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2020 MIDYEAR MARKETSHARE SCORECARD
The competition is fierce. (7/7a)
POP SMOKE SET
FOR BIG DEBUT (UPDATE)
A "Moon" shot. (7/6a)
U.K. GOVT. OKS £1.57B ARTS RESCUE PACKAGE 
Fingers crossed for indie venues to return. (7/6a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
LADIES FIRST
Latifah, Lauryn, Missy, Lil Kim, more. (7/7a)
JUICE WRLD'S LEGENDS NEVER DIE DUE FRIDAY
Juiced with a big D2C initiative. (7/7a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
Music City
TENILLE TOWNES GOT A BIG HEART FOR BIG KIDS
7/1/20

Tenille Townes recently hosted her 11th annual Big Hearts for Big Kids benefit at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on 6/30. Raising $89k toward Sunrise House, a youth shelter in her hometown, and the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Troop 6000, Townes has raised over $2m to date since launching the fundraiser in 2010.

Performing tracks off her debut album, The Lemonade Stand, Townes' virtual benefit also included at-home performances from Dierks Bentley, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Caylee Hammack, Ashley McBryde, Lori McKenna, Chrissy Metz, John Osborne and Lucie Silvas.

The benefit adds to a successful year for Townes, who is nominated for two awards at the 55th ACM Awards and released The Lemonade Stand on 6/26 via Columbia Nashville and RCA to critical acclaim. Produced by Jay Joyce, Townes has co-writing credits on all 12 tracks. Stream it here.

Big Hearts for Big Kids will be viewable for the next week across Townes’ social media platforms. Donations can be made here.

SIGNORE LEAVING WARNER
6/30/20

Warner Music Nashville COO  Matt Signore will be leaving the company at the end of December. A WMG family for 15 years, he was President of WEA prior to moving to the Nashville operation four years ago.

In a memo to staff, WMG Nashville Chairman and CEO John Esposito wrote “Matt has helped us reorganize the company and has been a key player in a new era of success. As with every post he’s had throughout his career, Matt is leaving us in better shape than he found us.

“I’ve had the great fortune of counting Matt as a trusted friend and colleague for over 25 years, going back to our days together at PolyGram and IDJ. Besides being one of the greatest execs in our business, Matt is one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever known. A generous and open soul, he’s a mentor and confidante to a generation of people trying to navigate their way through this crazy life. Matt’s dedication and expertise have also been felt by the wider industry, including serving as Board Chairman of Music Biz and being a passionate supporter and Board Director of Porter’s Call, the Nashville-based artists’ counseling service.”

Signore with assist with the transition to a new COO and will oversee the renovation of WMG’s Music Row building.

JOSH KEAR INKS WITH SONY/ATV
6/29/20

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville has inked Josh Kear to a global publishing agreement. Based in Nashville, the four-time Grammy winning songwriter is known for penning tracks like Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” Florida Georgia Line’s “God Your Mama and Me" and Lady A’s “Need You Now,” among others.

With several RIAA multi-platinum certifications and numerous ACM and ASCAP Award, Kear is the only songwriter to win the Grammy for Country Song of the Year three times.

Having penned tracks for Luke Bryan, Tim McGrawDierks Bentley, Lee Brice and Keith Urban, Kear's music has also been featured in shows and films like The Bachelorette, Glee, The Glee Project, The Voice, Zero Dark Thirty and Country Strong.

“Josh is truly one of a kind – his songs have elevated the standards of country music, and they convey genuine emotion that everyone can relate to. I’m thrilled to welcome Josh to the Sony/ATV family and to deliver the best opportunities for his music,” shares Sony/ATV Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston.

Kear adds, “Rusty Gaston and the entire Sony/ATV team are passionate about great songs and making a difference in people’s lives. I look forward to contributing to the best of my ability to this legacy.”

Additionally, Kear recently joined NSAI’s Board of Directors and plays an important role in songwriter advocacy, having testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018 in support of the now-passed Music Modernization Act (MMA).

SABATINI JOINS WMN
6/29/20

Patrick Sabatini has joined Warner Music Nashville as SVP Legal & Business Affairs. Stepping into the role immediately, Nashville-based Sabatini will report directly to EVP A&R Cris Lacy.

“Patrick’s highly-respected reputation precedes him,” shared Lacy. “His previous stops at Warner Bros. Records give him an understanding of our culture and values, and his wealth of knowledge about all aspects of the industry is essential to the growth of Warner Music Nashville.”

