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NEAR TRUTHS: YEAR-END WRAP-UP, PART 3
Bye-bye Burbank, hello DTLA. (12/13a)
2019 TOP 50 SONGS
What comes after X? (12/12a)
TASK FORCE TACKLES INDUSTRY TROUBLES
A wider view of the issues (12/13a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II:
SCOOTER BRAUN
A very intriguing dude (12/12a)
HARVEY IN THE MIX
Mason Jr. discusses his senior role at the Academy. (12/12a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want. for Christmas.
Music City
BLAKE SHELTON IS BEHIND THE RECORD
12/13/19

Warner Music Nashville’s Blake Shelton is a leading force behind the movement to give music credit where it’s due by taking part in the Recording Academy’s Behind The Record campaign. Highlighting music creators who contribute to the recording process, Blake (seen below with producer Scott Hendricks) joined the social media initiative, which launched in October, by posting a list on Instagram with the names of everyone involved in his recent Grammy nominated track “God’s Country.” 

With the use of Sound Credit, a Memphis-based tech company that aims to transform the process of collecting credits and information in the studio, information was collected during the recording process of “God’s Country” and given to WMN in a standardized digital format called Recording Information Notification (RIN), which was then delivered to platforms that display credits, like Pandora.

WMN and Shelton, along with other industry organizations, are making changes to the credit-delivery processes and prioritizing digital song credits across all platforms. Sound Credit is also free to all Avid Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate subscribers.

A NIGHT AT THE NASHVILLE HONORS GALA
12/11/19

The T.J. Martell Foundation has announced details for its 12th annual Nashville Honors Gala. Set to take place on 2/24 at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, the event is co-chaired by Steve Buchanan and Sweet Talk Publicity’s Pres/Owner Jensen Sussman.

Since the event's inception in 2009, it has raised over $4m for cancer research. Honorees this year include artist Amy Grant and President of Morris Higham ManagementClint Higham, who will be receiving the Joel A. Katz Music Is Medicine Chairman’s Award. Also being honored are Dr. Jordan Berlin, Patrick Emery, and Jim and Laurie Seabury.

Gala performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on the 2020 Nashville Honors Gala, click here



VALORY INKS SANDERS
12/9/19

Pictured (l-r): back row – L3 Entertainment’s Cody Villalobos, BMLG’s Allison Jones, L3 Entertainment’s Pete Hartung, Tour Manager Ricky Crawford, BMLG’s Andrew Kautz; front row – The Valory Music Co.’s George Briner, Sanders, BMLG’s Scott Borchetta

The Valory Music Co. has announced the addition of Heath Sanders to its roster. The Arkansas native officially joins the Big Machine Label Group imprint whose roster includes Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Sheryl Crow, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Aaron LewisTyler Rich, Avenue Beat and Conner Smith.

The Valory Music Co. President George Briner commented, “Heath Sanders has the talent and voice that people will be talking about from the very first time they hear him. And this boy is country, through and through.” 

The former oil field worker turned singer/songwriter has been on the road introducing himself to country fans, performing alongside Justin Moore, Drake White and Chase Rice. Sanders is managed by L3 Entertainment in Nashville.

“After watching the Big Machine Label Group build the careers of some of my heroes, it’s an honor to experience firsthand the welcoming spirit, work ethic and love for music that is the driving force behind the team at The Valory Music Co.," shared Sanders. "This is life-changing and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.” 

Following this photo opp, the posse paddled a kayak over a lake filled with Big Machine vodka.

WHITESIDE TO TOP ACM
12/9/19

Damon Whiteside has been selected as the Academy of Country Music’s new Chief Executive Officer. He takes over on 1/6 and will split his time between Nashville and L.A.

Most recently Chief Marketing Officer at the Country Music Association, Whiteside is just the third CEO of the ACM in its 55 years. Pete Fisher left the job in May and RAC Clark has been filling in as interim chief.

"We are fortunate to welcome Damon as the Academy's new CEO,” said Ed Warm, Chairman of the ACM Board of Directors. “His experience, commitment and enthusiasm in the country music world are well documented and we are confident that he will enhance the Academy's ability to bring together fans, artists and the industry while enabling the organization's charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives, to impact more lives than ever before.”

In his time at CMA, Whiteside was responsible for overseeing the development of marketing and media campaigns for CMA’s three annual television properties and strengthening the partnership with CMA’s broadcast partner ABC. Additionally, Whiteside dedicated efforts to identify and build strategic partnerships with multi-platform media partners, digital companies, and Fortune 500 brands.

“Damon joining the ACM is exactly what the Academy needs right now,” said Clark, the Executive Producer of the ACM’s CBS broadcast.  “I’ve been part of the ACM Awards since 1979, and I can’t wait to pass along everything I can to Damon from my experience as an ACM board member, Interim Executive Director and Executive Producer of the telecast.”

Whiteside's career began in 1996 at Disney and in 2011 he formed Nomad Entertainment Group to rep artists, producers and songwriters, and develop marketing and digital campaigns.

"I am honored and humbled to now be given the responsibility to shape the future of the Academy,” Whiteside said. “I am excited to draw upon my deep passion, unique experience and important relationships across the Country Music and mainstream entertainment media industries to reinforce the organization's mission, rejuvenate its influence, and redefine its purpose to benefit the entire Country Music ecosystem."

BEHIND THE CUT WITH COMBS
12/6/19

River House/Columbia Nashville star Luke Combs just released a short film—available today only on Apple Music—in tandem with a new EP, Luke Combs: The Writer’s Cut.

In the clips, Combs, who recently nabbed CMA trophies for Male Vocalist and Song of the Year, gives fans an inside look into his creative process, accompanied by Nashville producer Chip Matthews and songwriters/collaborators Drew Parker and Ray Fulcher.

Expect to find live in-the-studio renditions of original song "1, 2 Many" and new track "Reasons," as well Glen Sherley’s “Grewstone Chapel” (made famous on Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison).

Click here to check out both projects.

While you do that, we should probably consider getting a cut and a comb ourselves, as well as a much-needed shower.

SAM HUNT'S HOLIDAY CHEER
12/5/19

Country 94.7’s Stars and Strings show at Barclays Center Wednesday is evidence that country music, Christmas and Brooklyn go together like hot chicken and latkes. Asking for extra helpings of sour cream are, from left, Red Light Management’s Ed Green, Entercom VP, Country Programming, Tim Roberts, Sam Hunt, WNSH PD John Foxx, Entercom VP, Live Events, Chad Fitzsimmons, Entercom SVP, Programming and Music Initiatives, Michael Martin and MCA Nashville's Michelle Tyrell.

WMN BRINGS IN BRADEN
12/4/19

Warner Music Nashville gave country artist Tyler Braden a warm welcome to the label family with a recording contract. The Alabama native moved to Nashville in 2016 and, while working as a firefighter, began to build a catalogue and tour.

Braden’s influences include Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Ron Pope and Jason Reeves. Currently repped by Triple 8 Management, along with 50 Egg Music for publishing and Nashville-based agents at WME, Braden is set to release new music in 2020.

Seen above are (l-r) WMN VP of Artist Development Justin Luffman, Triple 8's Pete Olson, WMN Director of A&R Stephanie Davenport, Chairman/CEO John Esposito and EVP of A&R Cris Lacy, Triple 8 Co-Owner Bruce Kalmick, WMN SVP of Radio & Streaming Kristen Williams, SVP of Artist Development Shane Tarleton and COO Matt Signore.

Shortly after this photo was taken, Braden demonstrated how to properly handle a fire extinguisher, which apparently doesn't involve propelling yourself down the hallway on an office chair. Go figure.

HAYES GIVES HOPE
12/4/19

Monument’s Walker Hayes recently performed to a packed house at the Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, TN and in honor of giving Tuesday, donated 100% of the proceeds to HOPE International, via his Be A Craig Fund. In addition, the Be A Craig Fund also donated $10k towards the organization, which invests in the dreams of families from underserved communities through services and loans.

Hayes created the Be A Craig Fund shortly after he penned his single “Craig,” based off real life events. Inspired by one man’s kindness, Hayes formed the fund to pay it forward and lend a helping hand to the next person who needed it. To learn more about the Be Craig Fund, click here. Pictured below are (l-r) Hayes, Craig Cooper, and HOPE International’s Laura Cooper and Kristin Vinton.