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NO DEBATING THIS HITS LIST
Can't we all get along? (2/21a)
FLIPOVER FRIDAY: NEW ARRIVALS AT iTUNES AND APPLE MUSIC
Sorry, Donald, the South Korean invasion can't be stopped. (2/21a)
REBA RETURNS TO UMG NASHVILLE
She's back to where she once belonged. (2/21a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE FOREVER MARCH
The struggle continues. (2/21a)
PINGING: BABY KEEM
What's that buzz? (2/21a)
DON'T TALK TO THE PRESS
Also, don't leak the memo about not talking to the press to the press. Please.
GRAMMY VOTING
How the sausage is made.
BIEBER'S BIG BOW
Changes changes the conversation.
PRIMARIES
So hard to decide...
Music City
BIG LOUD'S HARDY SELLS OUT
2/21/20

Thursday night in Nashville, Big Loud's HARDY took over the Cannery Ballroom—his first-ever sold out headlining gig in Music City. Ashland Craft opened as support for show. Pictured above celebrating the night with only "ONE BEER," the Big Loud staff gathered with peace-maker HARDY. 

BMLG ANNOUNCES MCGRAW RETURN AT CRS LUNCH
2/21/20

Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta announced today the return of artist Tim McGraw to the label, at their annual luncheon at the close of Country Radio Seminar (CRS) week. BMLG showcased superstars and newcomers at Omni Hotel in Nashville on 2/21, including performances from Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Danielle Bradbery, Payton Smith and Avenue Beat.

Borchetta invited guests to explore new music and celebrate career milestones, alongside imprint leaders BMLG Records President/CEO Jimmy Harnen, The Valory Music Co. President George Briner and Big Machine Records GM Clay Hunnicutt.  

Pictured (l-r), just before embarking on Borchetta's Ferrari bus for a tour of the hotel parking lot, are: Back Row – Briner, CRB’s Kurt Johnson, Hunnicutt, Harnen, CRB’s RJ CurtisMiddle Row – Avenue Beat’s Sami Bearden, Savana Santos & Sam Backoff, BMLG’s Allison Jones, Smith; Front Row – Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley & Tyler Hubbard, Bradbery, Borchetta, BMLG’s Sandi Spika Borchetta, Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott & Charles Kelley.

Photo: Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images

CRS DAY 2: WMN SMOKES 'EM OUT
2/21/20

Warner Music Nashville kept the party going during day two of CRS 2020 with multiple hangs across Music City. In addition to a bourbon tasting with Brett Eldredge and a special women's empowerment dinner, Chris Janson hosted a cigar bar downtown at Red Phone Booth for radio and streaming friends. 

There was a rumor at the cigar hang about a family of sparrows living in John Marks' beard that couldn't be confirmed at presstime, but Janson is now writing a song about it. 

Photo ID (L to R): Hoss Michaels (KXKT/Omaha), Nick Rivers (WIRK/West Palm), Jude Walker (KMDL/Lafayette), Tom Starr (WMN), Tom Martens (WMN), Ben Kline (WMN), John Marks (Spotify), Chris Janson, Chad Schultz (WMN), Gator Harrison (WSIX/Nashville), James Marsh (WMN), Erich West (WDRM/Huntsville), Tim Leary (WIRK/West Palm) and Tom Hanrahan (WDXB/Birmingham).

Later that evening, Ashley McBryde offered guests a musical nightcap with a performance at the Omni, where she previewed songs for her forthcoming album, Never Will, due 4/3. Pictured below are CRS party animals David Corey (WKLB/Boston), McBryde, WMN boss John Esposito and WMN's Kristen Williams.

LAST BANDOLEROS' LIVE SET: RAISING THE ROOF AT FLOORE'S
2/21/20

OK, so The Last BandolerosLive From Texas (Warner Music Nashville) doesn’t actually drop until 4/17. But as we’re kinda psyched about it, we’re giving you more than the usual advance notice.

You might’ve heard us say that for foks who like their rock ‘n’ roll driving and danceable, the San Antonio-bred band remains one of the most joyous and satisfying live experiences around. So the fact that they’ve bottled a little of that lightning in album form makes all the sense in the world. What’s more, the new collection—captured in all its sweaty glory at Floore’s Country Store in Helotes—includes not only a raft of killer originals but a cover of “Hey Baby, Que Pasó,” made famous by the Tex-Mex supergroup Texas Tornados. The Bandos’ irresistible rendition comes out as a single on 4/3. 

