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YTD MARKET SHARE
It's a mad, mad, mad, mad music biz. (6/13a)
NEAR TRUTHS: THE HITS KEEP COMING (PART TWO)
Born in 1986 by mad scientists; still lurking. (6/12a)
HITS LIST GOES COUNTRY
Pairs well with grits and gravy. (6/14a)
TOWNSHEND, PLATT AMONG TONYS PRESENTERS
Sunday! (6/12a)
SONG REVENUE: LEGERDEMAIN
Slim Shady lives! (6/13a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
Music City
SUN LABEL GROUP SHINES WITH PRIMARY WAVE
5/15/24

Sun Label Group, which comprises the labels Sun Records, Gaither Music, Green Hill Music, Rural Rhythm and emeraldwave by Green Hill, has officially launched in tandem with parent company Primary Wave.

SLG will be led by President Paul Sizelove, who will remain in his concurrent role as President of Gaither Music Group. Green Hill Music GM Blake Davis will also retain his position. Each of the labels will keep "their unique structure, individuality and respective teams," according to a statement.

"As we launch Sun Label Group, we stand at the crossroads of musical heritage and innovation,” said Sizelove, pictured. “This venture isn't just about celebrating 160 years of extraordinary sound; it's about forging a future where music continues to inspire, connect and evolve. Our rich legacy across Sun Records, Gaither Music, Green Hill Music, Rural Rhythm and emeraldwave by Green Hill is just the beginning."

Upcoming Sun Records releases include Ruthie Foster's Mileage, Amy Helm's Silver City, Melissa Etheridge's I'm Not Broken: Live From Topeka Correctional Facility, Thompson Square's Shawna Thompson's Lean on Neon and a blues album from ZZ Ward, while Gaither Music is prepping projects with former The Voice winners Chris Blue and Jordan Smith and Gospel Music Hall of Famers the Isaacs.

Green Hill Music will release Fairy Fantasy, a new album from New Age veteran David Arkenstone, while emeraldwave by Green Hill recently issued Out of the Blur, the debut ambient album from Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton.

BIG LOUD TEXAS BECKONS ANTHONY AS VP
5/14/24

Brendon Anthony has been named VP of Big Loud Texas, which he will oversee from Austin in tandem with label co-founders Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall.

Anthony comes to Big Loud Texas from the Texas Music Office, where he served as director of an agency within the Office of the Governor. There, he helped industry partners find success in the Texas music market and drove music-related business development initiatives.

Previously, Anthony was Head of E-Commerce and Artist Relations for direct-to-fan platform ONELIVE Media, where he worked with everyone from Beyoncé to Willie Nelson and Mötley Crue.

"Being a part of growing and supporting the Texas music industry has been my focus for over 25 years and I am thrilled to continue that effort by joining Big Loud Texas," said Anthony, who is also a musician.

"Not only does he bring years of knowledge of the Texas music industry and culture to the table," added Randall of Anthony, "but his legendary and respected musicianship has given him firsthand experience in touring and recording, and a deep understanding of what Texas music artists need in a record label. We are lucky to have him."

As for us, we're just lucky there was food in our refrigerator this morning.

SMP NASHVILLE INKS BRIAN FULLER
5/8/24

Sony Music Publishing Nashville has inked Brian Fuller to a global pub deal.

A promising newcomer in Nashville’s country music scene, Fuller recently earned his first major label cut as a songwriter with “I Could Be That Rain,” featured on Randall King’s 2024 album, Into the Neon.

Fuller is also set to drop new music this year, including his single “That Girl Can Drive,” co-written with Joey Hyde and Justin Wilson, due 5/24.

“Brian is a special talent – his song sense, unique melodies and ideas set him apart as one of the most promising young songwriter/artists. We are excited to join forces and be a part of his team,” said Aubrey Landon, SMP Nashville’s director of creative.

“I give all the glory and credit to God for blessing me with the amazing team and people at Sony. The first time I sat down and talked with Rusty [Gaston] I felt like he truly cared to hear about who I was and my story. Aubrey has the drive and work ethic of 10 people and I feel so lucky to have her in my corner. Every time I step foot within Sony, I’m welcomed by nothing but smiles and I feel right at home,” added Fuller.

Fuller kicked off his songwriting career in 2019 after moving from Savannah, Ga. to Nashville. Spending his first few years in the city writing, touring and perfecting his craft, he’s since dropped several tracks as an artist, including “Blue Sky Beautiful” and “Tellin’ on You,” and has songwriting projects in the works.

Seen just before celebrating with hot-chicken infused champagne are (l-r) back rowKenley Flynn, Dale Bobo, Josh Van Valkenburg, Anna Weisband, Tom Luteran, Synnovea Cleveland; front row—Landon, Fuller and Gaston.

EMPIRE UPS AND EXPANDS
5/8/24

EMPIRE has promoted Heather Vassar to SVP of operations and Sarah Beth Gerlecz to director of business and legal affairs.

Vassar will continue to spearhead EMPIRE Nashville releases and expand the roster, which she helped grow by ten artists over the past year. Gerlecz, who’s helped expand the pub roster to include multi-genre producers James Maddocks and Yung Lan (Morgan Wallen), will remain a key dealmaker for EMPIRE Nashville’s label and publishing divisions.

Additionally, Hannah Galluzzi joins the company as director of A&R, focusing on development of artists and release strategy. She arrives at EMPIRE after six years at UMG Nashville, where she worked with Sam Hunt, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block and Jordan Davis.

The news comes on the heels of EMPIRE Nashville’s latest breakout, Shaboozey, whose “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” hit 3m streams in 24 hours and now boasts 65m+ streams globally. The rising country star was also featured on Beyoncé’s COWBOY CARTER, as was labelmate Reyna Roberts. Shaboozey’s album, WHERE I’VE BEEN, ISN’T WHERE I’M GOING, is due 5/31.

