J.T. Harding, Josh Kear, Jon Nite and Emily Shackelton Added to NSAI Board



J.T. Harding, Josh Kear, Jon Nite and Emily Shackelton Added to NSAI Board

January 7, 2020 (Nashville, Tenn.) – Songwriters J.T. Harding, Josh Kear, Jon Nite and Emily Shackelton have been elected as new members of the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s (NSAI) Board of Directors.

Current board members who were re-elected to two-year terms include Steve Bogard, Jeff Cohen, Chris DeStefano, Byron Hill, Liz Rose, Jenn Schott and Jimmy Yeary.

Roger Brown and Lee Thomas Miller were re-elected to one-year terms as “Legislative Co-Chairs,” Rhett Akins and Caitlyn Smith were re-elected to one-year terms to the “Artist Writer” board positions and Brett James was re-elected to a one-year term to the “Industry Liaison” position.

They join existing board members Jim Beavers, Sarah Buxton, Nicolle Galyon, Tim Nichols, Josh Osborne, Rivers Rutherford, Anthony L. Smith, Bobby Tomberlin, Laura Veltz, Troy Verges and Danny Wells whose terms expire in 2021.

NSAI Board elections happen in two phases and include voting by the NSAI Professional Songwriter Membership and appointments by the NSAI Board of Directors.  The board terms begin each year at the May meeting.

NSAI Board President Steve Bogard:  “Once again, NSAI has elected an outstanding Board of professional songwriters that reflects the growing diversity, scope and influence of our organization.  We look forward to another great year of progress for songwriters.”

(L to R: J.T Harding, Josh Kear, Jon Nite, Emily Shackelton)


J.T. Harding grew up in Detroit, Michigan, loving MTV and the radio. Following his dream to write songs J.T. moved to Hollywood California and made his first demo recording with money he won on the game show VH-1 ROCK N ROLL JEOPARDY. J.T. traveled the world as a personal assistant for the band LINKIN PARK writing songs all along the way leading J.T. to a publishing deal in Nashville. J.T. has written number one songs for artists such as Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen and the 3 million-selling song “Smile” for Uncle Kracker. J.T. has been an avid advocate of NSAI’s legislative efforts traveling to DC to visit with members of Congress and playing shows that raise money for the organization.

Josh Kear is a four-time Grammy-winning songwriter and recipient of the ACM Song of the Year. In 2013 he was named the ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year and is also the only songwriter in Grammy history to win “Best Country Song” three times. Josh has earned a total of 15 number one songs, including “Before He Cheats,” “Blown Away,” “Most People Are Good,” and “Need You Now.” His songs have been cut by Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Labrinth, and Charlie Puth. As an advocate for songwriter's rights. Josh has made multiple lobbying trips to Washington D.C., performed for the Library of Congress in 2014 as part of ASCAP's "We Write The Songs" series, spoken at the 2017 CPAC convention on behalf songwriter's rights and testified in 2018 before the Senate Judiciary Committee to help pass the Music Modernization Act.

Hailing from West Texas, Jon moved to Nashville at the age of 18 working multiple jobs to get through college and ultimately giving up on music to provide a life for a young family.  Encouraged by his wife not to quit, he eventually saved up to attempt a career in music and in just the handful of years since, he has had 12 #1 singles and been awarded three CMA Triple Play Awards, ACM Vocal Event of the Year for “We Were Us” and his song “Whatever She’s Got” was named one of the Top 100 songs played this decade.  He recently received NSAI’s peer-voted Song of the Year Award for Cole Swindell’s “Break Up In The End.” Jon is an advocate for NSAI in the community and has been interested and involved in the advocacy arena.

Emily Shackelton found her way to Nashville from Biwabik, Minnesota. After studying at Berklee College of Music, Emily moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting. She has played Tin Pan South many times and her catalog includes cuts by Carly Pearce, Runaway June, Joy Williams, Reba McEntire, Sara Evans, Jana Kramer, David Cook, Seth Ennis, Mickey Guyton, Lauren Alaina, and Cassadee Pope. She has had several songs featured on TV shows like American Idol and Nashville, including Love Like Mine, sung by Hayden Panettiere and featured on the gold-selling season one soundtrack. Most recently she celebrated her first Number 1 with the Carly Pearce breakout single "Every Little Thing.”  Emily has participated in Tin Pan South and in NSAI educational events in support of the organization.

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is the world’s largest not-for-profit songwriters trade association.  Established in 1967, the membership of more than 5,000 active and professional members spans the United States and foreign countries.  NSAI, with more than 100 chapters, is dedicated to protecting the rights of and serving aspiring and professional songwriters in all genres of music.  NSAI has been responsible for many advocacy advances for songwriters including creating the first group copyright infringement insurance for songwriters, passing the landmark “Songwriter Capital Gains Tax Equity Act,” and owns The Bluebird Café.