Top 10 Idol Earners

Forbes loves to compile Top 10 Earning lists and its latest “revelation” is a ranking of American Idols. Anyone paying attention would immediately guess (and be correct), that Carrie Underwood reigns supreme on this list  having earned over $20 million in the past year cashing in on over 80 tour dates. Lambert (season eight, No. 2) and Chris Daughtry (season five, No. 4) tied in second place with $6 million each. According to the publication Underwood “banked as much as the Top 5 artists added together.
Forty percent of the Top 10 have Nashville ties. And that doesn’t include current season celebs Scotty McCreery and Laura Alaina who may well swell Nashville’s representation in next year’s listings.
As Forbes notes it isn’t all about winning, of the top three earners only Underwood was actually a winner. Others with Nashville ties in the Top 10 include Jordin Sparks at No. 5 with $3 million; Kelly Clarkson at No. 6 with $2.5 million; and Kellie Pickler who ranks No. 8 with $1.8 million. Clarkson, managed by Nashville-based Starstruck is scheduled to have a new album next year which should elevate her rank in next year’s numbers. (Check out a photo carousel here.)

Forbes methodology statement: These numbers are based on estimated pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as interviews with industry insiders including managers, concert promoters, publicists, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves.

An interesting footnote to this article is that Idol announcer Ryan Seacrest reportedly snagged of $61 million including his famed hosting spot, plus endorsements and radio revenues. Seacrest made more than the total of all ten Idol contestants.

Video News: Currington, Holy, Whiskey Myers

The video for Billy Currington’s current single “Love Done Gone” (No. 17 on the CountryBreakout Chart) debuted on his website today. The clip was shot last month in New Orleans, Louisiana, and directed by Potsy, who worked on Currington’s previous four videos. “I knew when I first heard the song that I wanted to do this video in New Orleans – it’s such a fun and colorful city,” says Billy. “We had a blast filming there and all the people in the video are true locals from the city.  It turned out to be such a fun video that I really think the fans are going to like.”
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Steve Holy’s video for “Love Don’t Run” also made its world premiere today, and can be seen on Eric Welch directed the video, which was shot in Nashville at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in period costume. The song, written by Joe Leathers, Rachael Thibodeau, and Ben Glover, is the first single off Holy’s upcoming third studio album.
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Texas based five piece Whiskey Myers recently shot its debut video for “Ballad of a Southern Man” in Greenbrier, TN. The group endured triple-digit temperatures inside an abandoned house with no electricity for the 12 hour-long shoot. TackleBox Films’ Mason Dixon directed the video. “Ballad of a Southern Man” will also be impacting country radio soon.

Whiskey Myers and crew on the set of the “Ballad of a Southern Man” shoot. (L-R): Whiskey Myers’ Gary Brown, Jeff Hogg, director Mason Dixon, Cody Cannon, actor Marty Penney, Cody Tate, John Jeffers. Photo: GypsySun Vintag

Tweets Of The Week; Can You Guess The Tweeter???

Can you match these tweets with the artists who graciously gave us these gems this week? These offerings come from Colt Ford, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton .
2. 3. 4. 5.
Think you’ve figured it out? Let us know in the comments below.


Google+ Hangout Feature Powers Virtual Concert

Singer songwriter Daria Musk recently used the new Hangout technology on Google plus to promote a 6.5 hour virtual concert around the globe. The entrepreneurial artist ultimately reached thousands of viewers from Norway to Argentina to Australia.
According to Google, each Hangout can have a maximum of 10 participants so Musk urged her fans to stay for a few songs and then make room for others to jump in. Google Director of Engineering, Chee Chew, attended the Hangout and provided technical assistance throughout the concert.
“For us on hangouts, it’s about really connecting small groups together face to face, bringing people together from around the world in a new way,” says Chew. “We all have a human need to connect and communicate.”
“Google’s new Hangout technology is a real game-changer for the music industry,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of Tier 10 Marketing, whose digital marketing and public relations agency represents Musk. “Traditionally the record labels dictated which artists get exposure; however, this cutting edge technology introduces a whole new platform that talented artists like Daria can leverage to take control of their exposure.”
The story has already been picked up by CNN and Reuters. A second concert named “Gl+bal G+thering of G+niuses” has been set for July 23 at 7 pm ET. To accommodate Daria’s ever-increasing global audience, members of the Google+ fan community created, which will stream Saturday’s concert to an unlimited number of fans around the globe. As a result, Daria’s performance and interaction with those in the “Hangout” will remain intimate, while thousands in the overflow crowd watch the broadcast live.

