As the sense of anticipation continues to build for the 2023 ACM Awards on Thursday, May 11, Ashley Gorley has been crowned the Songwriter of the Year ahead of the ceremony.
The prolific songsmith was surprised by Nashville and Outer Banks star, Charles Esten, during an interview at this week's ACM Songs and Stories event in Frisco, Texas, which served as a celebration of all the 2023 Songwriter of the Year nominees.
Gorley's highly sought-after pen is responsible for a number of the biggest modern country hits, including an array of Morgan Wallen chart-toppers, such as ‘You Proof’, ‘Last Night’ and ‘Sand in My Boots’.
Ashley Gorley's repertoire of No. 1 anthems also features the likes of Cole Swindell's ‘She Had Me At Heads Carolina’, Carly Pearce's ‘What He Didn't Do’ and Chris Stapleton's ‘You Should Probably Leave’.
The Kentucky native is also known for his work with 2023 ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Year, HARDY, with the two having crafted fan-favourite tracks such as ‘beer’ and ‘GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL’.
Another of Gorley's frequent collaborators is Thomas Rhett, with Gorley having penned a slew of hits with Rhett, including ‘What's Your Country Song’, ‘Slow Down Summer’, ‘Where We Started’, ‘Remember You Young’, ‘Country Again’ and ‘Marry Me’.
When any fan is asked who have been the most influential figures in country music over the past decade or so, names such as Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood or maybe even Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen might spring to mind.
However, in terms of impacting the direction of country music and dictating the sound that has been topping the charts since the early 2010s, arguably no-one has been as dominant and as instrumental - in more ways than one - as Ashley Gorley.
The 2023 ACM Awards are due to take place on Thursday, May 11 and will be streamed live via Amazon Prime Video, with performances lined up from Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Kane Brown and more.
For more on the 2023 ACM Awards, see below: