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NEAR TRUTHS: MASK ON, GLOVES OFF
Strange days in so many ways... (4/10a)
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A HITS LIST
A salute to industry astronauts (4/10a)
A RENEWED
REVENUE CHART
Bring on the newbies. (4/10a)
LIVE NATION STOCK: ROBUST RECOVERY AHEAD?
We'll take good news wherever we can get it. (4/10a)
SET YOUR DVR: SNL TO RETURN—REMOTELY
Can't wait to see what they're cooking up. (4/10a)
WE FOUND SOME TOILET PAPER
Also known as back issues of HITS.
SOCIAL DISTANCING
We turn out to be pioneers.
STREAMING STORIES
The music doc shows new muscle.
ELECTION 2020
Not postponed yet.
Music City
WARNER CHAPPELL ADDS NASHVILLE TO WOLAVER'S A&R ROLE
4/9/20

Warner Chappell has announced that VP of A&R Katy Wolaver will broaden her current role to now include Nashville. Wolaver, who joined the company in 2016, is responsible for signing and developing new and established songwriters and producers from the publisher’s downtown L.A. headquarters.

Wolaver currently manages a broad array of notable pop and country talent, including Ava Max, Michael Pollack (Maroon 5), Tayla Parx (Ariana Grande, Kesha, Panic! At The Disco), Jesse Frasure (Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum), Sasha Sloan (Camila Cabello, John Legend) and Devin Dawson (Blake Shelton, King Calaway). Working between L.A. and Nashville, she will help to foster even more collaborations between the cities’ robust rosters of songwriters and producers.

Warner Chappell Nashville President & CEO Ben Vaughn said: “Nashville is home to some of the best songwriters in the world, and we’re looking forward to working with Katy to expand opportunities for the incredible talent in this city. As music genres continue to evolve, it’s our responsibility to create a space for more songwriters to make music together.”

Warner Chappell President of A&R U.S. Ryan Press said: “Katy has spent more than a decade working with pop and country songwriters, and is in a unique position to bring talent from both genres closer together. Her strong relationships will enable us to create bold new pairings, and I can’t wait to see what will come of this new role.”

Wolaver added: “This decision says a lot about Warner Chappell and our commitment to songwriters. It’s so important that we encourage innovation by empowering our writers and producers to experiment with different artists and new styles. I’m proud to be part of a team that is willing to do things differently to get our songwriters heard.”

Wolaver got her start in music in 2006 while working for Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi at Arthouse Entertainment, supporting writers and producers like Jon Bellion, Mitch Allan and Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons. She went on to serve as Director of A&R at SONGS Music Publishing. Throughout her career, Wolaver has been behind numerous hits, such as “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Flo Rida, “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato, “Never Be The Same” by Camila Cabello, and “Fight” by Florida Georgia Line and Tayla Parx.

SONGS & DAUGHTERS BEHIND THE SCENE
4/6/20

American Songwriter’s is hosting a Behind the Mic livestream tonight with Songs & Daughter. Streaming at 7pm ET/6pm CT, the performance and discussion will take place with label head Nicolle Galyon and flagship artist Madison Kozak, who was named a CMT Next Women of Country Class of 2020 artist.

Partnering with Big Loud in 2019, Galyon’s Songs & Daughters is a music home for female creatives. “The heart behind Songs & Daughters is to be rooted and liberated at the same time,” shared Galyon. “I hope to nurture the song, I hope to nurture the daughter, and I hope that the artists matter just as much as the music that we’re making. Songs & Daughters is a bigger way to tell young female creatives, ‘yes you can’.” 

Tune in to American Songwriter’s Instagram tonight to hear music from Kozak, including her single “First Last Name,” and the inspiration behind Galyon’s female-focused Songs & Daughters.

SAM HUNT'S EXLUSIVE SPOTIFY ALBUM EXPERIENCE
4/6/20

MCA Nashville’s Sam Hunt is celebrating his new album SOUTHSIDE by teaming up with Spotify on an enhanced album experience, Sam Hunt Presents: SOUTHSIDE. The exclusive features a short film story that takes fans through the creation process of the album, which is his first since his 2014 Grammy-nominated debut Montevallo.

Including all of the tracks featured on SOUTHSIDE along with clips discussing the stories behind songs like "Sinning with You,” “Young Once” and more, the album experience also features acoustic performances of "Hard to Forget” and "2016," as well as Storylines of personally written commentary and Canvases.

Hunt shares, “Spotify has played a huge part in helping us reach more people with our music from the very beginning. I’m thankful for that early support and the platform they’ve continued to build for all artists.”

Listen to Sam Hunt Presents: SOUTHSIDE on Spotify here.

ICYMI: KANE BROWN ON CBS AND A NEW MUSIC VIDEO
4/3/20

RCA Nashville/Zone 4’s Kane Brown recently appeared on CBS This Morning with Gayle King ahead of the ACM Presents: Our Country special to talk about his latest duet with Columbia’s John Legend. Discussing how the song came together, they also spoke about Amazon’s mini-documentary of Brown’s iconic sold-out Staples Center show and his upcoming album.

Shortly after his appearance on CBS, Brown and Legend dropped a brand new music video for their first collaboration and invited fans to join them for a Q&A chat on YouTube during the premiere. Filmed in quarantine, the award-winning artists co-directed the video and recorded segments via iPhone and Google pixel/MacBook in isolation at their homes.

