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iHEART MUSIC SUMMIT DAY 2: KLAIMAN, RICCITELLI, GRAY, GLASSMAN AND BIEBER

Somehow, our mole was able to fake his way through a Bullet and Ginger hangover and slip past security once again to infiltrate the iHeartMedia Music Summit. The programmers arrived for a breakfast of bagels and coffee at 8:20am, ready for the music. Again, blame any omission of artists by our sleuth on the aforementioned alcohol.

The day started with Tom Poleman introducing Mike Rittberg and Verve. Mike revealed the artists and track-listing for the upcoming David Foster project We Love Disney. He then introduced a new Verve artist Charles Perry, who performed three songs (backed by the Chocolate Drops), ending with a crowd-pleasing song called “Panty Drop.”

Poleman went out of his way to thank folks like Guy Zapoleon of HitPredictor, who, Tom says, “touches every playlist in America,” as well as the company’s Marc Chase, Stephanie Klug and Maynard.

Warner’s Peter Gray took the stage with a direct approach: “No Stats, no snow, no hot air.” In the house were Chairman/CEO Cameron Strang and President Dan McCarroll, along with promo team members Dave Dyer and Andrew Berkowitz. Kaya Stewart performed “I’m in Love With a Boy,” then Gray spoke of the artist’s “body of work” and played new her new single. He was specific in his request that programmers come to the party on records by Adam Lambert, Duran Duran, Nico & Vinz and U.K. sensations FOALS. iHeart often speaks of its wide menu of artist development and integration programs, and Gray was not shy about ordering off of it.

In2une’s Dale Connone brought on Diplo to thank the programmers for all of their support, then played a new Major Lazer cut, “Powerful,” featuring Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley.

Next in the queue was RCA, led by Joe Riccitelli and Geo Bivins. They thanked the programmers for their part in 13 #1s this year (including the monster Mark Ronson track), played a clip of Rod Stewart joining A$AP Rocky on the Late Late Show to lip-sync “Everyday” and a short sizzle reel including new music from Miguel and Chris Brown. Grace and G-Eazy showed remarkable chemistry in their performance of “You Don’t Own Me” (a cover of the Lesley Gore song from the ’60s). They played few bits from new music from Prince Royce, Walk the Moon, Kygo and Bryson Tiller, Geo calling out for PD support on the last-named track. Joe then took a moment to present new original song by Pentatonix, who had last year’s #4 selling album and one of the biggest music channels on YouTube. “We are going to break this one; it was A&R’d by Keith Naftaly, who you all know has the best ears in the world.” Elle King (left) closed their segment with a great performance of “Ex’s and Oh’s.”

After a short break, Concord’s Jill Weindorf introduced Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, who performed two songs, including “Cecilia and the Satellite” (which many believe at 45 weeks on the Alt chart is the promotion job of the year by Crush’s Capone), which ended in a standing ovation from the PDs.

Kemosabe’s Greg Marella thanked everyone for supporting R.City, their latest venture with RCA, and introduced the St. Thomas duo, who performed an improv version of the song “Locked Away.”

Columbia was last presentation of the morning, and Joel Klaiman and team were there in force, with Lee Leipsner, Jim Burruss, Jon Borris and Aimee Vaughn. Klaiman and squad were in high spirits celebrating dual #1s in two formats with OMI and Rachel Platten. Joel set up the new Hozier single “Someone New” by playing footage from his recent GMA appearance, then presented highlight reel of Leon Bridges, who came out for a moving acoustic version of “Coming Home.” The presentation also included new material from Calvin Harris, The Neighborhood’s new song “RIP 2 My Youth” and George Ezra. Rita Ora (with a HITS weasel, right—what was she thinking?), no stranger to the iHeart stages, although visibly nervous about the endeavor, came out to introduce the programmers to her latest song featuring Chris Brown, “Body on Me.” More sizzle reels followed, including new projects from 1D, Phoebe Ryan, Dej Loaf and the quirky Liz. Leipsner took the stage in typical self-deprecating form: “Yes, this is still my hair, and no, my name is not Caitlyn.” He intro’d SYCO’s Little Mix, who, before performing their latest, “Black Magic”, thanked Lee “and his glorious hair.”


