ACM Nomination Round Voting Ends Dec. 7


The Nomination Round of voting for the upcoming ACM Awards will close at 5:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Current ACM members were emailed a link and information about voting.

The complete voting timeline is below:

Nomination Round
Opens: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Closes: Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Second Round
Opens: January 17, 2017
Closes: January, 24, 2017

Third Round
Opens: February 27, 2017
Closes: March 6, 2017

Criteria for Awards can be downloaded here and is posted along with each Award category on the voting website, for quick reference.


Bobby Karl Works The Room: Fin & Pearl Preview Party In Nashville



Chapter 551

I think I’ve had a taste of the music biz’s next restaurant hot spot.

Fin & Pearl staged its preview party in the Gulch on Friday evening (Dec. 2). I declare the venue has “hit” written on it. Why?

First of all, it is the latest venture of the great Tom Morales. His TomKats catering company has serviced more than 2,000 superstar Hollywood movies. Plus he is mega connected with the Nashville music industry, partly thanks to his sometime partner, former CMA honcho Steve Moore.

Second of all, Fin & Pearl is located in the ground floor of the 12th Avenue South building that is now home to Sony Music Nashville and will house WME and several other music endeavors. Third of all, it is specializing in seafood, which we need on the Nashville dining scene.

Fourth of all is the forecast suggested by the attendees: The industry turned out en masse for the eatery’s event “with hosted drinks and bites.” Bobby Karl went to the gig just to see and congratulate Tom. We wound up working the entire room.

That’s because Patrick Clifford, Bob Titley, Drew Alexander (promoting a Monday eve Basement East gig featuring Dylan Scott with Curb songwriters including Will Nance, Ruthie Collins and Bobby Tomberlin), Toni Thomas, Manuel, architect Seab Tuck (wearing a stylish, steel-gray Manuel jacket), Robert Ellis Orrall, Hank Adam Locklin, Kathy Hooper Wright, and Tom’s fellow music-biz restaurateur Randy Rayburn were making merry. And that was just in the first hour.

Randy Talmadge & Trav Livingston were schmoozing, too. The veteran publishers have moved back to Music City after spending the past decade in Palm Desert, California. She hated it there.

Included in Randy’s catalog are the timeless songs Trav’s father Jay Livingston wrote with Ray Evans – “Mona Lisa,” “Dear Heart,” “Silver Bells” (160 million records have been sold of this Christmas classic), “Tammy,” “Buttons and Bows,” “Que Sera Sera,” “To Each His Own” and the like. There are 26 Livingston & Evans songs that have sold more than a million records apiece.

We entered and left the gig arm-in-arm with mighty producer Mark Bright. “Great minds think alike,” he commented about our coincidental identical scheduling.

Fifth of all, is the fabulous menu. The “bites” included lobster BLTs, crab & avocado crostini, shrimp (both cocktail and fried), crab dip & won-ton, chicken-caesar egg rolls, smoked-salmon crostini and tenderloin beef with crab paste on toast, plus a raw-oyster bar with all the trimmings. There were also a number of specialty cocktails offered.

The décor is gleaming moderne, with butcher-block tabletops and faux vintage ceiling-fixture globes. Glass walls on two sides offer views of Gulch nightlife. A large, antique, neon sign states “Seafood Café” in the middle of the dining room. Partygoers took turns taking selfies with it. An expansive central bar offers a convivial environment for many.

Fin & Pearl is billed as, “Nashville’s premier sea-to-fork restaurant.” Tom Morales also operates Acme Feed & Seed on Broadway, The Loveless Café on Highway 100, The Southern on 3rd Avenue downtown and Saffire at The Factory in Franklin. Both Acme and Saffire double as live-music venues.

‘MusicRow’ Reveals 2017 Next Big Thing Artists


MusicRow is proud to reveal MusicRow‘s picks for its 2017 Next Big Thing list featured in the new print edition of MusicRow‘s Touring Issue.

