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IS ANOTHER CHUNK OF UMG BEING SOLD?
IPO set for 9/27. (5/18a)
OLIVIA ROCKS
THE STREAMS
Coming-out party for a rockstar (5/17a)
WE’VE LOOKED AT CLIVE FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: GRAMMY PARTY PART 2
He's ageless and tireless. (5/17a)
WANT FRIES WITH
THAT HITS LIST?
It's a metaphor. (5/18a)
NEW RELEASES: STILL A COLE WORLD
Dude, that's some vertical leap. (5/17a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Music City
ALDEAN SADDLES UP
5/17/21

Jason Aldean will get back on the road in August with his Back In The Saddle Tour, produced by Live Nation, that starts 8/5 in Virginia Beach.

…Read more

TUNE IN: INGRID SHORT FILM HITS AMAZON MUSIC
5/14/21

Amazon Music has released a short film, A Lady Like That, on Warner Music Nashville star, Ingrid Andress. The doc follows Andress' breakthrough year, which includes her hit single "More Hearts Than Mine" reaching #1 on the country charts and a haul of nominations at the Grammy's, ACMs and CMAs

Directed by Lauren Dunn, the short film showcases one of the most exciting, unapologetic young artists in country music with never-before-seen home video footage and candid interviews. 

Watch the short film here and in the Amazon Music app. 

“It’s been a dream to work with Lauren Dunn, Amazon Music, Breakwater Studios and my team on this project. To have the opportunity to work with this stellar group and bring my story to life has been incredible,” shared Andress. “I'm excited for more folks to learn about my journey into the country music format and I hope my story can be encouraging to anyone who feels like an outsider.”

Amazon Music listeners can also access a new Amazon Original—a reimagined version of the album’s title track, “Lady Like,” featuring a new orchestral arrangement, released last week. Produced by Margot, and arranged by Margot and Juan Villacrez, Andress’ new version was recorded with an all-woman orchestra. 

NEW HIRES JOIN ACM
5/13/21

The Academy of Country Music has announced new hires in three departments: Rory Levine joins the Academy as VP, Digital Strategy & Engagement; Haley Montgomery joins as Manager, Awards & Membership; and David Sassano joins as Executive Assistant to ACM CEO Damon Whiteside. Pictured above (L-R): Levine, Montgomery, Sassano.

Most recently, Levine led all consumer recruitment and registration efforts for The Atlantic’s acclaimed events business. Prior to that, he served as VP, Marketing and Audience Engagement at Viacom’s CMT, heading all consumer-facing advertising campaigns, promotional partnerships, and social media activation, including the successful migration and relaunch of the fan-favorite music drama series Nashville. In his new role, Levine will build and execute digital strategies for the ACM's content across a variety of platforms; he will report directly to Whiteside.

Alabama native Montgomery will be responsible for supporting all initiatives and development of ACM membership, along with overseeing the Awards & Voting process. Previous stops for Montgomery include Opry Entertainment Group as Manager for the Artist & Label Relations team and three years on the strategic partnership team at CMA. She will report to Tommy Moore, VP, Artist & Industry Relations and Board & Governance.

Sassano joing ACM after spending 14 years at WMG as Director of Operations and Administration. His first 10 years were at WEA in New York and most recently 4 years at Warner Music Nashville. In his current role as Executive Assistant, he will provide administrative support to the CEO, Board of Directors and Executive Team. 

“The Academy is thrilled to welcome Rory, Haley and David to the team,” said Whiteside, CEO of the ACM. “Each of these professionals brings with them valuable expertise and knowledge of the Country Music industry that we know will provide a fresh perspective to the ACM team, helping to propel us forward in our future endeavors.”

UNDERWOOD HEADS TO VEGAS
5/12/21

Capitol Nashville’s Carrie Underwood has announced her first-ever residency, REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency, at The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas.

The seven-time Grammy winner and three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year kicks off her residency on 12/1 at the new 5k-capacity room that’s slated to open in November and will also be hosting residencies by Celine Dion, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

The theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas is a joint development between Resorts World Las Vegas and AEG Presents and is exclusively programmed and operated by Concerts West/AEG Presents.

“Touring is one of my favorite things I get to do as a performer and we’ve all really been missing that,” shared Underwood. “It’s such a special honor to be one of the first artists to get to perform in a brand new, beautiful, state-of-the-art theatre at such an exciting new destination as Resorts World Las Vegas.”

Additionally, Underwood will donate $1 from each ticket sold for REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America (https://wish.org), an organization Underwood has been involved with for 15+ years.

