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HITS LIST: SIGNS OF A
WHOLE NEW DEAL
The sounds of a brighter day to come? (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS:
STEVE COOPER
Turnaround specialist becomes a music man. (1/15a)
BIG CHANGES AT RCA: EDGE UPS PITTS TO PREZ, FLECK TO COO; RICCITELLI TO EXIT
Recalibrating for changing tastes. (1/15a)
DANGEROUS TIMES: A CONVERSATION WITH MORGAN WALLEN
As his song says, "Livin' the Dream." (1/14a)
ACADEMY AND DUGAN
DUE TO SETTLE?
A messy divorce nears its resolution. (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
Music City
NEXT-WAVE MANAGERS: MELANIE WETHERBEE (RED LIGHT MGMT)
7/8/19

Melanie Wetherbee is an unlikely champion for California turbo-traditionalist Jon Pardi. But the Massachusetts native—who got her degree at Middle Tennessee State and her first job as publicity coordinator at then RCA Label Group, followed by a stint at McGhee Entertainment—led to a key role Pardi’s breakout with a 2017 CMA Best New Artist win and a Single of the Year nomination for “Dirt On My Boots.”

The Red Light manager, who also works with Jillian Jacqueline, believes the standard for breaking artists remains the same. “You still need to build a strong hard ticket, you still want your fellow music community to get behind them, and you still want your artist to stand out as if no one else could fill those shoes and make people believe it. Plenty of artists break through based strictly on the credibility factor, while never having a radio hit, so what defines that kind of success? It could mean you fill decent-sized theaters, win Grammys and make a good living the rest of your life.

What’s the biggest hurdle?

The ever-shortening attention spans and need for instant gratification. Obviously, there’s a shifting hunger in the way we consume things. But the reality is, quality product that’s been positioned to the marketplace properly will continue for a longer period of time naturally on its own. The consumer will tell us when they’re done with it. We’ve seen it with Jon’s California Sunrise album. It came out over three years ago, and it’s still streaming between 9-10 million times a week on average. “Night Shift” only went Top 5 but is about to surpass a million in sales/consumption. So, it’s another instance where streaming and radio don’t necessarily tell a parallel story.

Best Lesson?

You can make all the right moves and prepare all you want, but when it comes down to it, there’s only so many factors you absolutely control. What happens next, you just have to accept and work with.