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PRIMARY WAVE CHECKS INTO
THE FOUR SEASONS
Mestel walks like a man. (10/22a)
UMG IPO SET FOR '22
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
TOP 20: TAY'S FOLKLORIC RUN CONTINUES
A Swift return to #1. (10/21a)
REVENUE CHART: “LEMONADE” AND OCEAN SPRAY
The Rumours are true. (10/23a)
GRAMMY PREVIEW:
PHOEBE BRIDGERS
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/23a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
Music City
CMT'S VOTE-ATHON BRINGS DEMOCRACY HOME
10/23/20

Saturday, 10/24 is Vote Early Day, a celebration of democracy backed by media and tech companies, activists and others. To mark the date, Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton, Reba, Midland, The Band Perry and other country luminaries will participate in CMT’s “Hometown Vote-Athon” video marathon on the network’s YouTube channel from 8am-8pm CT.

Conceived in collaboration with Viacom’s Vote for Your Life campaign, the “digital celebration” will give the artists an opportunity to speak directly to fans about voting—notably in support of their hometowns, communities and cherished causes.

Andress and manager Blythe Scokin brainstormed the event, which will also feature Nicolle Galyon, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shy Carter, Devin Dawson, Russell Dickerson, Ashley Cooke, Brooke Eden, Everette, Trea Landon, Parmalee, Cassadee Pope, Runaway June, Payton Smith, Tiera, Track45, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson and Charlie Worsham. In addition to making the aforementioned general appeals, the players will inform the audience about early voting options.

In a related story, QAnon says Hillary killed Elvis and that Hunter Biden’s laptop is a portal to the underworld.

EXPANSIONS AT THE AMG
10/19/20

The AMG staff is expanding with the addition of four new team members. Industry veterans Steve Bryan, Haley Teske, Kristin Cantrell and Ashely Van Nuck have joined AMG’s management team to work directly with artists on the company’s growing roster.

With 13-year of experience in business management, touring and artist management, Bryan has previously worked with artists like Bon Jovi, Florida Georgia Line and Eric Paslay, while former WME agent Teske arrives at AMG after spending nearly 7 years in the live music scene.

“Our artists are our top priority, and we are constantly looking for ways to surround them with the best team in the business,” shared CEO Rob Beckham. “We are thrilled to have them join our team at AMG to help us better serve our clients.”

In addition, Cantrell and Van Nuck join The AMG’s leadership team. Cantrell’s will oversee the development and execution of corporate strategic initiatives, public relations and community outreach in the newly created Chief Strategy Officer role, while Van Nuck will supervise all aspects of HR management and operations for the organization, as well as all corporate culture and wellness initiatives in the role of Chief People Officer.

“The AMG Staff has doubled over the last six months, and we are thrilled to add Kristin and Ashley to our leadership team,” added COO Kristy Reeves. “Their knowledge and experience combined with their innovative ideas and unique perspectives will be invaluable as we continue to identify growth opportunities and expand our reach within the industry.” 

GARTH KNOWS HOW TO HAVE FUN
10/19/20

Country star Garth Brooks has officially announced the release date for his new album, Fun. Arriving on 11/20, the 12-track album includes the Blake Shelton duet “Dive Bar,” his cover of “Shallow” with Trisha Yearwood and more.

Additionally, Fun arrives alongside Triple Deluxe Live, Brooks’ new 30-track live album.

In celebration of the double release, Garth is hosting an interactive album preview on the Talk Shop Live channel. Join Brooks on 10/21 at 7pm ET for the interactive album preview experience. To RVSP, click here.

Both Fun and Triple Live Deluxe are available for pre-order now.

BOOTH STRIKES UNIQUE DEAL
10/19/20

Laci Kaye Booth has signed an exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement with Big Machine Music and Universal Music Publishing Group.  The American Idol alum is a BMLG Records/19 Recordings recording artist and songwriter.

“It is truly a privilege to be part of her stellar team alongside our friends at UMPG, BMLG Records, 19 Recordings and her producer, Dann Huff,” said BMM General Manager Mike Molinar.

Cyndi Forman, UMPG Nashville Senior Vice President of A&R added, “when Laci first performed for our staff, we were all captivated by her voice and songwriting. She is building a great team around her and we’re excited to be part of it.”

Seen just before joining an epic Call of Duty session are (top row) UMPG boss Troy Tomlinson, BMM Creative Director Michelle Attardi, UMPG Senior Vice President of A&R Cyndi Forman; (middle row) Red Light Management’s Rachel Silver, Laci Kaye Booth, Red Light Management’s Autumn House; and (bottom row) BMM General Manager Mike Molinar and some talking logos. Not pictured: attorney Jess Rosen, who decided to starth his virtual happy hour a little early.

KAT & ALEX RELEASE DEBUT SINGLE
10/16/20

American Idol alums Kat Luna and Alex Georgia have joined forces to release their debut single, “How Many Times,” on 10/16 as the duo Kat & Alex. Combining Country and Latin elements, the pair announced their partnership late last year after Idol judge Luke Bryan suggested the pair work together.

Since then, the duo relocated to Nashville and teamed up with Grammy-winning songwriter Jordan Reynolds (Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett), songwriter Robyn Collins (Josh Gracin, Kalie Shorr and Hayley Orranti) and Grammy-nominated producer Brad Hill (Marren Morris, Brothers Osborne) for their debut single.

“We fell in love with the musicality of the song the second we heard it. Jordan’s incredible talent combined perfectly with Robyn’s powerful, yet relatable lyrics in a way that just felt right,” shared Georgia. Luna added, “The song was written so that no matter what stage of life you are in when you hear it, it still tugs at your heart strings…and that’s what makes it so beautiful.”

Additionally, Kat & Alex have released a version of the single with a Spanish chorus to pay homage to their Latin heritage.

Stream "How Many Times" here.

DANIELLE BRADBERY GETS HONEST
10/15/20

Big Machine Label Group’s Danielle Bradbery has spent 2020 finding her footing in the country scene. The Texas native made a splash with her sophomore album I Don’t Believe We’ve Met back in 2017, which features RIAA gold-certified “Sway,” and since then, she’s been kicking things up a notch.

Earlier this year, the 24-year-old released “Never Have I Ever” via BMLG. Amassing over 14m streams to date, Bradbery penned the track alongside Laura Veltz and David Hodges. She also delivered a socially distant music video directed by Peter Zavadil for the single.

Most recently, she dropped the heartfelt single “Girls in my Hometown.” The reflective piano ballad tugs at the heartstrings and represents a new chapter for the singer/songwriter.

Bradbery has come a long way since winning season 4 of NBC’s The Voice. With multiple award nominations under her belt and having toured with the likes of Kane Brown, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and more, keep an eye out for what’s yet to come from Bradbery.

In the meantime, check out “Girls in my Hometown” here and watch the music video for “Never Have I Ever” below.

SONY/ATV TAKES THE RESTLESS ROAD
10/15/20

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville has signed country trio Restless Road to a worldwide publishing deal.

Consisting of Zach Beeken, Colton Pack and Garrett Nichols, the band unveiled their debut, self-titled EP earlier this year, which included the single “Take Me Home” f/Kane Brown. They also landed an opening slot on Brown’s 2020 Worldwide Beautiful World Tour and made their national TV debut on the Today Show.

Restless Road formed in 2013 when Beeken and Pack met on The X Factor, where they met future collaborator Brown, and Nichols joined the group in 2015. In addition to their own music, the band has polished their songwriting skills by writing cuts with the likes of Rascal Flatts, Granger Smith and more.

“Country music has a long history of vocal bands who have deeply impacted the genre. Zach, Colton and Garrett are brilliant songwriters, and they have a powerful creative energy as a group – I’m confident they are destined for country music greatness. We’re thrilled to welcome Restless Road to the Sony/ATV family, and we look forward to supporting their rising careers,” shared Sony/ATV Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston.

The band added, “It feels great to be surrounded by a family of people who believe in us both as songwriters and artists. We are looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together!"

Photo Credit: Matthew Berinato

AUCTION TO BENEFIT ACM CHARITY
10/15/20

The guitar Taylor Swift used on the recent ACM Awards show and Sheryl Crow’s vintage Baldoni accordion join Dolly Parton’s bedazzled dulcimer in Christie’s all-country auction to benefit ACM Lifting Lives’ coronavirus fund.

Bidding opens today on items in Nashville: An Auction to Benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund. The final gavel goes down on 10/29.

Guitars on the block include Keith Urban’s Hi-9 guitar played in the 2018 “Coming Home” video and on the 2018 ACM Awards; Bradley Cooper’s Gibson guitar used in A Star is Born; and Dwight Yoakam’s Epiphone Casino guitar seen on the cover of his 2005 studio album Blame the Vain.

Stage wear from Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood and Trisha YearwoodTim McGraw’s F131 Hellcat motorcycle and Miranda Lambert’s cowboy boots are also up for bids.

“Every winning bid will go towards our COVID-19 Response Fund to support the workers of our Country Music community: the tour bus drivers, aspiring musicians, techs and venue workers—so many of whom have lost their livelihoods overnight during the course of this pandemic,” Lyndsay Cruz, Executive Director, ACM Lifting Lives, said. “So far, the fund has distributed $1.5 million and we are hoping the sale of these iconic items will enable us to support more affected by this crisis.” To see what’s up for auction, click here.