Pictured above are (l-r) Vassar, Gerlecz and Galluzzi.

WARNER NASHVILLE & COUNTRY HOF PARTNER ON REIMAGINED BOX SET
5/3/24

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Warner Music Nashville are releasing an expanded version of the box set From Where I Stand: The Black Experience in Country Music. Originally released in 1998, the updated CD collection spans a century of music and traces the many ways Black Americans have created, contributed to and been influenced by country music. The set arrives 5/31, with pre-orders now available here.

The original set’s creation was inspired by Black country artist Cleve Francis and American Baptist College executive Nelson Wilson, who told the Washington Post at the time of its release, “It's a part of our history that's been hidden from us."

The new collection encompasses 82 tracks, with a fourth disc titled “Reclaiming the Heritage” that includes contemporary Black country and Americana artists like Rhiannon Giddens and Rissi Palmer.

"The most beautiful thing to me about the Black country renaissance is that its stars, who are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve, are truly using country music the way that, to me, it was born to be used," Giddens says in her essay. "Their music reflects and highlights a cultural viewpoint that has been traditionally suppressed, shows the best of the American narrative, and, in the end, tells the important stories of now, for the generations of tomorrow.”

Following the set's release, all the music can be heard on the museum’s website via "From Where I Stand: The Online Experience," a free, educational resource containing all the essays, archival visual components and historical track notes for each selection. The online experience will also include music that was unable to be licensed for the physical box set release, including Beyoncé and the Chicks’ collaboration on “Daddy Lessons,” Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road" and Al Green’s version of “For the Good Times.”

To celebrate the release, a variety of artists represented in the box set will participate in From Where I Stand: The Concert Celebration in the museum’s CMA Theater on 6/18. Presented by Amazon and Riverview Foundation, the event will be led by co-producers Rissi Palmer and Shannon Sanders. Artists performing include Blanco Brown, Cowboy Troy, Tony Jackson, Hubby Jenkins, Miko Marks, Wendy Moten, Palmer, Darius Rucker, The War And Treaty and Barrence Whitfield.

Tickets will be available here. Find a sneak peek below.

"HOLY" SMOKES: WARNER NASHVILLE INKS ROAN ASH
5/3/24


Warner Music Nashville has announced the signing of South African singer-songwriter Roan Ash. To celebrate the new deal, Ash's major label debut, "Holy Ground," is available now.

A seasoned country-rock poet, Ash has amassed 100m+ global streams independently. Armed with a guitar and emotionally-charged songwriting, Ash only aims for honesty and authenticity.

Ash's influences are lyrical masters like Kris Kristofferson and Don Williams, as well as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and John Mayer. Ash released his first independent album The Traveller in 2014, followed by 2018’s Whiskey to My Soul, where he found his creative mark.

Finding a natural home for his writing in Nashville, Ash made the life-changing decision to move across the globe and begin writing with Music City’s brightest collaborators.

Pictured above anticipating how popular Nashville Hot Bobotie could become: (back row) Warner Chappell Music SVP, A&R BJ Hill, WME's Jay Williams and Sloane Cavitt Logue, WMN VP, A&R Stephanie Davenport, WMN SVP Legal & Business Affairs Patrick Sabatini; (front row) WMN Co-Chair and Co-President Cris Lacy, Roan Ash and WMN Co-Chair and Co-President Ben Kline.

BIG MACHINE HITS THE GAS WITH GSTV
5/1/24

GSTV, a national on-the-go video network targeting thousands of fuel retailers, has partnered with HYBE subsidiary, Big Machine Label Group, to deliver exclusive musical content to GSTV screens.

Launching with the new “Sound Bites Powered by Big Machine” series, more than 29k locations across the U.S. will offer users BTS looks, new music previews and more from the label group’s artist roster, which includes Sheryl Crow, Mötley Crüe, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett and Jackson Dean, among many others.

"Our partnership also brings robust opportunities for our brand partners to engage with Big Machine’s roster of talent in an unexpected and impactful way during a powerful moment of attention and consideration," GSTV EVP, Marketing Kristina Lutz said. "This is great for viewers, for artists and for our retail and brand partners – a true win/win/win.”

BMLG EVP, Label Operations Clay Hunnicutt expressed similar sentiments, adding, "We love being able to treat the millions of music lovers that stop at GSTV locations across the US to fresh, fun content and music from their favorite artists... and maybe even introduce them to their next favorite artist or song.”

The deal brings new offerings for brand integrations, including sponsorship of the BMLG 20-second content segment, integration into custom produced Big Machine content and custom promotions and content with BMLG artists. Something tells us they won't be coming to HITS for content opportunities. Watch a clip of "Sound Bites" below.

WCM GETS TO THE "CORE" WITH MCFARLAND
4/30/24

WCM and The Core Entertainment have signed a joint global publishing deal with blossoming singer-songwriter Hannah McFarland.

WCM Nashville Manager, A&R Bryce Sherlow called her "an incredibly insightful and talented songwriter" with "unique talent." The Core Entertainment CEOs Chief Zaruk and Simon Tikhman added McFarland's "star is so bright already."

The Alabama native moved to Nashville in 2016 with dreams of having a music career. She has since opened for country stars such as Kelsea Ballerini, Old Dominion and Travis Tritt. Last month, Zach Bryan brought her onstage in her home state to perform Kacey Musgraves’ part of the duo's chart-topping hit, “I Remember Everything.”

Pictured wondering how long it will take before someone from HITS ruins the photo are (l-r) Sherlow, Core's Bradley Kind, Zaruk, WCM's Ben Vaughn, Tikhman and McFarland in the front.