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THE STRINGER ERA BEGINS
Rob picks up his keys to the kingdom on 4/3. (3/28a)
FISHER KING
ACM boss talks Nashville (3/27a)
UNDERWOOD MOVES TO CAPITOL NASHVILLE
Grainge and Dungan lure the superstar (3/28a)
STREAMING SONGS: UNIVERSALLY DOMINANT
75% marketshare ... that's good, right? (3/24a)
SPOTIFY DEALS
If they don't come soon, what happens to the IPO?
LORDE'S NEXT LEVEL
How Melodrama took shape.
LABEL BIGWIGS SPILL THE BEANS
We go deep with a couple of top execs.
THE STRINGER ASCENDENCY
This adventure coming soon to a trade website near you.
Music City
ACM VEGAS TO-DO LIST
3/28/17


Heading to Vegas for the ACM’s? If you’re looking to fill your dance card for the long weekend in Sin City, keep this list close to the vest.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Thursday, March 30:

7pm 95.5 The Bull’s 9th Annual All-Star Guitar Pull
(Red Rock Ballroom, Red Rock Casino Resort Spa)
Performers: Lauren Alaina, Jon Pardi, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton

10pm ACM After Party for a Cause at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country
(Stoney’s Rockin’ Country)
Performers: Alyssa Micaela, Midland, Michael Ray, The Swon Brothers

Friday, March 31:

7pm LOCASH with Ryan Follese and Michael Tyler at House of Blues
(House of Blues, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino)
Performers: LOCASH, Ryan Follese, Michael Tyler

7pm ACM Party for a Cause: WME Bash at the Beach
(Mandalay Bay Beach, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino)
Performers: Jake Owen, Lee Brice, Brothers Osborne, Big & Rich, Maddie & Tae, Brett Young, William Michael Morgan, Dee Jay Silver

9pm ACM Party for a Cause: Songwriter Showcase presented by AIMP
(The Pearl, Palms Casino Resort)
Performers: Ross Copperman, Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, Matthew Jenkins, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Josh Osborne with Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion, as well as special appearances by Dierks Bentley, Cam, Brandy Clark, Dean Dillon and more; Hosted by Storme Warren

10pm ACM After Party for a Cause at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill (Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Harrah’s Las Vegas)
Performers: Lindsay Ell, Ryan Kinder

10pm ACM After Party for a Cause at Virgil’s Real BBQ
(Virgil’s Real BBQ, The LINQ Promenade)
Performers: Bailey Bryan, Kenny Foster, Morgan Wallen

10:30pm ACM Party for a Cause: Barnival Songwriter Showcase
(Mizuya Lounge, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino)
Performers: Scooter Carusoe, Brent Cobb, Aubrie Sellers, Hailey Whitters

Saturday, April 1:

10am ACM Lifting Lives Golf Classic
(TPC Las Vegas)
Hosted by Charles Kelley

12pm ACM Party for a Cause: Tailgate Party presented by Country Rebel at Stoney's Rockin’ Country
(Stoney’s Rockin’ Country)
Performers: Chase Bryant, Emerson Drive, Love and Theft, William Michael Morgan, Runaway June, Dylan Scott, Aaron Watson also including American Young, Russell Dickerson, DJ Bad Ash, DJ DU, Lucas Hoge, Tony Jackson, Olivia Lane, Jackson Michelson, Stephanie Quayle, Trick Pony

12pm ACM Pool Party for a Cause Presented by MillerCoors
(GO Pool, Flamingo Las Vegas)
Performers: Jackie Lee, Jerrod Niemann, Old Dominion, Dee Jay Silver; Hosted by Storme Warren

5:30pm ACM Party for a Cause: The Joint
(The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
Performers: Drew Baldridge, Kelsea Ballerini, Ryan Hurd, Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore, Eric Paslay, Brett Young with HISH; Hosted by Bobby Bones with Crook and Chase

7pm ACM Party for a Cause: House of Blues
(House of Blues, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino)
Performers: Lauren Alaina, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Seth Ennis; Hosted by Storme Warren

7pm ACM Party for a Cause: WME Bash at the Beach
(Mandalay Bay Beach, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino)
Performers: Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane, Tucker Beathard, Dylan Scott, Dee Jay Silver

9pm ACM Party for a Cause: Stoney’s Rockin’ Country
(Stoney’s Rockin’ Country)
Performers: Lucas Hoge, Stephanie Quayle, Trick Pony

10pm ACM After Party for a Cause at Redneck Riviera
(The Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s Las Vegas)
Performers: Adam Craig, John Rich, Clay Walker

Sunday, April 2:

12pm: ACM Pool Party for a Cause: REHAB
(REHAB, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
Performers: HISH

5pm 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards
(T-Mobile Arena)

8:15pm ACM Awards Official After Party at The Joint Presented by Security Benefit
(The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
Performers: Kane Brown, Easton Corbin, Clare Dunn, Dee Jay Silver, Walker Hayes, LANCO, Scotty McCreery; Hosted by Cody Alan and Crook & Chase

8:15pm ACM Awards Official After Party at Park Theater Presented by Security Benefit
(Park Theater, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino)
Performers: Russell Dickerson, Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence, RaeLynn, Josh Turner, Clay Walker, HISH; Hosted by Shawn Parr

"SPEAK TO A GIRL": FAITH HILL
& TIM MCGRAW
3/24/17

The estimable Holly Gleason surveys the killer new single from Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, which is currently #2 at iTunes overall and inside the Top 20 at Country radio in less than 24 hours.

