Nashville Songwriter Awards Name 2020 Songwriter-Artist of the Year: Exclusive

Luke Combs
Sami Drasin

Luke Combs photographed on May 15, 2019 in Dickson, Tenn. 

For the second year in a row, Luke Combs is the recipient of Nashville Songwriter Awards’ songwriter-artist of the year award.

This year, the awards, presented by the Nashville Songwriters Association International and sponsored by City National Bank, are virtual after the pandemic made it unsafe to gather in person. Billboard has partnered with NSAI to reveal winners in key categories, including Ashley Gorley as songwriter of the year on Sept. 22.

In the exclusive video below, Ray Fulcher, who co-wrote “I Got Away With You,” among other songs with Combs, calls Combs “one of the best songwriters I’ve ever written with. His instincts are so good as far as what he wants to say and how he wants to say it.”

Nashville Songwriter Awards: 2020 Songwriter-Artist of the Year

Jonathan Singleton praises Combs’ unerring knack for knowing what his fans want to hear. “When he said ‘beer never broke my heart,’ we were like kaa-ching!” The line developed into the title for a massive hit song for Combs. Watch Singleton and co-writer Randy Montana sing a stripped down version of the tune.

Combs closes out the video by acknowledging how much the award means to him as an artist who writes his own songs.

In July, Combs became the first artist in the 56-year history of Billboard's Top Country Albums chart to have his first two studio albums log 25 or more weeks at No. 1.

NSAI’s songwriter-artist of the year is determined by a mathematical formula that takes into account the percentage of a Nashville-associated song the artist recorded that he/she is credited with writing and the song’s performance on a week to week basis in the Top 20 of the Billboard Country Airplay Chart, Billboard Pop Songs Chart, Billboard Christian Airplay Chart or Billboard Rock Airplay Chart. The eligibility period is May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020.

Among the songs from Combs that played into his win are “Beautiful Crazy,”  “Beer Never Broke My Heart,”  “Does to Me,” and “Even Though I’m Leaving,” all of which topped Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

A number of songwriter artists have won multiple times with Taylor Swift taking the crown seven times.

Nashville Songwriter Awards: 2020 Songwriter of the Year