This year’s 11 Next Big Thing artists range from established hit makers prepping their next moves, to newcomers ready to claim their turns in the spotlight.

“It’s a great honor to shine the spotlight on these deserving and talented artists,” says MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. “They are poised to make large strides in 2017 earning them our Next Big Thing title. These artists have all proven they have talent and dedication and we see their stars shining even brighter in the coming year.”

Be sure to pick up your copy of the print magazine here, or receive your copy with purchase of a yearly subscription.


MusicRow‘s 2017 Next Big Thing Artists:

Tucker Beathard (Dot Records)

Tucker Beathard is bringing rock ‘n’ roll attitude to country music. His debut single “Rock On” reached No. 1 on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout chart and his EP, Fight Like Hell, shot to the top of the iTunes Country Chart on opening day. Beathard co-wrote every track on the project, and played both lead guitar and drums on the release. Beathard is entertaining audiences around the world. He toured Europe twice and recently launched his first-ever headlining tour, joined by fellow NBT artist Aubrie Sellers. He wraps 2016 with almost 200 performances under his belt.

Tucker Beathard. Photo: Jim Wright

Tucker Beathard. Photo: Jim Wright


Kane Brown (Zone 4/RCA Nashville)

Georgia native Kane Brown went from virtual unknown to viral sensation on the strength of his muscular baritone. He crowd funded the EP Closer, and his single “Used To Love You Sober” was later certified Gold by the RIAA. “Thunder In The Rain” was his fifth song to top the iTunes Country Chart, prior to receiving radio airplay. Brown’s success brought a deal with RCA Nashville, and an opening slot on Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots Tour. Brown released his major label, self-titled debut album on Dec. 2. He partnered with Monster Energy Outbreak for his current headlining tour.

Kane Brown.

Kane Brown. Photo: Joseph Llanes


Chris Lane (Big Loud Records)

Big Loud Records made plenty of noise in 2016, as the independent label launched its flagship artist Chris Lane straight to No. 1 at country radio. His debut single “Fix” gave listeners their fix for a smooth mix of r&b meets country. Producer Joey Moi helped Lane concoct the radio-ready tracks on his debut album Girl Problems. “Fix” has surpassed 26 million streams on Spotify and 6 million views on Vevo and earned Gold certification. Lane is following that success with fast-rising new single “For Her.” In 2017, look for Lane to earn even more love from country fans.


Chris Lane. Photo: Delaney Royer


LOCASH (Reviver Records)

LOCASH is riding high heading into 2017. The Reviver Records duo comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust scored big with the hits “I Know Somebody” and “I Love This Life.” Their first chart-topper, “I Love This Life,” is RIAA Gold-certified. The Fighters, their first full-length project for the indie label, spawned those hits as well as new single “Ring On Every Finger.” The duo is on a North American tour to promote the album and are also playing dates on Live Nation’s Ones To Watch Tour. LOCASH’s self-penned song “Tough” is featured in the Comcast Built Ford Tough national advertising campaign.


LOCASH. Photo: David McClister


William Michael Morgan (Warner Bros.)

Mississippi native William Michael Morgan’s debut EP for Warner Music Nashville, Vinyl, is one of the most traditional projects to be released on a mainstream country label in recent years. Morgan earned his first chart-topping single in 2016, with “I Met A Girl,” penned by Shane McAnally, Sam Hunt, and Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen. He’s following up that No. 1 with “Missing,” an up-tempo shuffle about getting away from the daily grind. Beginning in January 2017, he will take his neo-country sound to Lee Brice and Justin Moore’s American Made Tour.

William Michael Morgan

William Michael Morgan. Photo: Amy Richmond


Maren Morris (Columbia Nashville)

“Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen?” That’s what Maren Morris sang in her breakthrough hit “My Church,” earning shouts of praise from fans and critics. The song set a debut-week record at country radio and went on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA. Morris’ expert blend of soulful vocals and sassy lyrics propelled her album Hero to move 45,000 units in its first week of release, making her the first artist in Columbia Nashville history to open at No. 1 with a debut album in the Soundscan era. She took home the CMA’s New Artist of the Year honor, and spent plenty of time on the road with Keith Urban’s world tour, as well as headlining her own dates.

