Welcome to the final Top60 Country Songwriter chart of 2015 and our Year-End songwriter rankings! Our story began on Jan. 11 and concludes 50 weeks later with the Dec. 20 list.
First a brief look at the current week’s results. Ross Copperman ends the year in the top spot for a fourth consecutive week. Jon Nite rules No. 2 for a third consecutive week and Rodney Clawson rides back onto the chart in a big way, earning Biggest Gainer status for songs from Florida Georgia Line and Justin Moore.
The Year-End Songwriter Recap: NEKST Names The Best
Throughout the year, only seven writers scaled the heights to reach the No. 1 and/or No. 2 chart positions during our 50 chart weeks. The difficulty of reaching this level cannot be underestimated. It always requires having two or more highly active chart songs—and often four or five!
Shane McAnally earned 26 wks at No. 1 and an additional 17 weeks at No. 2.
Ashley Gorley scored 14 weeks at the top and 18 weeks as runner up.
Luke Laird hit the chart top 5 times during the period and passed one week at No. 2.
Jon Nite (1 wk @No. 1; 5 wks @No. 2)
Ross Copperman (4 wks. @No. 1; 6 wks. @No. 2).
Craig Wiseman spent two weeks in the penultimate penthouse (No. 2)
Chris Stapleton enjoyed one week @No. 2.
McAnally and Gorley together spent an incredible 40 weeks at No. 1 and 35 weeks at No. 2!
Attaining either of the Top positions requires incredible dedication and hard work. So hats off to the above seven writers. Job well done.
Top Points Earners Jan. 11-Dec. 20, 2015
The above chart graphic shows our top NEKST Writers Of The Year and was created purely based upon points earned during 2015. Josh Osborne (No. 4), Chris DeStefano (No. 5), Rhett Akins (No. 8), Hillary Lindsey (No. 9) and Brett James (No. 10) scored Top 10, without spending any weeks in the Top 2 positions. The other Top 10 writers are mentioned in the previous paragraphs.
Shane McAnally decisively wins the 2015 NEKST Songwriter of the Year Award. (McAnally and runner up Ashley Gorley lead the other writers with compelling point advantages.)
The point totals are intended to show the relative activity between writers in terms of how their songs performed with respect to country radio airplay, digital downloads and streaming. Keep in mind that like the real world, writer points per song are shared equally by the number of writers on each song. NEKST is beginning to hear rumblings that some writer sessions—like those in other formats—are no longer being equally split, but still most Nashville sessions remain credit-balanced.
Congratulations to all the writers that made this Top 20 list and in fact to each and every writer that charted during the year, regardless of how often. We salute you, and recognize the enormous commitment required to appear on these pages especially in this time when royalties and revenues seem embattled and harder than ever to harvest.
Thanks to all the writers and publishers that check out the chart plus read my ramblings and interviews throughout the year. You are all greatly appreciated!
A giant Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to all!
May your next year be the brightest ever!!!
David M. Ross, NEKST Publisher