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1 TRENDING TOPIC: COLUMBIA X 3
Da do Ron Ron (4/14a)
iHEART STOCK SOARS
It's burning, man. (4/14a)
NOISEMAKERS: THE SPRING SYNDICATE
Eight next-gen movers and shakers (4/15a)
RIAA'S MARCH AWARDS
You want fries with that plaque? (4/14a)
LIVE NATION BETS ON SOSA AS VENUE CHIEF
No relation to Sammy. (4/14a)
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
AN AMAZON EXCLUSIVE WITH CHURCH
4/14/21

Capitol Nashville’s Eric Church is kicking off the three-part release of his triple album, Heart & Soul, with an Amazon Music livestream.

The 10-time Grammy nominee and reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year will perform an exclusive set for the show, which includes “Rock and Roll Found Me” from Soul and more from his forthcoming 24-track collection. He'll also participate in a live Q&A.

Beginning at 8pm CT on 4/20, fans can watch the Amazon Music livestream on the platform’s app or its Twitch channel, where the performance will be available to stream for four days afterwards.

Heart arrives on 4/16 with Soul to follow on 4/23. &, the middle album, is slated for release on 4/20 and will be exclusively available for the Church Choir as a vinyl record.

KELLEY'S SOLO SET PUTS HIM AT FRONT OF THE PACK
4/13/21

Surf's up for Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, as the beach cowboy releases his first solo project, BK’s Wave Pack, today (4/13). The EP arrived on his Nashville South Records, which was launched as a JV with Warner Music Nashville last month.

In addition, Kelley unveiled music videos directed by Ben Christensen for all four tracks on the EP, which he co-penned and co-produced with fellow Tree Vibez Music writer Corey Crowder. Check out the videos here.

“I feel so humbled by the support I’ve received from this project,” said Kelley. “The friends that helped bring this project to life, these songs have become our songs. Together, we are living them out down here; this isn’t a fantasy.”

FGL is currently nominated for Duo of the Year at the 56th ACM Awards, which airs on 4/18, and achieved their 18th career #1 at country radio with “Long Live.”

Stream BK’s Wave Pack here and feast your eyes on the video for “Beach Cowboy” below.

ACMS SET SONGS AND SINGERS
4/13/21

The 56th ACM Awards will feature an unprecedented number of world television premiere performances including Elle King and Miranda Lambert opening the show with “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”

The lineup incudes Dierks Bentley performing U2’s “Pride (In The Name of Love)” with The War and Treaty; Miranda Lambert will have Jack Ingram and Jon Randall join her for “In His Arms”; Chris Young and Kane Brown buddy up on “Famous Friends”; and Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd will partner on “Chasing After You.”

Carrie Underwood will perform a medley from her new album of gospel hymns, My Savior, and duet with CeCe Winans; Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney will perform together for “half of my hometown”; and Carly Pearce and Lee Brice will duet on “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

Thomas Rhett will premiere “What’s Your Country Song” and “Country Again”; Blake Shelton will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first hit single, “Austin,” as well as perform “Minimum Wage.”

Booked for solo performances are: Brothers Osborne (“I’m Not For Everyone”),  Chesney (“Knowing You”), Eric Church (“Bunch Of Nothing”), Luke Combs (“Forever After All”), Dan + Shay (“Glad You Exist”), Mickey Guyton (“Hold On”), Alan Jackson with “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and a special mashup for “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” and Chris Stapleton (“Maggie’s Song”).

Lady A, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett have joined the lineup as well.

The 56th Academy of Country Music will air 4/18 on CBS at 8pm.

SMP UPS TOMLIN TO VP OF A&R
4/11/21

Sony Music Nashville has upped Margaret Tomlin to VP of A&R. Tomlin will report directly to SMN’s SVP of A&R, Taylor Lindsey.

“Margaret has been an important pillar of our department since she started in 2015,” said Lindsey. “Her song sensibilities and passion for artists have been integral contributions to our success. There is no one more deserving of her new stripes.”

Tomlin adds, “I have immense gratitude for Jim Catino and Taylor Lindsey for their leadership, guidance, and confidence. I am thrilled to take on this new role and continue to work alongside our incredible A&R department.”