In this age of full-throttle power-divas, it’s intriguing Faith Hill’s return to the radio eschews the full-scale belting that made “It Matters To Me” a signature song for American women carving out priorities beyond the sheer bling of it all. Instead, the Mississippi-born superstar opts for a warm, confiding tone on “Speak to a Girl,” a slow-building duet with husband Tim McGraw, that addresses the men who’ve spent years not getting their “game” truly figured out.

...Read the rest here.

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE HAVE OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT
3/24/17

Country duo Florida Georgia Line are now breathing the rarified air that comes with selling out stadium shows.  Their “Smooth Tour 2017” with special guests Backstreet Boys, Nelly and Chris Lane, is shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets of the summer. Boston’s Fenway Park (7/7) and Wrigley Field (8/12) sold out within hours of going on sale, while Minnesota’s Target Field (7/29) has reported just a few ducats available.

 “It's an unreal feeling knowing that our dreams of being in stadiums are coming true and that our fans sold these shows out so quickly,” said Tyler Hubbard. “Not to mention we get to share a stage with our boys Backstreet Boys, Nelly, and Chris Lane. These shows will make history. We're still so blown away.”
 

 2017 is shaping up to be a huge year for FGL. The duo earned five ACM nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year (Dig Your Roots), Single of the Year (“H.O.L.Y.”), Vocal Duo of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year (“May We All” featuring Tim McGraw). They’ll perform their new single, “God, Your Mama, And Me,” a collaboration with the Backstreet Boys, during the ACM’s 4/2 (CBS, 8pm ET).

With the announced sellouts, FGL officially tore up their contract rider and insisted that all brown M&Ms be banished from their dressing room.

 

IT'S A "GIRL"
3/23/17

Last month, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill signed an agreement with Sony, which consequently put them on the same label, Arista Nashville. Today, they released their first duet since the ink dried. It's called "Speak to a Girl" and it'll pull on your heartstrings.

We at HITS of course don't have heartstrings, but will be more than happy to yank on your chain.

Make sure you catch McGraw and Hill when they perform "Speak to a Girl"—the lead single from a joint album to be released by Sony in 2017—when they perform it on TV for the first time ever during the 52nd ACM Awards, which will air via CBS on 4/2 from 8-11pm.

Until then, you can stream it to that thing in your chest cavity's content. It can also be downloaded here.

RYAN KILLS 'EM WITH KINDER-NESS
3/23/17

Warner Music Nashville artist Ryan Kinder performed a 30-minute set Wednesday as part of WMN’s “Warner Sound in The Round” series. Afterward, every WMN staffer inside the Nashville city limits was rounded up to squeeze into the frame for a photo with Kinder as an homage to his current single, “Close.”

Back row (l-r): Peter Strickland, John Esposito, Matt Signore, Megan Joyce, Chad Schultz. Front row (l-r): Adrian Michaels, Ashlee McDonald, Ryan Kinder, Stephanie Davenport, Tim Foisset, Cris Lacy, Lisa Ray.

THIS NEWS IS WRITE ON TIME
3/21/17

It was just announced that on Friday 3/31, the Academy of Country Music is set to host the ACM Party for a Cause: Songwriter Showcase, as part of "The Week Country Goes Vegas."

The event—hosted by Storme Warren and presented by Association of Independent Music Publishers: Combustion Music, Creative Nation and SMACKSongs—will be held at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort. And there will be performances by Ross Copperman, Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, Matthew Jenkins, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Josh Osborne with Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion. Fans can also expect special appearances by Dierks Bentley, Cam, Brandy Clark, Dean Dillon and more. 

Doors open at 8:30pm and the program and performances begin at 9pm.

Tickets are available here. All proceeds benefit ACM's Lifting Lives—the organization's philanthropic arm.

GATHER ALL YE WEASELS
3/20/17


CBS Radio recently hosted its annual Country Music Gathering in Nashville, which drew in reps from labels and management alike, along with the artists themselves.

Seen above are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (center), who recently inked one hell of a deal;  Programming EVP Chris Oliviero (left of McGraw); Digital Media EVP JD Crowley (bottom row, second from left) Country Programming VP Tim Roberts (bottom row, fourth from left); Programming VP Jeff Sottolano (bottom row, third from right); Music Initiatives VP Chad Fitzsimmons (top row, fourth from left); and CBS Radio Country PDs from around the country.

As for below, you can feast your eyes on MCA Nashville star Sam Hunt (bottom row, center), whose current single "Body Like a Back Road" is blowing up at streaming services and radio; Oliviero (bottom row, right of Hunt); Crowley (bottom row, second from left), Roberts (top row, seventh from left); Sottolano (bottom row, fourth from right); Fitzsimmons (top row, sixth from right); and CBS Radio Country PDs from around the country. They are joined by UMG Nashville Chairman/CEO Mike Dungan (bottom row, second from right) and UMG Nashville Promotion SVP Royce Risser (top row, second from left).

Can you say, "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey, buddy?!"

**Click the photos to enlarge them**

RICE IS READY
3/20/17

While on the road recently in Southern California for the launch of his 2017 live shows, Chase Rice solo-penned a new song, “If I’m Bein’ Honest,” which is now available to stream. Listen here.

As of late, Rice has been in the studio recording the follow-up to his chart-topping Columbia Nashville debut, Ignite the Night.

From that album, “Gonna Wanna Tonight” reached the #2 spot on the Country radio chart, while “Ready Set Roll” went Top 5 at the format.

Stay tuned for updates on the Rice project, which we’ll dish out when available. 

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