by Craig Shelburne
The performing rights organization SESAC has presented “Even Though I’m Leaving” with its annual Song of the Year award, while Matt McGinn has been named Songwriter of the Year. In adddition, SMACKWORKS MUSIC was named Publisher of the Year. SESAC’s 2020 Nashville Music Awards were presented in a digital format this year.
“Even Though I’m Leaving” was written by Luke Combs (who recorded it), Wyatt Durrette III, and Ray Fulcher. Durrette, who is affiliated with SESAC, wrote on Instagram: “Humbled to get the chance to give, through song. Grateful be a part of a song that truly moved people 🙏🏽.”
Matt McGinn was named SESAC’s Songwriter of the Year for the second time, taking home his first award in 2018. McGinn’s chart-topping hits from the past year include “Homesick” and “Cool Again” recorded by Kane Brown and “One Thing Right” recorded by Kane Brown and Marshmello.
On an Instagram post, McGinn wrote in part: “This year sucks times a billion and it feels weird to celebrate anything with so many people struggling, so thank you Sesac for giving me something to smile about. Hope to get to see everyone and drink some drinks together at the awards next year 🍻”
“We are very excited to once again recognize our talented songwriter and publishing partners with the annual Nashville Music Awards,” said Kelli Turner, President and COO, SESAC Rights Management. “Although we can’t be together in person, we are deeply honored to celebrate the creative achievements of our affiliates in a new way. Not only are we grateful for their craft of songwriting, we value their work and its connection to the human experience, which ultimately lifts our spirits.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of SESAC’s songwriters. Their commitment to writing and bringing us a sense of hope—despite the real struggles that we’ve all recently faced—has not gone unnoticed,” added Sam Kling, SVP of Creative Operations. “I also need to commend both Lydia Schultz and ET Brown for their relentless dedication to SESAC’s Country and Americana affiliates during this time.”