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NEAR TRUTHS:
DEVELOPING STORIES
The kids are almighty. (8/3a)
LEADING OFF:
RON’S BIG RUN
Not your father's Columbia (8/3a)
ON THE COVER
Happier days are here again. (8/3a)
AN AUGUST HITS LIST
Look at the guns on these giants. (8/3a)
GRAMMY CHEW: SEEING BIEBER
It's high time for Justice in the Academy. (8/3a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
Pub Crawling
CHRIS DESTEFANO RE-UPS WITH SMP NASHVILLE
7/21/21

Sony Music Publishing Nashville has renewed its global pub deal with Grammy-winning country artist Chris DeStefano. His longstanding relationship with the company began in 2008 when he inked with EMI Music Publishing.

A 3x CMA Triple Play award-winner, DeStefano is best known for penning hits for the likes of Jason AldeanBrett Eldredge, Dan + Shay, Chris YoungMorgan Evans and more, including chart toppers like Luke Bryan “Kick the Dust Up” and “That’s My Kind of Night” as well as Carrie Underwood’s “Smoke Break,” “Good Girl,” “Little Toy Guns,” her Grammy-winning single “Something in the Water” and “Somethin’ Bad” with Miranda Lambert.

His recent credits include working on Chris Young’s forthcoming eighth studio album, Famous Friends, and his new single “One of them Nights,” as well as Chase Rice’s latest pair of tracks, “Best Night Ever” and “Belong,” from his new project The Album.

“I’m very excited to be continuing my partnership with the amazing team at Sony Music Publishing. I’m grateful for their fervent support, love for songs, and I look forward to future successes together,” said DeStefano.

“As a songwriter, producer, performer, philanthropist, and songwriting advocate, there are few people in the Nashville creative community that have had as significant of an impact as Chris. We are honored to remain as his publishing family, and we are proud to celebrate his past, present and future success alongside him,” added SMP Nashville EVP, Creative, Josh Van Valkenburg.

A songwriter advocate, DeStefano is also a board member for the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and recently participated in ASCAP’s virtual Stand with Songwriters advocacy month to help create awareness around issues facing American music creators.

NASHVILLE PUBLISHERS, UNMASKED: UMPG
7/16/21

How did Music City pubberies fare during lockdown? What new approaches to collaboration were opened up by our Year of Zooming? What lies ahead? We invited some key players in the space to join us in a virtual bourbon and give us the lowdown. 

UMPG


“I’ve been blown away at how our entire roster and team never missed a beat, but rather excelled during such a stressful time,” says Troy Tomlinson. “That gave us a year of substantial growth across every key measurement.”

Still, he allows, “Like everything else this past 15 months, there have been good and not-so-good outcomes. It has opened up so many doors for multi-genre writers and has provided many more opportunities without having to travel. However, it was lacking some of the camaraderie, vibe and emotion of face-to-face songwriting.”

Such an absence was in part compensated by a great deal of winning. Let’s start with Uni’s trove of awards. Grammys were presented to Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Taylor Swift (the latter taking Album of the Year, becoming the first female artist to win thrice in that category); at the CMAs, Maren Morris took home Female Vocalist, Luke Combs won Male and Brad Tursi of Old Dominion shared a Vocal Group statuette; Tursi also took an ASCAP Song of the Year Award for “One Man Band.” Carlile, Hemby, Morris and Amanda ShiresHighwomen project also claimed Americana Awards for Album, Song and Group of the Year.

Grammy nominee Ingrid Andress and “More Hearts Than Mine” (co-penned with Sam Ellis and Derrick Sutherland) scored an array of laurels. Among these: Music Row Breakthrough Aritst, Artist-Writer and Song of the Year, not to mention Song of the Year at the Nashville Songwriter Awards. Andress’ Lady Like was named the all-time top-streaming debut album by a Country female.

Hitmaker signings included Luke Combs, Kenny Chesney, Carlile, Scotty McCreery, Caitlyn Smith and Dave Cobb, among others. Meanwhile, numerous writers secured label deals, notably Catie Offerman (UMG), Ian Munsick (Warner), Laci Kaye Booth (BMLG), Dan Smalley (BBR), Hemby (Fantasy) and Ray Fulcher (BRE).

Tomlinson also hails a new “rock star” on his creative team, Director of A&R Roxy King.

 

NASHVILLE PUBLISHERS, UNMASKED: WARNER CHAPPELL
7/16/21

How did Music City pubberies fare during lockdown? What new approaches to collaboration were opened up by our Year of Zooming? What lies ahead? We invited some key players in the space to join us in a virtual bourbon and give us the lowdown. 

Warner Chappell Music

Ben Vaughn and team Zoomed to ever-greater heights during lockdown, scoring ASCAP Country Music Publisher of the Year honors for the eighth consecutive year and their third straight BMI Publisher of the Year. Superstars like Dan + Shay (third straight Grammy for Country Duo/Group Performance, third consecutive ACM for Duo), Chris Stapleton (ACM Album of the Year) and Thomas Rhett (ACM Male Artist) claimed mondo hardware. Breakout Mickey Guyton became the first Black solo female artist to earn a Grammy nom in a country category (for the amazing “Black Like Me,” which she co-wrote at an all-genre WCM writing camp with Fraser Churchill, Emma Davidson Dillon and Nathan Chapman). Rookies Parker McCollum and Niko Moon scored their first #1 singles, as well as Music Row’s Breakout of the Year and 200m+ streams, respectively. 

In addition to Rhett, WCM’s recent Nashville inkings include Priscilla Block, Willie Jones and Boys Like Girls writer/producer/frontman Martin Johnson. Vaughn and company also cheered the major-label deals secured by writers Kat & Alex (Sony) and Ben Burgess (Big Loud).

WCM’s virtual writing camp, Vaughn relates, presented new possibilities to tunesmiths who couldn’t yet gather in a physical space with their guitars. “Everyone in the [virtual] room was so open to new ideas and new sounds,” he insists. “The energy was tangible.” Indeed, Johnson’s collab with Lady A, “Like a Lady,” was a byproduct of that confab and is the lead single on the band’s new album. 

“Our songwriters are really creative, and it doesn’t surprise me that they found ways to continue making new music despite the quarantine,” Vaughn adds. “Whether it was joining a virtual camp or sharing voice memos back and forth over text, they did everything they could to continue doing what they love. It’s never been easier to bring together different voices that location or distance might have made impossible before.”