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ANALYZING THE ACMS
A few firsts among the ACM Awards noms. (2/26a)
LIVE NATION EYES
SUMMER RESTART
Rapino's ready for festivals to return. (2/26a)
DODGING BULLETS AND DIVINE PURPOSE
Kamasi Washington answers our questions. (2/26a)
iHEARTMEDIA RESTRUCTURES BUSINESS UNITS
Radio giant makes a shift. (2/26a)
FREEDOM NOW AND OTHER JAMS, PT. 1
Social justice through the lens of jazz (2/23a)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
A jazz chronicle of fighting the power.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
ACQUITTED
In a phenomenal display of cowardice.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
Music City
FGL KNOWS HOW TO PARTY
2/26/21

Bringing the party to downtown Nashville, Big Machine’s Florida Georgia Line celebrated the release of their latest album with the exclusive livestream event, Life Rolls On From The FGL House. 

Held in collaboration with Amazon Music, the event kicked off on Thursday night (2/25) with a Q&A with CMT host Cody Alan before the duo performed a myriad of songs. The virtual performance will be available to watch on the Amazon Music's Twitch channel for three days. 

Opening the show with their 17th #1 “I Love My Country,” they also performed “Cruise” and Meant to Be” with special guest RaeLynn, as well as songs from the new album including current Top 10 single “Love Live.” The pair also debuted the songs “Always Gonna Love You,” “Ain’t Worried Bout It” and “Life Looks Good.”

Additionally, Amazon Music, FGL, CMT and BMLG have each donated to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's Nashville Neighbors Fund to support downtown merchants affected by the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville. Donations were digitally collected during the livestream on Tiltify and are still being accepted here.

Continuing the celebration, FGL has officilally been nominated for Duo of the Year at the 2021 ACM Awards.

Check out their performance of “Love Live” from the show below.

MORRIS, STAPLETON LEAD ACM NOMS
2/26/21

Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris lead the way with six ACM Award nominations with Miranda Lambert right behind them with five.

Ashley McBryde, poducer Jay Joyce and reigning Entertainer of the Year Thomas Rhett received four noms; with three each are Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress, Dann Huff and HARDY. Among Morris’s six nods are her first Song of the Year and Video of the Year noms.

For the first time in history, every Single of the Year nomination features a female artist. And with Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton and John Legend securing noms, it’s the first time  in ACM Awards history that four Black artists are nominated in a single year.

This year’s nominations include 14 artists and industry creators receiving their first-ever ACM Awards nominations: Tenille Arts, Spencer Cullum, Travis Denning, Kris Donegan, Alicia Enstrom, Jason Hall, Gena Johnson, John Legend, P!nk, Steve Mackey, Gwen Stefani, Benmont Tench, Chris Tomlin and Kristin Wilkinson.

The 56th ACM Awards will broadcast from three Nashville venues—the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Café—on 4/18 on CBS.

...Read more

ELLE KING AND MIRANDA LAMBERT GET “DRUNK”
2/26/21

Platinum selling artists Elle King and Miranda Lambert have reunited for their latest collaboration, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”

Co-written by King with Martin Johnson, who also produced the track, the song is also accompanied by an ‘80s-inspired wedding video, which was shot by director duo Running Bear

The new track marks the second time the pair have recorded together, following “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” with Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes and Caylee Hammack, which went on to win the 2020 ACM Award for Music Event of the Year. King was also a guest on Lambert’s 2019 Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour.

“Crawling out of such a crazy year, still full of so many unknowns, I ultimately couldn’t think of another person I’d rather come out singin’ and swingin’ with than the most badass chick I know. Miranda,” shared King. 

“We’ve toured together and sang on stage together, hung out and partied together, recorded together, and so much more,” added Lambert. “This song just feels like the natural transition to the after party.”

Stream “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” here and feast your eyes on the vid below.

KANE BROWN JOINS SONY MUSIC PUB, LAUNCHES JV
2/25/21

Sony Music Publishing Nashville has signed country superstar Kane Brown to a worldwide deal. Brown also launched his own publishing imprint, Verse 2 Music, a joint venture with SMP, headed by industry vet Kent Earls

With the establishment of Verse 2 Music, Brown and Earls aim to discover emerging country music hitmakers and develop their songwriting careers.

“I’m excited to further my relationship with Sony with Rusty Gaston and Jon Platt, and to work alongside Kent Earls again at Verse 2 Music," Brown commented.

SMP Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston added, “Kane Brown is redefining boundaries with his dynamic artistry, all-around business acumen, and passion as a craftsman songwriter – his anthemic songs will live forever. We couldn’t be happier to welcome him to SMP, and we are equally as excited to partner with Kane and Kent Earls on the launch of Verse 2 Music. We look forward to championing the history they will undoubtedly make together.”