During her six years with SMN, Tomlin has held positions including Representative, Manager and Director for the A&R Department. She’s also been involved with the development of artists such as Tenille Townes, Adam Doleac, Andrew Jannakos, Kameron Marlowe, Willie Jones, Miranda Lambert, Kane Brown and Chris Young, among others.

An alumna of Syracuse University’s Bandier Program, Tomlin moved to Nashville in 2013, where she began her music industry career as a Catalog Assistant at BMG Nashville.

Photo Credit: Angelina Olivia

SAVE THE CHILDREN’S SAVIOR
4/11/21

Capitol Nasvhille’s Carrie Underwood gave a surprise performance of her new gospel album, My Savior, on Easter Sunday at the Ryman Auditorium and raised over $112k for Save the Children

The performance livestreamed exclusively on her official Facebook page with nearly 2.5m fans from around the globe tuning in for the full show while millions more viewed exclusive clips during the 48-hour window for the free event.

Special appearances included gospel star CeCe Winans, who performed “Great is Thy Faithfulness” with Underwood, as well as NEEDTOBREATHE frontman Bear Rinehart, who joined Underwood on “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.”

Southern gospel and harmonica legend Buddy Greene and 10-time CMA Musician of the Year Mac McAnally, both of whom played on the My Savior album, also joined Underwood.

“On a day normally reserved for church congregations and family, Facebook brought Carrie Underwood and her My Savior album directly into people’s homes worldwide in real time to celebrate Easter in an unprecedented way,” said Cindy Mabe, UMG Nashville President.

My Savior debuted at #1 on the Top Albums, Top Country Albums, Top Christian Albums and Current Digital Albums charts. It also marks her ninth consecutive album to debut atop the Country Chart, extending her record as the only Country artist to achieve this with all of her studio album releases.

Donations were accepted for Save The Children throughout the streaming event and for 48 hours after. Performance clips can be viewed on Underwood's My Savior playlist here.

Photo Credit: Cameron Premo

COMBS AIDS GUITARS 4 VETS
4/9/21

The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions are again partnering with Ford to support  Guitars 4 Vets, an organization that helps veterans cope with PTSD through the healing power of music.

ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee Luke Combs will appear in a special tribute featuring a group of military veterans including Damon Williams and the Ford F-150 leading up to his performance in the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.

Ford recently donated $500k to Guitars 4 Vets’ chapters around the country to help expand the program.

ACMS HONOR ALLEN, BARRETT
4/8/21

Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett received the ACM Awards for New Female and Male Artist of the Year this morning.

Awards show co-host Keith Urban delivered the news to the budding stars via video. 

“We are thrilled to present Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett with their first ACM Award wins. Jimmie and Gabby have experienced tremendous success at both Country Radio and streaming already, and we are proud to recognize them for such an extraordinary start to their careers,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “A huge congratulations to each of them for this well-deserved win, and to all of our nominees for being recognized for their incredible contributions to Country Music. We look forward to welcoming Jimmie and Gabby to the ACM Awards stage on April 18.” 

…Read more

STILL MAKING NOISE:
MARY CATHERINE KINNEY
4/8/21

In our new feature, Still Making Noise, we highlight former Noisemakers and catch up on their latest endeavors as they continue to make shit happen in the biz.

When we last featured Music City favorite Mary Catherine Kinney in 2018, she was wrapping up her tenure at Sony Music Nashville. Since then, Kinney moved to Spotify, where she's led marketing campaigns for Taylor Swift, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and more as part of the Artist & Label Partnerships team. 

Mary Catherine was recently promoted at Spotify to Strategic Music Partnerships Lead. In her new role, she will focus on genre and culture strategy for Nashville, innovating new opportunities with artist & label partners, leading relationships with industry organizations and advising on artist & Spotify brand campaigns. 

In her time at the streaming hub, Kinney launched Spotify's new Country playlist, Indigo, and led campaigns including the Hot Country x CMA Awards multimedia partnership for AOTY nominees Luke Combs, Ashley McBryde, Jon Pardi, Old Dominion and Miranda Lambert; Spotify's Play Your Part voting campaign; and Taylor Swift campaigns for albums Lover, evermore and folklore, which set the record for the most first-day streams for a female artist on Spotify. 

Fortunately for MCK, this shoutout doesn't include a Zoom meeting with a crusty HITS editor.