Tickets and a limited number of VIP Premium Ticket Packages are available to the public on 5/24 at 10am PT. VIP Experience Upgrades, like Meet & Greets, autographed memorabilia, custom merchandise and more, will also be available. Official Carrie Underwood Fan Club Members will receive first access to tickets on 5/17 at 10 a.m. PT. For tickets and more info, click here.

BIG WEEKEND WITH BIG MACHINE AND MCGRAW
5/10/21

Grab your beer cozies as Tim McGraw is gearing up to host Big Machine’s McGraw & Friends Memorial Day Weekend Special.

Hosted by McGraw, the two-hour event features country stars like Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, Lady A and more as they celebrate and honor men and women of service.

The non-exclusive special kicks off on 5/29 and runs through 5/31 with 12-minutes for local spots each hour.

FOX ORDERS COUNTRY DRAMA MONARCH
5/7/21

Country music drama Monarch is officially heading to Fox. The new multi-generational music drama about America’s first family of country music comes to Fox as the network’s first fully owned live-action scripted show and is set for the 2021-2022 broadcast season.

Formerly known as the Untitled Country Music Dynasty drama, the series was created by Melissa London Hilfers, who will executively produce alongside Michael Rauch—who will also serve as showrunner—Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady for The Jackal Group and Sandbox Entertainment’s Jason Owen.

Featuring new music as well as covers, some of Owen’s client roster—which includes Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Faith Hill, Dan + Shay and more—are expected to appear and perform on the show.

Monarch is one of Fox’s first two series to bypass pilot orders and advance directly to the writers’ room with a series commitment. Fox bought the project with a penalty back in 2019 and it was originally developed by the network’s SideCar Content Accelerator, which shut down in June 2020. Monarch’s development folded into Fox’s scripted programming department.

“Music-driven programming is a big part of the DNA of Fox’s success with shows like The Masked Singer, Empire, American Idol and Glee,” said Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn. “We have been looking for new ways to tell stories with music; what’s the next chapter for us in terms of a juicy drama that incorporates music in the storytelling.”

Hilfers is repped by UTA, Alan Gasmer and attorney Allison Binder from Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher LLP, while Rauch is repped by CAA and attorney Kevin Kelly.

Pictured below are Hilfers (L) and Owen (R).

OPRY BOOSTS CAPACITY TO 100%
5/7/21

The Grand Ole Opry is opening performances to full capacity for the first time in more than a year, beginning 5/14 with a show featuring Lorrie Morgan and the Oak Ridge Boys.

The Opry will welcome Lady A and Ryan Hurd on 5/15, and Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs and Chris Young for a “Salute The Troops” show on 5/29. Trace Adkins, Keb’ Mo’, Old Crow Medicine Show, Carly Pearce and others will perform this spring and summer.

The Opry will continue to follow enhanced COVID-19 health and safety protocols including mandatory masks for all guests as well Opry House operations and production staff.

The Opry is also releasing a limited-edition vinyl LP, Unbroken | Empty Room, Full Circle, on 6/4 featuring performances recorded live during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A BIG PARTNERSHIP FOR KIDD G.
5/6/21

Rebel Music and Geffen have partnered with BMLG’s The Valory Music Co. to promote rising country artist Kidd G. The 18-year-old singer/songwriter joins The Valory Music Co.’s roster, which includes artists like Thomas Rhett, Sheryl Crow, Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore.

The BMLG imprint will provide genre support through Country radio, commerce and marketing for Kidd—who was featured on Spotify’s Country Artists To Watch in 2021 list—while Rebel Music and Geffen lead various efforts in hybrid markets.

His first release under the new arrangement follows the deluxe version of his debut EP, Teenage Dream: 1000 Miles from Georgia, which was released in December and yielded his breakthrough single, “Dirt Road.”

“When we partnered with Kidd G last year, we knew it would take a special team to help him build his unique fanbase around the world,” said Rebel Music Founder & CEO, Javier Sang. “With Geffen and Big Machine Label Group on board with us he has a true dream team set up for him to win.”

"Kidd G is an incredible artist who has galvanized music fans with his powerful songwriting and his ability to bend genres," said Geffen GM, Lee L’Heureux. "We are excited to be teaming up with Scott Borchetta and everyone at The Valory Music Co. to continue to grow Kidd G's fanbase in the Country Music world."

“Kidd G is the sound of the next wave of great Georgia artists who've combined Country & Hip Hop in their own unique way,” says BMLG President/CEO Borchetta. “Not unlike Jason Aldean or Brantley Gilbert before him, Kidd is a southern boy who will blur and ultimately stretch format lines.”

Photo Credit: Ford Fairchild