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STATE OF THE STATE: WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

"We launched Warner Music Nashville six years ago, uber-focused on artist development,” Chairman John Esposito—known to all as Espo—recalls. “Blake Shelton wasn’t a household name at the time, but he was an amazing talent who deserved our fullness. You can see how well that worked out. We also needed to rebuild our entire roster. Since then, our artists have spent a combined 52 weeks at # 1. Blake’s won five CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Awards; we’ve had three wins in the Best New Artist category with Hunter Hayes, Brett Eldredge and Cole Swindell. Cole has five consecutive #1 singles at radio, and his new album was one of the biggest debuts so far this year. Brett’s sophomore album debuted at #1 on the Country Albums chart. He’s been touring internationally, growing his fan base, while scoring five straight # 1 singles. Brett has been tapped to co-host the CMA Music Festival [ABC, 8/3].

Dan + Shay made history in 2014 when their debut album entered at #1, making them the first new duo in the modern era to debut at #1 on the country album chart. Dynamic performers, they’ve toured with Blake and had performances on every major TV show from the ACMs to Dancing With the Stars. Another amazing story is Chris Janson, whose “Buy Me a Boat” was the seventh-best-selling song of 2015. A breathtaking live performer, Chris blew away the crowd at the Country Radio Seminar’s New Faces show, the CMA Music Festival and ACCA Awards, where “Boat” won Song of the Year. He’s played the Grand Ole Opry more than 150 times, a testament to his commitment to his fans and this genre. We just signed The Last Bandoleros, a mind-blowing band mixing country, pop and Tex-Mex. Their debut single, “Where Do You Go,” was the most-added song by a new artist at radio. They’re performing on Kimmel in July. We’re committed to artist development and freedom—the cornerstone of Warner Music Nashville.”

Also see UMG NashvilleSony Music Nashville and BMLG.

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