Following the break, it was time for SB Projects. A very brief sizzle reel on Scooter Braun’s company showing the diversity of music, TV, film and tech, quickly took an unexpected turn, as it switched to a welcome roast of sorts to Mike Chester, who recently joined from Def Jam. One reel focused on his rise in the business “after being rescued in a basket by Sharon Dastur” to the company being renamed MC Projects. Another had Justin Bieber, will.i.am, Karlie Kloss, Tori Kelly and PSY singing Chester’s praises via video. Then Chester, trying to focus on the upcoming Bieber project, among others, was interrupted by Justin himself, rushing the stage sporting a Mike Chester shirt. Bieber spoke to the audience in a more serious and humble way. “I’m still the same kid you met, but I’ve grown up and becoming my own man. It’s been tough for me these past few years, tough in the media. They want me to fail; I’m trying not to let that happen… I need radio play—I hope you’ll help me with that.” Before calling the room for a group pic for his online countdown, Biebs quipped, “I’m Scooter’s father’s revenge.” After Bieber left, Scooter had one more order of business, revealing that, during his first years in the biz, John Ivey could never remember his name and addressed him as “Speedy.” Braun showed the social-media power his artists wield by making #JohnIvey the #1 trending topic in the U.S. and in the world on Twitter.

Crush Music’s Bob McLynn appeared next, lamenting, “I have to follow Bieber?” but handled it in stride, introducing promo ace Capone. They played a quick reel showing the various artists the company works, including Fall Out Boy, Sia, New Politics, Weezer and Train; then YouTube sensation MAX took the stage in one of the most energetic performances of the Summit. Although everyone had been sitting all day, we were tired just watching him.

Roc Nation used its time by having Def Jam producer-turned-artist Romans come out to play a handful of songs. “I’m doing my own thing at the gentle nudging of Jay Z,” he explained. As a producer, Romans has worked with Mary J., Disclosure and Clean Bandit.

Three Six Zero Group, led by Jared Siegel and Dean Wilson, celebrated the success of client Calvin Harris, along with introducing U.K. sensations Hurts and Duke Dumont to the group.

Q Prime and Warren Christianson took a different approach by having its artists with upcoming projects send iPhone greetings. Lars and Robert from Metallica, Chad from RHCP, Dan Auerbach and Eric Church were among those who played along. The Silversun Pickups came out for a charming first-time acoustic performance of their new song, “Nightlife.”

Ultra’s Patrick Moxey came out to thank the company for all of its support in their first #1 in OMI, as well as to introduce more music from Kygo, Alina Baraz and Lost Frequencies.

Epic’s Todd Glassman seemed on top of the world, considering this year’s success of Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony and Jidenna. He pointed out that all of these had been accomplished with the help of iHeart developing-artist programs. With both L.A. Reid and Silvia Rhone in the room, he went into a highly produced Epic-branded sizzle reel that featured Future, Big Boi, Ciara, SYCO’s Fifth Harmony, Wonderland’s Jidenna and Deep Cotton, and Grand Hustle’s Travis Scott, among others. In one of the day’s highlights, Glassman brought Grammy winners A Great Big World to the stage, whereupon Ian and Chad revealed that the song had iknitially been about a relationship between a man and a woman, but Chad, who is gay, said he asked Ian, “How am I going to be able to sing this honestly?” So they agreed to change a key line to “Something happens when I hold him.” Z100’s Mark Medina recognized the song’s potential right away and put it straight into rotation at the station. Futuristic joined the duo onstage, and the performance received a standing ovation from the weary programmers.


Z100 PD Mark Medina joins AGBW, Epic's Sandra Afloari
and promo domo Todd Glassman for a grin-and-click.

Later, iHeart hosted a reception for the industry at Hyde Sunset Kitchen. It was a who’s-who gathering of programmers, label execs, managers, brands and artists. Cocktails were consumed, fried chicken sliders were eaten, photos were taken and all was right in the world. 

Click here for our coverage of Day 1.

Thursday kicks off bright and early with Daniel GlassGlassnote Records presentation.

Little Mix were clearly a little mixed up in posing for this photo with Hensley.  

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