Maren Morris

Maren Morris. Photo: Robbie Klein


Jon Pardi (Capitol Records Nashville)

Capitol Records Nashville artist Jon Pardi practically two-stepped into the hearts of country listeners this year, earning two chart-toppers, with both his single “Head Over Boots,” and his album California Sunrise. “Head Over Boots” has now been certified Platinum by the RIAA. Pardi offers a double shot of his rock-infused classic country sound with his new single, “Dirt On My Boots.” Pardi is currently on the road as an opener for Kip Moore’s Me and My Kind Tour, and will join Dierks Bentley’s What The Hell World Tour in 2017.

Jon Pardi

Jon Pardi. Photo: Jim Wright


Runaway June (Wheelhouse Records)

Songwriters and artists Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland and Jennifer Wayne felt a spark of magic when they began collaborating in Nashville. The trio, who performs under the name Runaway June, is one of the hottest new acts on the roster of BBR Music Group/Wheelhouse Records. Harmonious vocals accent their brand of organic country, as found on spirited debut single “Lipstick.” They spent plenty of time on the road in 2016, performing and meeting radio. They closed the year with dates on Kip Moore’s tour and by being named to the CMT Next Women of Country list.

Runaway June. Photo: Jason Myers

Runaway June. Photo: Jason Myers


Aubrie Sellers (Warner Music Nashville)

Aubrie Sellers spent three years crafting the songs that would land on her debut album, and her hard work and impressive skills paid off when she signed with Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville. When it came time to record, Sellers teamed with stepfather Frank Liddell (the award-winning producer behind Miranda Lambert) to create a unique sound they dubbed “garage country.” The result is a critically acclaimed debut album titled New City Blues. Among the highlights is the single “Sit Here & Cry,” a combination of edgy sound and sarcastic lyrics about what not to do after a breakup.

Aubrie Sellers

Aubrie Sellers. Photo: Allister Ann


Drake White (Dot Records)

Alabama native Drake White’s gospel-infused, soul-inspired country music brings a bluesy, foot-stomping energy to BMLG’s Dot Records imprint. White’s debut album Spark was released in August and landed in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The project includes lead single, “Livin’ The Dream.” White spent much of 2016 on tour, opening for Zac Brown Band’s Black Out The Sun Tour, and for Dierks Bentley’s Somewhere On A Beach Tour. He recently took part in the Country Music Association’s Forever Country Cover series, offering a rendition of Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman.”

Drake White

Drake White. Photo: David McClister


Brett Young (BMLG Records)

Brett Young’s blend of country and blue-eyed soul has caught the attention of country music listeners. His debut single, “Sleep Without You,” recently topped the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. The California native spent his childhood pursuing a career in baseball. After sustaining an elbow injury his junior year in high school, Young began learning to play and write songs. The career switch has paid off. Young co-wrote all the tracks on his six-song, self-titled EP. Dann Huff produced the project. In 2016, he made his debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Brett Young

Brett Young. Photo: Chapman Baehler

Grammy Nominations Revealed


Current Best New Artist Grammy winner Meghan Trainor announced the nominations in four general field categories on CBS This Morning. 21,000 recordings have been submitted for Grammy nominations this year.

Both Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris scored Best New Artist nominations.

Morris also picked up nominations for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song (“My Church”), and Best Country Album (Hero).

Sturgill Simpson‘s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth earned an Album of the Year nomination, as well as a Best Country Album nomination.

Lori McKenna, writer on Best Country Song nomination “Humble and Kind,” also picked up a Best Americana Album nomination for The Bird & The Rifle (CN Records). Additionally, she earned a nomination with Felix McTeigue for Best American Roots Song for “Wreck You,” as well as Best American Roots Performance (“Wreck You”).