The award-winning artists will have their debut TV performance of “Last Time I Say Sorry” during the two-hour ACM Presents: Our Country special. Other artists slated to perform during the King-hosted show include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Shania Twain and more. Additionally, the special will honor 10-time ACM award-winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker.

Watch Brown on CBS This Morning here and check out the music video for “Last Time I Say Sorry” below.

KENNY CARES FOR MUSICARES
4/2/20

A multi-network Celebration of Life and Music is set to take place for the late Kenny Rogers. Commemorating his life’s work, A&E, AXS TV, CBS and CMT are coming together to provide week-long stacked programming to honor Rogers’ memory and contributions to American music and will be supporting Kenny Cares benefiting MusiCaresCOVID-19 Relief Fund.

“In his final days, surrounded by family, Kenny felt so much love and peace. It’s so special for our family to see that love continue with this posthumous celebration of his life,” shares Wanda Rogers. Debbie Carroll, VP Health and Human Services MusiCares, adds, “Our deepest gratitude to the Rogers Family for designating MusiCares as the beneficiary of these efforts. Their support will help the thousands of music professionals in need of assistance with rent, utilities, food and other basic necessities.”

Beginning Sunday (4/5) during the two-hour ACM Presents: Our Country special on CBS, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker will pay tribute to the 10x ACM Award-winner. AXS TV will continue the celebration on Monday (4/6) by saluting Rogers with a pair of classic concerts including the Emmy-winning 1989 special Kenny, Dolly And Willie: Something Inside So Strong and the 1985 special, Kenny And Dolly: Real Love at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

Then, on Wednesday (4/8), CMT Presents will air a new 1-hour special, CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit For MusiCares, featuring rare photos, interviews and performances alongside clips and commentary from Rogers and special guests like Dolly Parton, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Jennifer Nettles, Vince Gill and more.

A&E wraps up the week-long tribute on Monday (4/13) with the premiere of Biography: Kenny Rogers, a two-hour special produced by Blackbird Presents which chronicles Rogers’ life from childhood to the height of his career and contains live performances, a never-before seen interview, behind-the-scenes moments from his 2017 farewell concert, All In For The Gambler, and more, seen in the promo here. Special appearances include Parton, Lionel Richie, Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum and more. To learn more or donate to COVID-19 Relief in Kenny Rogers’ name, text KENNYCARES to 41444 or click here

 

4/2/20

As the Grand Ole Opry’s 4,918th consecutive Saturday night broadcast approaches, the Opry is inviting fans to contribute to #UNBROKEN, a charitable campaign to raise money for the MusiCaresCOVID-19 Relief Fund benefitting artists and musicians struggling through the pandemic.

Featuring Opry-member Terri Clark as a host and performer, the show airs on 4/4 at 8pm PT on Circle All Access, the country music lifestyle network launched earlier this year by Ryman Hospitality, and includes performances from UMG Nashville’s Lauren Alaina and Warner Music Nashville’s Ashley McBryde. Other TV affiliates include Gray TV stations, DISH Studio channel 102 and Sling TV, among others.

“MusiCares is there for us in times of need. They keep our lights on and our hopes up. And for musicians that peace of mind is priceless,” said McBryde, whose album Never Will drops tomorrow (4/3).

Over the last three weeks, millions of fans have tuned in live to listen to Opry members like Bill Anderson, Jeannie See, Mandy Barnett, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Sam Williams, Vince Gill and his family, Brad Paisley and Marty Stuart, all who went on air without a live-ticketed audience.

The show will have acoustic performances a recommended social distance across the stage and will take place without an audience, as Opry management has worked closely with Nashville’s Director of Health to ensure they follow strict safety protocols under the guidance of local health professionals.

For more info, click here.

STELL GOES VIRTUALLY PLATINUM
4/2/20

RECORDS/Arista Nashville artist Matt Stell thought he was being “fooled” on 4/1 when he joined a Zoom video call with Wide Open Music's Ash Bowers, RECORDS' Barry WeissSony Music Nashville's Randy Goodman, and the RIAA's Mitch Glazier and Jackie Jones. The group surprised Stell with a virtual platinum song plaque, the first of its kind, celebrating his multi-week #1 single, “Prayed For You,” hitting the 1m unit milestone. As one of only 30 RIAA platinum-certified country songs in the last two years, “Prayed For You,” written by Stell with Bowers and Allison Veltz Cruz, joins an elite group. Watch the surprise moment and Stell’s reaction here.

Stell’s new single, “Everywhere But On,” from his EP of the same name, is currently Top 40 at country radio and climbing. 

In response to the global pandemic impacting in-person live shows, Stell, Lindsay Ell and Jameson Rodgers take to Instagram and Facebook every Wednesday at 9pm ET/8pm CT/6pm PT for Stell's weekly livestreamed series Penned Up, to each perform a new song written solo that week. 

Pictured (l to r), just before raiding their respective kitchens for snacks while probably not wearing any pants, are: RIAA VP Artist & Industry Relations in Nashville Jackie Jones, Wide Open Music President Ash Bowers, RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier, Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Randy Goodman, RECORDS co-founder and CEO Barry Weiss, and Stell.

NO CMA FEST IN 2020
3/31/20

The Country Music Association’s CMA Fest will not take place in 2020.

In a letter to Country Music Association members, CEO Sarah Trahern wrote, “Please know the decision was not made overnight. Our team has been relentless in working through every scenario on behalf of our industry and fans. But after careful deliberation, and in following the latest guidance from national, state and local authorities, we felt it was time to start looking ahead to 2021.”

Here's the org's statement: