On Tuesday (Jan. 17), country star Brantley Gilbert revealed to fans that “What Happens In A Small Town,” his duet featuring Lindsay Ell, has earned a new highly-anticipated accolade.
“My team just surprised me with news that #whathappensinasmalltown is officially PLATINUM,” he wrote on social media.
Gilbert went on to thank his fanbase for all the support they have given him and this song since it was released in 2019.
“#bgnation y’all get the credit for the life of this song… Y’all have shared it, streamed it and called up your local stations to hear it… The connection y’all have with this song is the same connection I have with hit… I’ve been there… Driving around home seeing all the people and places that I used to avoid to keep from thinking about the one that got away.”
He ended the post by showing his appreciation towards Ell for joining him on this recording and elevating it to new heights.
“And this song wouldn’t be half of what it is without the incredible Lindsay Ell… Couldn’t have done it without you my friend The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),” Gilbert wrote in conclusion.
The female powerhouse then took to the comment section of the post among all the congratulatory messages to share a few of her thoughts on this career milestone.
She wrote, “Am so grateful to all of you for loving this song so much. To think that y’all made it PLATINUM is crazy!! Thank you for believing in it as much as we did from the beginning. Here’s to sweet nostalgia. Appreciate you so much B!!”
The country-rock breakup anthem is based off Gilbert’s real-life emotions that he felt while he and his now wife, Amber Cochran were going through a tough time. The “small town” he mentions in the title and the lyrics refer to the small town of Jefferson, GA where he and Amber were raised.
“What happens in a small town stays in a small town / Every back road, we’ve ever gone down / Friday night bleachers, Sunday pews / Ain’t a county line mile without a memory of you / Every whisper, every room, I walk in / Every time the bartender fills it up again / Everybody knows why I’m here, and you ain’t around / ‘Cause what happens in a small town, stays in a small town,” he sings in the honest chorus.
Although they had some ups and downs in their relationship, the lovebirds fought hard to get their relationship to the healthy point it’s at today. They tied the knot on June 28, 2015, and now raise their two children, Barrett Hardy-Clay and Braylen Hendrix.
“What Happens In A Small Town” was unveiled as the leading track on Gilbert’s fifth studio album, Fire & Brimstone, which he expanded into a deluxe project nearly one year after the initial release. The new songs included his single, “Hard Days” and his reflective ballad, “Old Friends.”
The song also marked the Georgia native’s fifth No. 1 as an artist, seventh No. 1 as a songwriter, and earned him nominations for Music Event of the Year at both the 2019 CMA Awards and 2020 ACM Awards.
During a previous interview with Taste of Country, Gilbert revealed that in the midst of the writing process with him, Brock Berryhill, Josh Dunne and Rhett Akins, they decided the song needed to be made into a duet. While he pondered who could fit the bill, he thought of Ell and her skills as an artist.
“We got so many talented women in this genre,” Gilbert told Taste of Country, “but the thing about Lindsay is she sings extremely well, she writes and she slays. So it was kind of an easy choice there because we knew she’d kill it.”
“He has this rock side to him that is the basis of my heart and what endeared me to music to begin with,” Ell added. “It kind of makes perfect sense.”
The Fire & Brimstone project was followed by the release of his 2022 album, So Help Me God, which features numerous collaborative tracks with artists including Blake Shelton, Vince Gill, Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, HARDY, and Jelly Roll.
Brantley Gilbert is next slated to perform on February 9 in Wallingford, CT.