The Time Jumpers, featuring Vince Gill, picked up nominations in the Best Americana Album (Kid Sister) and Best American Roots Song (“Kid Sister”).

In the Contemporary Christian categories, Lady Antebellum member Hillary Scott and The Scott Family earned nominations for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album (Love Remains), and Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song (“Thy Will”).

The Nashville Symphony and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero received three nominations. Nashvillian Jack White earned four nods.

Beyonce leads this year’s Grammy nominations with nine nominations, followed by Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nominations apiece.

Grammy nominations include (selected categories):

Record of the Year
“Hello,” Adele
“Formation,” Beyonce
“7 Years,” Lukas Graham
“Work,” Rihanna
“Stressed Out,” Twenty One Pilots

Album of the Year
25, Adele
Lemonade, Beyonce
Views, Drake
Purpose, Justin Bieber
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, Sturgill Simpson

Song of the Year
“Formation,” Beyonce
“Hello,” Adele
“I Took A Pill in Ibiza,” Mike Posner
“Love Yourself,” Justin Bieber
“7 Years,” Lukas Graham

Best New Artist
Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Maren Morris
Chance the Rapper
Anderson Paak

Best Country Solo Performance
“Love Can Go To Hell” — Brandy Clark
“Vice” — Miranda Lambert
“My Church” — Maren Morris
“Church Bells” — Carrie Underwood
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Keith Urban

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Different For Girls,” Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
“21 Summer,” Brothers Osborne
“Setting The World On Fire,” Kenny Chesney & P!nk
“Jolene,” Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton
“Think Of You,” Chris Young With Cassadee Pope

Best Country Song
“Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
Track from: Ripcord Label: Capitol Records Nashville; Publisher(s): Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Songs of The Corn, admin. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.; HillarodyRathbone Music, admin. by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC; House Of Sea Gayle Music, admin. by ClearBox Rights/Spirit Catalog Holdings, S.a.r.l. admin. by Spirit Two Nashville.

“Die A Happy Man,” Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
Track from: Tangled Up Label: The Valory Music Co.; Publisher(s): EMI Blackwood Music Inc./Cricket On The Line admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC./ Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Eastman Pond Publishing admin. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Music of Big Deal/Nice Life/Frederic and Ried Music. admin. by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC.

“Humble And Kind,” Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)
Track from: Damn Country Music Label: Big Machine Records; Publisher(s): Songs of Universal, Inc./Hoodie Songs

“My Church,” busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
Track from: Hero Label: Columbia Nashville; Publisher(s): International Dog Music/Words & Music/BMG Platinum Songs/BMG Rights Management/Hello I Love You Music

“Vice,” Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
Track from: The Weight of These Wings Label: Vanner Records/RCA Nashville; Publisher(s): SonyATV Tree Publishing/Pink Dog Publishing/Smack Songs LLC/Kobalt Songs Music Publishing/Anderson Fork In The Road Music/Kobalt Music Publishing

Best Country Album
Big Day In A Small Town, Brandy Clark, Label: Warner Bros. Records
Full Circle, Loretta Lynn, Label: Legacy Recordings
Hero, Maren Morris, Label: Columbia Nashville
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, Sturgill Simpson, Label: Atlantic
Ripcord, Keith Urban, Label: Capitol Records Nashville

Best Americana Album
True Sadness, The Avett Brothers, Label: American Recordings/Republic Records
This Is Where I Live, William Bell, Label: Stax
The Cedar Creek Sessions, Kris Kristofferson, Label: KK Records, Llc
The Bird & The Rifle, Lori McKenna, Label: CN Records
Kid Sister, The Time Jumpers, Label: Rounder Records