Musicians Hall of Fame Firms Auditorium Deal

Nashville Post is reporting that a deal is finally in place between Joe Chamber’s Musician’s Hall of Fame and Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium Commission. A lease agreement has been approved which includes wording that requires the Musician’s Hall of Fame, after the first year, to provide revenue to the auditorium that is above $75k per year and not fall below that amount for  any consecutive two year period. For more details click here.

Black River Celebrates Sound Stage Renovations

Front Stage tracking room with movable ceiling panels.

Black River Entertainment celebrated the re-opening of Black River at Sound Stage’s Front Stage tracking room with an industry gathering last night (7/21).
The room’s improvements and upgrades include new ATC 300 speakers, motorized and movable ceiling panels, and a selection of new microphones. Warren Rhoades, Mike LeBlanc, and in-demand engineer Chuck Ainlay helmed the redesign effort to improve the studio’s sonics and comfort. Interior designer Markeata Daniels was brought on to make sure the aesthetic vibe matched the technical upgrades.
“It’s such an incredible honor to be a part of history here at Sound Stage,” says
Sound Stage GM Nick Autry. “There is no doubt that we had the best possible team designing the space. From the new amp lockers to the new lounge, every aspect of this renovation is incredible.”
Sound Stage was recently purchased by Black River Entertainment, which is the latest in a series of expansions and changes by the company following Gordon Kerr’s move to BRE COO in October 2010. BRE has since beefed up with a full promotion staff, added former Lyric Street marketing head Greg McCarn to the GM position, and signed hitmaker Craig Morgan to the roster. Morgan’s first single for BRE is “This Ole Boy,” and it is currently at No. 70 on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart.

Artists Perform at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

Hunter Hayes Performs as Part of Musicians On Call Program
Musician, writer, producer and performer Hunter Hayes helped spread some musical cheer at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville as part of the Musicians On Call program recently. Musicians On Call is a national program that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients.

(L-R): Hadley Grace Birmingham, Jim Birmingham (Hadley’s grandfather) and Hunter Hayes Photo: Shane Tarleton

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Big Machine Partners With Children’s Hospital
Trio Edens Edge recently performed for patients at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The visit was part of a new partnership between the hospital and the Big Machine Label Group. Once a month, the label’s artists will participate in Children’s Hospital’s weekly interactive music group, “Music Days.” Artists will perform onstage and interact with patients and their families through group songwriting, instrument playing and sing-alongs. The shows will also be broadcast to patients in their rooms.

Edens Edge poses for a photo with Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt patient Promise Slater. Photo: Steve Green


Reconciling The RIAA Certs plus June Awards

The RIAA has announced its June 2011 certifications and Nashville artists are well represented in both album and digital download categories.
CMA Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley, saw his latest album, This Is Country Music, cruise into Gold territory after only one month or so on the charts. According to SoundScan, Paisley has scanned about 363k units through the week ended 7/17/11 definitely short of the Gold sales mark of 500k. However, because RIAA certifications measure shipments and SoundScan measures point of sale purchases using the two systems gives one an idea of how many units have been shifted into consumer hands, and how optimistic merchants are about continuing to sell the album. In Paisley’s case one could surmise that there are about 130,000 units remaining in the supply chain. Given that the album is selling about 20k (per SoundScan) per week that equates to a six week supply.

