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STATE OF THE STATE: BMLG

Team Borchetta revved its engines with typical verve this year, once again achieving serious velocity in its unique lane. Thomas Rhett, who wrapped 2019 by notching his 14th radio #1 (“Remember You Young”), has two big songs flying high, “Beer Can’t Fix” and “Be a Light,” the latter sparking philanthropy through the #BeALight campaign.

There was also the highly anticipated return of Tim McGraw, who reunited with the label and saw his highest-ever radio chart debut, for “I Called Mama.” Lady A snagged their first #1 in more than five years with their first BMLG single, “What If I Never Get Over You.” For her part, the fascinating career of Carly Pearce hit a new high-water mark with her second Big Machine #1, “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” Midland gladdened L.A. hearts by reopening the storied Palomino for a night and playing a killer show there—studded with cuts from their knockout second album—that formed the basis for a live set and multiple videos. Brett Young has gone six for six in scoring #1 hits at radio. Newcomers Avenue Beat are making inroads with pop fans and critics thanks to timely anthem “F2020.” New albums dropped from Pearce, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Riley Green.

Racal Flatts celebrated their 20th year as a supergroup with the release of “How They Remember You.” Touring, radio and sales juggernaut Florida Georgia Line will be releasing what’s been buzzed as some of the best music of its career. And Sheryl Crow earned big critical buzz for her star-studded Threads album.

The unveiling of the Big Machine Neighborhood neonatal unit at Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital led the company’s philanthropic efforts, which also included turning the Big Machine Vodka distillery to the task of producing hand sanitizer for first responders, and the pledging of $1m from Scott and Sandi to the Music Has Value fund. The label and publishing arm Big Machine Music, meanwhile, joined with CreatiVets for an album of songs co-penned by combat veterans.

 




HITS LIST: SIGNS OF A
WHOLE NEW DEAL
The sounds of a brighter day to come? (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS:
STEVE COOPER
Turnaround specialist becomes a music man. (1/15a)
BIG CHANGES AT RCA: EDGE UPS PITTS TO PREZ, FLECK TO COO; RICCITELLI TO EXIT
Recalibrating for changing tastes. (1/15a)
DANGEROUS TIMES: A CONVERSATION WITH MORGAN WALLEN
As his song says, "Livin' the Dream." (1/14a)
ACADEMY AND DUGAN
DUE TO SETTLE?
A messy divorce nears its resolution. (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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