Best American Roots Song
“Alabama At Night,” Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks)
Track from: Upland Stories Label: Bloodshot Records; Publisher(s): Lorne Rall Music
“City Lights,” Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
Track from: Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016 Label: Columbia/Third Man Records; Publisher(s): Peppermint Stripe Music
“Gulfstream,” Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars)
Track from: Gulfstream Label: Octavia Records; Publisher(s): Grand Bayou Music/Roddie Romero Music
“Kid Sister,” Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)
Track from: Kid Sister Label: Rounder Records; Publisher(s): Vinny Mae Music admin. by Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing
“Wreck You,” Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna)
Track from: The Bird & The Rifle, Label: CN Records; Publisher(s): Melanie Howard Music, Inc./Rusty Muffler Songs admin. by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing

Best American Roots Performance
“Ain’t No Man,” The Avett Brothers, Track from: True Sadness Label: American Recordings/Republic Records
“Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time,” Blind Boys Of Alabama, Track from: God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson Label: Alligator Records
“Factory Girl,” Rhiannon Giddens, Track from: Factory Girl Label: Nonesuch Records Inc.
“House Of Mercy,” Sarah Jarosz, Track from: Undercurrent Label: Sugar Hill Records
“Wreck You,” Lori McKenna, Track from: The Bird & The Rifle, Label: CN Records

Best Pop Vocal Album:
25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

Best Dance/Electronic Album:
Skin — Flume
Electronica 1: The Time Machine — Jean-Michel Jarre
Epoch — Tycho
Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future — Underworld
Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII — Louie Vega

Best Rock Album:
California — Blink-182
Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage The Elephant
Magma — Gojira
Death Of A Bachelor — Panic! At The Disco
Weezer — Weezer

Best Alternative Music Album:
22, A Million — Bon Iver
Blackstar — David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Best Rap Performance:
“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Panda” —Desiigner
“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

Best Jazz Vocal Album:
Sound Of Red — René Marie
Upward Spiral — Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling
Take Me To The Alley — Gregory Porter
Harlem On My Mind — Catherine Russell
The Sting Variations — The Tierney Sutton Band

Best Gospel Album:
Listen —Tim Bowman Jr.
Fill This House — Shirley Caesar
A Worshipper’s Heart [Live] —Todd Dulaney
Losing My Religion — Kirk Franklin
Demonstrate [Live] —William Murphy

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
Poets & Saints — All Sons & Daughters
American Prodigal — Crowder
Be One — Natalie Grant
Youth Revival [Live] — Hillsong Young & Free
Love Remains — Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song:
“Trust In You,” Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren & Paul Mabury, songwriters
Track from: How Can It Be Label: Centricity Music; Publisher(s): CentricSongs/Sony/ATV Timber Publishing/Word Music & Pocket Full of Rocks Publishing
“Priceless,” For King & Country; Benjamin Backus, Seth Mosley, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters
Track from: Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. [The Anniversary Edition] Label: Fervent/Curb Records; Publisher(s): Warner Tamerlane/Dayspring Music, LLC/Kilns Music / WB Music Corp./Word Music, LLC/Method To The Madness/Shankel Songs/CentricSongs/2 Hour Songs/R1WAY Music Publishing/Wordspring Music, LLC
“King Of The World,” Natalie Grant; Natalie Grant, Becca Mizell & Samuel Mizell, songwriters
Track from: Be One Label: Curb Records; Publisher(s): SeeSeeBubba Songs admin. by Music Services/Maxx Melodies/BMG Platinum Songs/Takin It To The Maxx
“Thy Will,” Hillary Scott & The Scott Family; Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott & Emily Weisband, songwriters
Track from: Love Remains Label: EMI Records Nashville; Publisher(s): W.B.M. Music Corp./EKT Publishing, admin. by W.B.M. Music Corp./WB Music Corp./Thankful For This Music, admin. by WB Music Corp./Songs of Universal, Inc./G650 Music
“Chain Breaker,” Zach Williams; Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith & Zach Williams, songwriters
Label: Essential Records/Provident/Sony Music; Publisher(s): Anthems of Hope/Upside Down Under/Be Essential Songs/Not Just Another Song Publishing/So Essential Tunes