Click image to download report

Also earning a Gold award this month is Ke$ha for her Cannibal album, (SoundScan total 141k.)
Country music fans are starting to get active in downloading digital tracks as evidenced by the four Gold digital awards earned this month by Jason Aldean (“Dirt Road Anthem”), Luke Bryan (“Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”), Kenny Chesney (“Beer In Mexico”) and Rascal Flatts (“I Won’t Let Go”). (All these digital titles are above the 500,000 mark in actual sales, too.)
Moving higher up the ladder, above the country men, was Sara Evans who got a shiny Platinum trophy for selling one million downloads of “A Little Bit Stronger.” (In fact the track has sold 1.05 million copies according to SoundScan through 7/17/11.)
Reconciling The Stats
Balancing the RIAA criteria between physical sales and digital sales is confusing. It appears that digital singles must actually reach the Gold or Platinum levels of 500k and 1,000,000 respectively. However, albums are based upon shipments. Below is some “enlightenment” from the RIAA web site…note that in No. 5 it says certifications are based upon product “Shipped.” However, how does one tally shipments of digital singles?

1. Along with minimum sales figures, a number of other criteria accompany each title for certification. The list and table below describe what titles and types of sales can be considered for the awards.
2. Each company that requests RIAA® certification must be a firm or corporation that has headquarters in the United States and is engaged in the legitimate production and sale of sound recordings.
3. Recordings become eligible for certification 30 days after initial street date. Audio and music video titles may be requested for award certification starting 30 days after product is commercially available to consumers.
4. Only domestic sales and sales to U.S. military post exchanges may be included. The requesting company must separate PX sales from other accounts on sales sheets. Export sales outside the United States are not included in certification.
5. Club sales and club free goods may be included towards certification. Product shipped to retail, mail order, record clubs, TV marketing and other ancillary markets are combined toward certified sales. All shipments to these accounts must be verified by the label.
6. Promotional radio and press copies, cut-outs, inventory sell-offs and surplus sales are not included toward certification.
7. Catalog product, specifically pre-1972 album releases, are eligible for certification by meeting either the unit shipment or manufacturer’s dollar requirement for each award level.

RIAA offers an interesting retrospective on the American Music Business that can be downloaded HERE.

Weekly Chart Update (7/22/11)


John Davison has been named the new PD at Citadel’s WHWK/Binghamton, NY and is on the job now. He fills the spot vacated by Don Brake, who left the station in May to join WFRE/Frederick, MD. Reach Davison here.
It’s a tight configuration at the top of the CountryBreakout Chart, with just over a hundred spins separating positions 1, 2, and 3. Lady Antebellum’s “Just A Kiss” emerges victorious for a second consecutive week, holding off Zac Brown Band’s “Knee Deep.” Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” drops to No. 3, followed by Trace Adkins’ “Just Fishin’” at No. 4 and Kenny Chesney’s duet with Grace Potter “You And Tequila” at No. 5.

Toolpusher recording artist Jason Sturgeon (R) recently fulfilled a longtime dream when he opened a show for his idol Gary Allan (L) at Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana. Sturgeon’s latest single “The Cover” is impacting radio now and its video was shot in his hometown of Petersburg, Indiana.

It’s also a relatively young chart, judging by the fact that “Just A Kiss” climbed to No. 1 in only 11 weeks, and there is only one title inside the Top 20 over 20 weeks old still gaining spins. On the other hand, there are five titles in the Top 20 younger than 10 weeks. The nine-week-old Paisley/Underwood collab “Remind Me” leads the pack at No. 7, followed by Toby Keith’s six-weeks-on “Made In America” at No. 8. At No. 12, George Strait’s “Here For A Good Time” has only ticked seven weeks, while Keith Urban’s “Long Hot Summer” (No. 15) has been around for even less at five weeks.
Soon to be joining the crowd are Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me You” and Taylor Swift’s “Sparks Fly,” both of which are in their second week charting. Shelton’s latest debuted at No. 52 in the previous chart, and flew up to No. 32 with a boatload of new adds. Swift’s new single originally debuted at No. 48 and zoomed to No. 33 with a gain of 339 spins.
Frozen Playlists: KITX, KTTI, KWWR, KXOX, Nashville XM 11, WDHR, WEZJ, WYVY