Sabatini adds, “I feel fortunate to be rejoining the WMG family and am excited to begin a new chapter working with the incredibly talented team and impressive artist roster at Warner Music Nashville. I admire the company culture fostered by Espo and the team and their deep commitment to artists and music.”  

Since beginning his career at Arista RecordsBerklee College of Music and Pepperdine University alum Sabatini spent nearly two decades as an attorney at Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Records and private law firms. He most recently served as the Head of Business and Legal Affairs at Global Music Rights.

GABBY'S GOLDMINE STREAMS TO A NEW MILESTONE
6/29/20

Gabby Barrett has hit another milestone with the arrival of her breakthrough album, GOLDMINE, which debuted on the HITS Top 50 this week. Her Warner Nashville LP earned the most first-week streams for a debut album by a country act, racking up over 16m streams since its release on 6/19. 

"I feel so overwhelmed and so blessed by this first week," shares Barrett. "GOLDMINE is truly a representation of who I am as an artist, person and songwriter, so to see this and feel this kind of love and support is just a dream. I am so grateful for my team at WMN and Red Light Management, thank you to them, my husband, family, friends, co-writers, producers and my amazing fans. This would not be possible without you all, so thank you so so much for making this a moment I will never forget."

Warner Nashville Chairman/CEO John Esposito added, "I am incredibly gratified and deeply humbled that Gabby barreled past this streaming record with her debut album. From one western Pennsylvanian to another, I couldn’t be one iota prouder of her. I know the entire WMN team looks forward to continuing to make history together."

Barrett's success with GOLDMINE is anchored by the platinum hit "I Hope," which is currently climbing the Top 40 and Hot AC charts and has spent 11 weeks atop the country on-demand streaming chart. It's the genre's second most-streamed song of the year. 

NASHVILLE STARS SUPPORT THE FIRST AMENDMENT
6/25/20

RCA Nashville’s Kane Brown and Arista Nashville’s Brad Paisley are among 21 other stars joining a nationwide campaign to save the First Amendment.

Launched by Middle Tennessee State University’s Free Speech Center, hundreds of newspapers and media outlets will begin running ads on July 4th of the 1 For All Campaign for the First Amendment, which features celebrities supporting the freedom of speech, press and assembly.

In addition to Paisley and Brown, who’s ad features lyrics from his latest release, “Worldwide Beautiful,” ads will feature the likes of Loretta Lynn, Darius Rucker, Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, Ruby Amanfu, Billy Ray Cyrus, Colton Dixon, Scott Hamilton and Ann Patchett, among others.

For more info, click here.

ACM LIFTING LIVE'S VIRTUAL MUSIC CAMP
6/23/20

The Academy of Country Music’s Lifting Lives program recently hosted its 11th Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp. The residential program, in partnership with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, brings individuals with Williams Syndrome together to provide musical enrichment and education.

Held from 6/10-6/17 via videoconference, campers enjoyed a week of virtual activities and workshops. Joined by the likes of Ross Copperman, Frankie Ballard, J.T. Harding, Runaway June, Cassadee Pope, Michael Ray and Tenille Townes, campers participated in for Q&As, yoga, a talent show and more, including a virtual songwriting session to create their own original song, “World of Love,” which will be compiled into a final song by Copperman.

Lifting Lives' Executive Director Lyndsay Cruz said, “We felt it was more important than ever this year to continue to provide our campers with the music-oriented and educational experiences they enjoy, and we are so thankful to each artist and the country music community who helped make this camp a reality.”

Pictured below are (l-r) Ballard, Tenille Townes and Ray.

A GOLDEN EXPERIENCE
6/22/20

Warner Music Nashville’s Gabby Barrett is celebrating her debut album Goldmine with two unique fan experiences this week.

Barrett, alongside adventure and tour company Let’s Roam, has created a series of indoor scavenger hunts for fans in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. From 6/20-6/24, daily scavenger hunts completed will earn fans one entry for a chance to win a Zoom call with Barrett. The series of hunts will be live on the Let’s Roam app until 7/11.

In addition, Barrett is gearing up for LIVE FROM THE GOLDMINE on 6/23. With select album cuts and fan favorites, the performance begins at 6pm CT/7pm ET and can be viewed on her YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter.

“I’m so excited for my fans to get to dive into Goldmine with me now that it is finally out. I am so excited about the music and the stories it tells,” says Barrett. Let’s Roam CEO Charlie Harding adds, “With this new hunt, Gabby's fans can explore and connect with her music in an innovative and impactful way.”

To join the hunt, download the Let’s Roam app here and tune in for Barrett’s performance here.