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56TH ACM AWARDS: THE WINNERS
Maren! Luke! Carly! (4/19a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS: Q2 EDITION
Who's next? (4/16a)
STREAMING SONGS:
POLO'S SOLO
"RAPSTAR" is accurately titled. (4/16a)
HITS LIST: RULES
FOR ENTRY
It's exclusive, but you're invited to come on in. (4/19a)
CHART FINAL:
TAYLOR'S VERSION
"Fearless" takes flight. (4/16a)
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
MIKE MOLINAR ON THE WALL OF FAME
4/19/21

Big Machine Music GM Mike Molinar has been inducted into MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment Wall of Fame. The ceremony was held in the new Chris Young Café on Wednesday (4/14), where Molinar was joined by his wife, their two sons and friend Martha Earls.

A 2020 inductee from the Department of Recording Industry, Molinar has been leading BMM since its inception. He was also previously named a member of the 2012-2013 MTSU Class of Distinguished Alumni.

“I am thrilled that Mike Molinar received our College’s highest honor,” says Beverly Keel, MTSU College of Media and Entertainment Dean. “Mike is such a trusted and respected member of the music industry and is proof that nice guys can finish first. I remain in awe of his commitment to songwriters and his dedication to remaining aware of the changes in industry, policies and trends. He is a wonderful ambassador to MTSU and a wonderful role model for our students.”

Seen standing a healthy distance apart are (l-r) Molinar and MTSU Department of Recording Industry Chair John Merchant. Later, Molinar celebrated by doing donuts in his company-issued Ferrari.

PEARCE & BRICE WIN AHEAD OF ACM AWARDS
4/16/21

Carly Pearce and Lee Brice have plenty to celebrate ahead of the 56th ACM Awards, as the pair have won the Music Event of the Year award for their platinum-certified #1, “I Hope You’re Happy.”

“To see people respond to ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’ the way that they have has been is incredibly affirming, because I think it makes you – wherever you are in your life – feel less alone,” added Pearce, who co-penned the track with Luke Combs, Randy Montana and Jonathan Singleton.

“It has been such an incredible year for women in country music and the Academy of Country Music really showed that with this year’s nominees,” she continued

“I'm over the moon on winning this award but especially happy for Carly. This is her story, her song and I am honored to be a part of it,” said Lee.

Set to perform “I Hope You’re Happy Now” live at the ACMs, Pearce is also up for Female Artist of the Year and Single of the Year during awards ceremony. The single also took home 2020’s CMA award for Music Event of the Year.

The 56th ACM Awards will air 4/18 on CBS at 8pm.

Photo Credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

ACMS SET SONGS AND SINGERS
4/16/21

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

The lineup includes Dierks Bentley, performing U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” with The War and Treaty, and Jack Ingram, Jon Randall and Lambert on “In His Arms”; Chris Young and Kane Brown will buddy up on “Famous Friends,” while 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 WinansKelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney will sing “half of my hometown” together 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,” and 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 on “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” and Chris Stapleton (“Maggie’s Song”).

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

Additionally, SiriusXM’s The Highway will transform into the official ACM Awards Radio channel, which will provide exclusive content including backstage and pre-show interviews through the weekend.

Hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, presenters for the awards ceremony will include Ingrid AndressBlanco Brown, Amy Grant, Leslie Jordan, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker and Clay Walker.

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will air 4/18 on CBS at 8pm and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

BROTHERS OSBORNE HIT THE ROAD
4/15/21

EMI Nashville’s Grammy-nominated duo, Brothers Osborne, have announced their N. American headlining tour, We’re Not For Everyone.

The trek will hit nearly 50 cities this summer, kicking off on 7/29 in Philadelphia with stops in N.Y., L.A. Houston, Atlanta and more before wrapping in Moon Township, Pa. in November. Travis Denning and 2020 ACM’s New Female Artist of the Year, Tenille Townes, will alternate as openers throughout the tour.

Additionally, the duo will release their newest track, “Younger Me,” tomorrow, which T.J. Osborne penned after the overwhelming support he received earlier this year when he publicly came out as gay.

Currently nominated for Duo of the Year and Album of the Year for their third studio album, Skeletons, Brothers Osborne will also perform their new single, “I’m Not For Everyone,” as well as “Deadman’s Curve” as part of the ACM Awards this Sunday (4/18), which airs on CBS at 8pm ET. 

The pair is set to appear on CBS’ Sunday Morning on 4/18 prior to the award ceremony with additional interview content airing on 4/19.

Tickets for the tour go on sale to the general public on 4/23 with a special fan club presale available on 4/20. For a full list of tour dates, click here.

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.

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