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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
SPOTIFY LAUNCHES INDIGO
3/31/20

Spotify has announced the launch of its latest playlist Indigo on its For The Record blog. Highlighting contemporary country music and introducing its left of center artists to new fans, the Indigo brand reflects the ever-evolving genre while also representing its traditions and cultural influences.

The Indigo playlist’s name derives from two country staples, the color used to dye blue jeans and the term indigo child, often used to describe someone with extraordinary talent who plays by their own rules. From featuring country stars like Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton, as well as budding songwriters and risk-takers like Orville Peck and Tyler Childers, who’s featured on this week’s cover, the playlist has a range of acts including mainstream legends like Miranda Lambert and Tanya Tucker.

The playlist aims to widen the playing field for those who have pushed country music’s boundaries while honoring the genre’s roots of storytelling, organic instrumentation and production styling, similar to what artists like Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris accomplished during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

“We are excited to introduce the new Indigo playlist to our diverse spectrum of country music listeners,” says Spotify Senior Editor Laura Ohls. “Spotify continues to be deeply committed to supporting the country music community and culture, and with the launch of Indigo, we hope that fans will explore the many facets of the genre to find new music they will love."

Stream Spotify’s Indigo below and discover a new shade of country.

 

RHETT AND FRIENDS SHINE WITH "LIGHT"
3/30/20

Today, on his 30th birthday, Thomas Rhett has released “Be A Light” via The Valory Music Co., a new song with the help of friends Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban. Rhett co-wrote the song with Josh Miller, Josh Thompson and Matt Dragstrem. Listen to the song’s message of encouragement here, and connect with Rhett at 5:30pm ET/4:30pm CT/2:30pm PT on his Instagram Live.

“I wrote ‘Be A Light’ last year as a way to process negativity and sadness I was seeing in the world,” explains Rhett. “Now, as I sit in my home with my family, we are in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, all while our town of Nashville is still healing from devastating tornadoes that destroyed so much of our city less than one month ago. But, among the wreckage, I see us come together in ways I never dreamed possible. I knew in my heart this was the time to share this message with the world and our community. The voices who join me on this track are some of the brightest lights I know. I hope this song serves as a reminder that we are all in this together.”

Rhett and the song’s collaborators will donate all proceeds from “Be A Light” to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Recording Academy and MusiCares have established the fund to help people in the music industry affected by the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent cancellation of multiple music events. Administered through MusiCares, the COVID-19 Fund will be used to directly support those in the music community with the greatest need. To support those efforts, go here.

KANE BE LEGENDARY
3/28/20

RCA Nashville/Zone 4’s Kane Brown and Columbia’s John Legend have dropped their latest single, "Last Time I Say Sorry.” The collaboration, co-written by Brown, Legend, Matt McGinn and Andrew Goldstein, who also produced the track, follows Brown's 5 consecutive #1 hits at Country radio, including his latest, "Homesick.” It also marks Legend’s second release of 2020.

The collaboration sparked when the duo met at NBC’s The Voice, where Brown was a guest performer who also joined the 11-time Grammy winner Legend for his mini segment, Trailer Talk. This wouldn’t be the Brown’s first multi-format track, as his recent collaboration “One Thing Right” with Marshmello was Top 15 at Top 40 and crossed over to Hot AC.

The award-winning artists are set for their TV performance debut of “Last Time I Say Sorry” during the two-hour CBS special, ACM Presents: Our Country, airing on 4/5 at 8pm. Listen to the track here.

BIG MACHINE DISTILLS HAND SANITIZER FOR NASHVILLE
3/27/20

Pictured: Scott and Mark Borchetta with Berry Hill and Belle Meade Police Departments

Big Machine Distillery is producing more than its namesake vodka these days, as its Nashville neighbors fight to stay healthy. Beginning 3/27, hand sanitizer crafted at the distillery’s Lynnville and Berry Hill locations will be donated to local first responders – police officers, EMT and firefighters – in a time when vital supplies are low. Using the World Health Organization’s formula to ensure compliance with industry safety and efficacy standards, the sanitizer is 80% alcohol and manufactured in various sizes (50 ml, 100 ml, 375 ml and 55 gallon drums).