Upcoming Singles
July 25
Montgomery Gentry/Where I Come From/Average Joe’s
Blake Shelton/God Gave Me You/Warner Bros./WMN
Martina McBride/I’m Gonna Love You Through It/Republic Nashville
Sonia Leigh/My Name Is Money/Southern Ground/BPG
Eric Paslay/Never Really Wanted/EMI Records Nashville
Keith Bryant/Can’t Tell Somebody Who To Love/Jordash
August 1
Justin Moore/Bait A Hook/Valory
Amber Hayes/Wait/Flying Island
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New On The Chart—Debuting This Week
Artist/song/label — chart pos.
Martina McBride/I’m Gonna Love You Through It/Republic Nashville — 57
Montgomery Gentry/Where I Come From/Average Joe’s — 63
Deborah Allen/Anything Other Than Love/Delta Rock — 77
Katie Armiger/I Do But Do I/Cold River — 78
Tracy Lawrence/The Singer/Lawrence Music Group — 80
Greatest Spin Increase
Artist/song/label — spin+
Blake Shelton/God Gave Me You/Warner Bros./WMN — 413
Taylor Swift/Sparks Fly/Big Machine — 339
Martina McBride/I’m Gonna Love You Through It/Republic Nashville — 306
Keith Urban/Long Hot Summer / Capitol — 290
Toby Keith/Made In America/Show Dog — Universal — 237
Most Added
Artist/song/label — New Adds
Blake Shelton/God Gave Me You/Warner Bros./WMN — 23
Martina McBride/I’m Gonna Love You Through It/Republic Nashville — 22
Taylor Swift/Sparks Fly/Big Machine — 19
Montgomery Gentry/Where I Come From/Average Joe’s — 14
Tracy Lawrence/The Singer/Lawrence Music Group — 13
Justin Moore/Bait a Hook/Valory — 11
On Deck—Soon To Be Charting
Artist/song/label — spins
The McClymonts/Wrapped Up Good/BSM — 202
Kevin Fowler/Hell Yeah, I Like Beer/Average Joe’s Ent. — 190
Mark Wills / Crazy Bein’ Home / Tenacity — 176
Brad Wolfe/Love Ought To Be Perfect/Evergreen — 175
Teea Goans/Letters From God/Crosswind — 160

Brad Paisley’s H2O Wetter & Wilder Tour made a stop in Boston this past Saturday for WKLB's CountryFest. (L-R): WKLB's Ginny Rogers and Mike Brophey, Paisley, Sony Music Nashville’s Skip Bishop, and Arista Nashville’s Lesly Tyson, John Sigler, Ryan Dokke.

Gloriana was recently in Oklahoma City, and hung out with KJKE 93.3 JakeFM staff members. The Emblem Records group’s single “Wanna Take You Home” is currently climbing the charts:(L-R): Gloriana’s Tom Gossin, KJKE’s Crash Poteet, Gloriana’s Mike Gossin and Rachel Reiners, KJKE’s Kevin Christopher

The Band Perry Scores Another Gold Single

The Band Perry’s latest hit “You Lie” has earned Gold certification from the RIAA for 500,000-plus paid downloads. This is the first single and hit for songwriters Aaron, Brian and Clara Henningsen.
“‘You Lie’ is full of spitfire and it’s our high-five to everyone who’s been the victim of a cheatin’ heart,” explains The Band Perry. “Only in Country music could a song about feeling fed-up be so much fun to sing. When we perform this one, we get a big ‘amen!’ back and we thank everyone who has joined in.”
“Plain and simple…this song has more hooks than a tackle box!” adds Jimmy Harnen, Republic Nashville President.
This follows the band’s huge hit “If I Die Young” which recently went Double Platinum. The self-titled debut album is moving about 11,000 units per week and has RTD sales of 655K (Soundscan).
Next up, The Band Perry will release love ballad, “All Your Life.”
TBP will headline a Samsung AT&T Summer Krush concert in Dallas, a portion of which will air Aug. 17 on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The Band Perry is currently on the road with Tim McGraw and looking forward to dates with Keith Urban (September) and Reba (October).
The sibling trio is also nominated for two Teen Choice Awards at the Sun., Aug. 7 show on Fox. Fans can vote at