Kent Earls, Partner, Verse 2 Music said, “I am beyond excited to start my next chapter with Kane, Jon, Rusty and the entire SMP family. Verse 2 Music will focus on exceptional songwriters and artists that aspire to make musical history. I am fortunate to have started working with Kane from the beginning of his career and now again with him in this time when he is a superstar in the country format and beyond.”

Earlier this month, Brown established his own record label imprint within Sony Music Nashville, 1021 Entertainment

Pictured above: Top Row, (L-R) Kent Earls, Rusty Gaston; Bottom Row, L-R: Kane Brown, SMP Chairman & CEO Jon Platt.

Photo by Meagan Little

BROS OSBORNE, BALLERINI TO ANNOUNCE ACM NOMS
2/24/21

Kelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne will reveal nominees for the 56th ACM Awards Friday, 2/26 on CBS This Morning at 8:30am ET. They will announce nominees for Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Duo of the Year, Group of the Year and Single of the Year on the program. ETonline.com will reveal the rest of the nominations at 8:45am ET. 

The 56th ACM Awards will return to Nashville and broadcast live from three iconic Country Music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, 4/18 (8pm ET/PT) on CBS. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ upcoming global streaming service.

Follow ACM's social media channels for live updates as the nominations are announced on Friday. 

SMN AND WESTWOOD ONE'S TEAM EFFORT
2/24/21

Sony Music Nashville and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One are teaming up to support the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

Leading up to the event, which takes place 6/5-12 next year in Orlando, FL, Westwood One Nashville hosts Paul Kroffy, Lia Knight and Elaina Smith will feature interviews with participating Sony artists, including Kane Brown, who helped launch the collaborative program this month.

Luke CombsAdam DoleacOld DominionRyan HurdLANCOKameron MarloweMaren MorrisJameson RodgersMatt StellMitchell Tenpenny and Chris Young are also among the participating artists in the campaign to support the athletes and spread awareness about the games through Westwood One’s broadcast channels.

“Our roster of world-leading artists have a unique platform to help those in need through positive messages and calls to action. With such an important event in 2022, we’re proud to use our voices to put a spotlight on those who need it the most,” shared Steve Hodges, SMN's EVP, Promotion & Artist Development.

As part of Culumus' PROJECT SHINE initiative, "Westwood One is committing time, resources, and talent to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, which create magic for thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities who participate and benefit tremendously from the joy, teamwork, and spirit the Games afford," added Paul Williams, Westwood One Nashville Director of Programming.

Check out Brown speak about the 2022 Special Olympics USA Game and how you can help support the event here

"SOMEBODY" IS SIGNING THESE TWO
2/24/21

With a little help from TikTok, "Somebody Does" by sister duo Tigirlily has rocketed to #1 at iTunes—dislodging Olivia Rodrigo's monster "drivers license" from that airy perch—and fueled speculation about the North Dakota duo's future. Word out of the 615 is that they've been hotly pursued and that a deal is all but locked up. Who's inking close-harmonizing sibs Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh? In the meantime, you can check out the Shane McAnally-produced "Somebody Does" below. Stay tuned.

A CHARITABLE LUKE BRYAN
2/19/21

Luke Bryan has plenty to celebrate as the country star is the latest recipient of the Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) 2021 Artist Humanitarian Award.

Receiving the honor during his appearance on CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience’s annual CRS Artist Interview, which is sponsored by BMI, Bryan was recognized for his charitable work with numerous organizations. Past recipients include Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Lady A and more.

Bryan’s philanthropic support extends across ACM Lifting Lives, CMA Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Shriners Hospital, St. Jude, TJ Martell, plus more, as well as his continued efforts with the Brett Boyer Foundation and Bayer’s #HeresToTheFarmer campaign through his annual Farm Tour, which launched in 2009.

“Luke is a big star with a bigger heart,” shared CRS/CRB Board President, Kurt Johnson. “He’s leveraged his influence for good and helped songwriters, farmers, children, small businesses—people in so many different walks of life that Luke Bryan’s philanthropic work has touched. We’re so proud to honor him with this much-deserved award.”

Additional charitable endeavors, fundraisers and concerts have included the City of Hope, Grammy MusiCares, Heart of South Georgia Fund, Ryan Seacrest Studio, Second Harvest Fund Bank, Wounded Warrior Project, Pay It Forward Live, A Salute to the Songwriters and more. 

Picture above following proper COVID testing protocols are (l-r) CRB/CRS Executive Director RJ Curtis, UMG Nashville EVP, Promotion Royce Risser, Bryan, CRB/CRS Board President and Townsquare Media’s Johnson and UMG Nashville Chairman & CEO Mike Dungan