Jon Pardi is ‘Head Over Boots’ For His First No.1 Single
LAUREN LAFFER • Sounds Like Nashville
Jon Pardi has swept country radio off its feet as his hit “Head Over Boots” officially hit the No.1 spot, marking the California native’s first time on top of the charts. The track, which is the No.1 most-Shazamed country song of the year so far, landed on No.1 on both the Billboard and MediaBase country airplay charts.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Pardi. “To have the support of country radio and everyone at Capitol Records, it’s amazing! I’m thankful and excited for what’s next.”
The song was written by Pardi and Luke Laird and is the lead single from Pardi’s No.1 album, California Sunrise. The singer has seen his song on a high-trajectory since playing the Watershed Festival, where the fans sang the song back to him with incredible intensity. The track has also been used countless times in weddings and has become on of the top wedding songs of 2016.
“People love love songs. They’re easy to write. They’re fun. It makes everybody feel good,” he explained. “I meet a lot of people who have ‘Head Over Boots’ as their wedding song, or they walk down to the aisle to it or ‘That was the song after I got married after we were leaving the aisle together we played ‘Head Over Boots.’’ It’s like that’s really cool.”
Jon Pardi Recalls His Favorite ‘Head Over Boots’ Love Stories
By Billy Dukes August 12, 2016 5:00 PM
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Fairly soon after Pardi released the first single from his California Sunrise album, he started to hear stories. Some, he expected: fans were using the swinging love song as their wedding song, or a song to walk up the aisle to for the first time as a married couple.
“I’ve had a couple people say that that song saved their marriage,” Pardi says, “because they had that one night where it just made everything feel right.”
Sometimes you just know you have a hit song when you write it. That wasn’t the case for Pardi and his co-writer Luke Laird. They made a demo and started playing it for some female friends. That group really responded, and then his record label picked it as a first single, which surprised him.
“I was like, ‘Alright, it’s pretty country,'” Pardi recalls, “‘but I loved that you picked that for the first single, so let’s go for it.'”
Keeping it country has felt like vindication for Pardi. No one at his record label tried to change him, but in the modern era of country music, there’s always pressure to bend and lean into a more progressive sound.
“Capitol has been great,” he assures. “I was talking to CEO Mike Dungan last night (saying), ‘Thank you for letting me be myself. And not telling me to do something that I was not comfortable with.'”
“I’m pretty stubborn anyway … I lean traditional, but ‘Head Over Boots,’ it’s pretty country,” he adds, laughing.
Should he take the song to the top of the country airplay charts, Pardi says he doesn’t expect he’ll do anything crazy. He may treat himself by doing a little extra work on his house, but there will be no tattoo or daredevil act tradition.
“I’d like to start a tradition of getting No. 1s — how ‘bout that?”
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