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SONY MUSIC U.K. GOES COUNTRY WITH WARD THOMAS

Jason Iley’s Sony Music U.K. has signed its first British country music act in 21-year-old sister duo Ward Thomas.

The deal was negotiated by Nicola Tuer, Sony Music U.K.’s COO, who said: “We are thrilled to welcome Ward Thomas into the Sony family, their talent is enormously refreshing and infectious. I have no doubt they have an exciting future ahead of them."

She continued: “Domestic talent is something we consistently strive to find and nurture. Country music is a genre that is become increasingly popular in the U.K. and Ward Thomas have established themselves as one of the leaders of that movement. So, we are naturally, hugely proud to be in partnership with them.”

Tuer brokered a joint venture with the group’s own indie label WTW Music and Sony Music Commercial Group, which is helmed by Managing Director Phil Savill.

Ward Thomas are Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas; they’re managed by John Woollcombe, who’s also Commercial Director of WTW Music. Their debut album, From Where We Stand, was self-released in 2014, sold 25k in Blighty, and was named U.K. Album of The Year at the British Country Music Awards. It reached #1 in the iTunes Country Chart and the Official Chart Company's Country Artists Album Chart, where it was #1 for 10 consecutive weeks. The follow-up will be released later this year.

Said Woollcombe: "We have been blown away by the excitement and enthusiasm that Nicola and her team have shown for Catherine and Lizzy. By building on everything Ward Thomas achieved on the first album, we are entirely confident this partnership with Sony can take Catherine and Lizzy's career to the next level and ensure they fulfill their huge potential both in the U.K. and abroad."

Pictured above (l-r) are Commercial Division marketing head Jon Cauwood, marketing consultant Roland Hill, Catherine Ward Thomas, Nicola Tuer, Lizzy Ward Thomas, John Woollcombe and Phil Savill.

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