The Martin Kierszenbaum-repped Bandoleros, who’ve been on the road with Sting, Dwight Yoakam and The Mavericks, co-wrote the tunes on the new set with such acclaimed Nashville scribes as the Warren Brothers (Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town), Craig Wiseman (Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton), J.T. Harding (Keith Urban), Chris Tomkins (Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean), Marv Green (George Strait) and Abe Stoklasa (Chris Lane), among others. We’ll tell ya more when we’re closer to the drop date. They’ll be playing shows on the East Coast and elsewhere this week; mark your calendars for their upcoming Stagecoach spot. It’s gonna be hot.

AMAZON WARMS UP CRS WITH COUNTRY HEAT
2/20/20

Amazon Music held their Country Heat showcase on 2/20 at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. The third annual event included a set by headliner Kelsea Ballerini, as well as performances by Niko Moon, Gabby Barrett, Jon Langston and The Cadillac Three.

Pictured (l to r) just before departing on Jeff Bezos’ rocket to establish a lunar Music Row are: Neil Mason and Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three, Amazon Music's Kelly Rich, Kelby Ray of The Cadillac Three, Barrett, CRS President Kurt Johnson, Ballerini, Amazon Music's Emily Cohen, Moon and Langston.

Photos: John Shearer/Getty Images

UMPG NASHVILLE SIGNS PIERCE
2/20/20

Universal Music Publishing Nashville has signed Music Row songwriter John Pierce to an exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement.

Pierce has had songs recorded by Chris Young, Jon Pardi, Lainey Wilson, Reba McEntire and Trace Adkins. He also co-wrote #1 hit “Sweet Annie” for Zac Brown Band.

“John is on such an upward trajectory with his writing, and we are thrilled to be representing him at UMPG. His lyric and melody instincts are on point for today’s country market,” said UMPG SVP of A&R Terry Wakefield

“I am beyond excited to begin this next chapter with Terry Wakefield, Troy Tomlinson and the entire staff at Universal,” remarked Pierce. “I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.”

Pictured (l-r): attorney David Crow, UMPG Nashville Sr. Creative Director Missy Roberts, VP Creative Cyndi Forman, Wakefield, Pierce, Chairman/CEO Tomlinson, VP A&R/Special Projects Ron Stuve and Sr. Creative Director Travis Gordon.

WMN'S WILD NIGHT
2/20/20

 Warner Music Nashville kept the party going all night on the first day of the 2020 Country Radio Seminar (2/19). Following its second annual Kickoff Luncheon, the Warner Wednesday Miami Vice-themed party was held at The Bell Tower and had plenty of star power in attendance. WMN will wrap up the week’s festivities with performances from Ingrid Andress and Morgan Evans at the New Faces of Country Music showcase on Friday (2/21). 

Pictured above (l-r) are Dan Smyers, WMN’s SVP Radio Kristen Williams, Shay Mooney, Brett Eldredge, Ashley McBryde, WMN’s CEO/Chairman John Esposito and Gabby Barrett.

Pictured above (l-r) are Esposito, Andress and Apple Music’s Jay Liepis.

GABBY BARRETT REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
2/20/20

Warner Music Nashville’s Gabby Barrett is hitting new milestones as the country artist has surpassed 200m on-demand streams with her track “I Hope.”

Now Top 15 on the Country Radio airplay chars and inside the Top 10 on the Hot Country Songs list, the single is the first debut from a female artist to achieve this since 2017.

“I Hope” also ranks in the Top 5 of all on-demand country streams, clocking in at #3 in Country song sales, and reached #1 on Apple Music’s country chart.

Senior Director of Programming J.R. Schumann says the single is, “one of the biggest researching and reacting songs of the year,” adding that Barrett “is a force to be reckoned with, plain and simple.” She was also named as one of SiriusXM’s 2019 Highway Finds.

The singer/songwriter will be joining Brad Paisley in support of his 2020 World Tour, which kicks off on 5/15 in Concord, CA and is set to visit cities across the U.S. and Europe through September. Other performances by Barrett will also include festivals like Country Jam, Stagecoach, Tortuga Music Festival and more.