This morning, first responders from the Nashville area's Berry Hill Police DepartmentHendersonville Fire DepartmentAshland City Police DepartmentBelle Meade Police DepartmentGallatin Police DepartmentNashville Fire DepartmentFranklin Fire Department, Dickson County Sheriff’s Department and Brentwood Police Department visited the Big Machine Distillery & Tavern, where they were gifted dozens of 50 ml bottles of the hand sanitizer to distribute among their teams and communities.

“It’s amazing to see a company like Big Machine and its employees and owners set profits and publicity aside for the better good of the community,” said Berry Hill Police Chief Tim ColemanScott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group and owner of the Big Machine Distillery & Tavern along with his brother Mark Borchetta, EVP of Big Machine Distillery, were both on site to personally load hand sanitizer into the first responder vehicles.    

“We feel fortunate to be in a position to serve our community during these challenging times. The ability to tap into the same base spirit we use to make our Big Machine Vodka has allowed us to quickly make hand sanitizer available for both our first responders and customers,” shared Scott Borchetta.  

Complimentary 50 ml bottles of the sanitizer are available for the Tavern's curb-side pickup and delivery customers. Larger quantities can also be purchased at both the Nashville and Lynnville locations, or ordered online here. Their complete breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are now available, as well as their own brands of bottled spirits, cocktails and canned beer, via DoorDash.   

Additionally, the distillery is currently hiring workers for hand sanitizer production and delivery service. For more information or to apply, go here

STARS LINE UP FOR ACM SPECIAL
3/26/20

Kelsea Ballerini, Brandi Carlile, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and  Thomas Rhett are among the two dozen stars participating in the TV special ACM Presents: Our Country.

The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions’ two-hour special airing 4/5 at 8pm will feature conversations and at-home acoustic performances.

Also appearing will be Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown & John Legend, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley & Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.

The special will also honor Kenny Rogers with performances by Bryan, Paisley and Rucker. Video clips from previous ACM Award broadcasts will highlight favorite ACM moments from the past.

KELSEA BALLERINI DRONE DELIVERS A SURPRISE
3/23/20

Black RiversKelsea Ballerini literally dropped her album in the hands of some of her biggest fans. With the prevalence of social distancing, Ballerini notes that they’re “getting a little creative with this album drop.” Just a few days after the release of her third studio album Kelsea, the country star used drones to deliver a few lucky fans her album.

In the 76-second clip below, Ballerini messages fans and let’s them know they “should be receieving a delicious delivery” before delivering the 13-track album, which features Kenny Chesney, Halsey and co-write from Ed Sheeran, and even a pizza for one lucky fan. Now that's what we call a creative album drop.

MUSIC BIZ POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST
3/21/20

Music Biz, the Music Business Association confab, has been postponed due to Coronavirus concerns; it's now slated for 8/16-19 at the JW Marriott Nashville.

Music Biz Prexy Portia Sabin thanked all concerned for their patience "in this extremely uncertain period," adding, "The music industry has survived many turbulent patches throughout its long history, and once this health crisis is controlled, we look forward to an opportunity to come together and support our industry’s collective path forward."

Sony Music’s Julie Swidler and Kobalt’s Willard Ahdritz were due to be honored during the event.

For those now housebound, the org's trove of webinars (accessible to all) offers an opportunity to soak up the Music Biz vibe.

KENNY ROGERS, 1938-2020
3/21/20

Kenny Rogers, the ballad-oriented singer who played a significant part in bringing country music to pop audiences in the 1970s and ’80s, died on Friday at his home in Sandy Springs, Ga. He was 81.

Rogers died of natural causes.

“Kenny was one of those artists who transcended beyond one format and geographic borders," says Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern. "He was a global superstar who helped introduce Country Music to audiences all around the world. I had the pleasure of working with him over the years and I’ll always remember his graciousness and kind heart. He has left us with his music, some of which will go down as the most memorable performances in Country Music history. Our condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad time."

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