of Love.” But according to her friend and mentor (and co-producer of Lady A’s first album) Victoria Shaw, Hillary’s award for writing “A Little Bit Stronger,” recorded by Sara Evans, most likely held a special place in her heart.
“That song was her,” Victoria told the paper. “That wasn’t the boys (Lady A’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood) and her. Not that she doesn’t adore that,” she said. “But this really let her be her own entity.
“That separation and that recognition is probably one of her most proud moments. I know how proud I am when someone else records one of my songs. They’re not doing it to be nice. They’re not doing it as a favor. They’re doing it because they think that’s going to help their career. And when it does, it’s the ultimate compliment to the songwriter.”
SESAC awarded Anthony Smith with its Song of the Year trophy. Anthony won for the song he co-wrote with Chris Young, “Tomorrow.” Chris even surprised Anthony by showing up at the awards dinner to sing it. Anthony told The Tennessean he and Chris knew the song was a hit when they wrote it.
“Chris called the next morning and said, ‘Man, this has to be on my album!’,” he said. “And it went straight to the top. I was thrilled to death.”