Best Latin Pop Album:
Un Besito Mas — Jesse & Joy
Ilusión — Gaby Moreno
Similares — Laura Pausini
Seguir Latiendo — Sanalejo
Buena Vida — Diego Torres

Best American Roots Performance:
“Ain’t No Man” — The Avett Brothers
“Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” — Blind Boys Of Alabama
“Factory Girl” — Rhiannon Giddens
“House Of Mercy” — Sarah Jarosz
“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo — Amy Schumer
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox — Carol Burnett
M Train — Patti Smith
Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A.Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia) — (Various Artists)
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink — Elvis Costello

Best Song Written For Visual Media:
“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” — Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: Trolls
“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots), Track from: Suicide Squad
“Just Like Fire” — Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk), Track from: Alice Through The Looking Glass
“Purple Lamborghini” — Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross), Track from: Suicide Squad
“Try Everything” — Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira), Track from: Zootopia
“The Veil” — Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel), Track from: Snowden

Best Music Video
“Formation” — Beyoncé
“River” — Leon Bridges
“Up & Up” — Coldplay
“Gosh” — Jamie XX
“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go

Producer Of The YearNon-Classical:
Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Ricky Reed

For a full list of nominations, visit

Young Guns Publishing Signs Brandon Hood

Back Row: Jesse Willoughby, Kobalt; Cliff Downs, President, Young Guns; Stephanie Cox, Kobalt; Mary Lauren Teague, Loeb and Loeb; Laura Alexander, Kobalt Front Row: Will Hamrick, VP/GM, Young Guns; Brandon Hood, writer, Young Guns; Aubrey Rupe, Creative Director, Young Guns

Back Row: Jesse Willoughby, Kobalt; Cliff Downs, President, Young Guns; Stephanie Cox, Kobalt; Mary Lauren Teague, Loeb and Loeb; Laura Alexander, Kobalt. Front Row: Will Hamrick, VP/GM, Young Guns; Brandon Hood, writer, Young Guns; Aubrey Rupe, Creative Director, Young Guns

Young Guns Publishing has signed writer/producer Brandon Hood to its publishing roster, exclusively administered by Kobalt.

Hood was born and raised in Blairsville, Georgia, coming from a long lineage of musicians. After graduating from Young Harris College in ’05 with a degree in classical guitar, he moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, graduating in ’07. While performing as a road musician, Hood signed his first publishing/production deal in 2010.

Hood said, “I’m so excited to be starting a new chapter of my career with a company that has proven to be so supportive and encouraging.”

“It is exciting to watch the continued growth of the Young Guns Publishing team. With the addition of Brandon, we look forward to all he will be able to accomplish as an already established songwriter and producer,” said Will Hamrick, VP/GM Young Guns Publishing.

Hood’s songs have been recorded by Rascal Flatts, Sam Hunt, Jana Kramer, LOCASH, and Jerrod Niemann, among others.

In Pictures: BMI Wraps Maui Songwriters Festival

Pictured (L-R): Back Row: BMI songwriter Paul Doucette, sponsors Danny and Claudia Goodfellow, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, BMI songwriters Shawn Camp, Charlie Worsham, Aubrie Sellers, Marti Frederiksen, Ethan Ballinger and Dallas Wayne and BMI’s Mary Loving. Front Row: BMI’s Mason Hunter, BMI songwriter Lukas Nelson, songwriter Lee Ann Womack, BMI songwriters Willie Nelson, Eric Church and Liz Rose. Photo: Erika Goldring

Pictured (L-R): Back Row: BMI songwriter Paul Doucette, sponsors Danny and Claudia Goodfellow, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, BMI songwriters Shawn Camp, Charlie Worsham, Aubrie Sellers, Marti Frederiksen, Ethan Ballinger and Dallas Wayne and BMI’s Mary Loving. Front Row: BMI’s Mason Hunter, BMI songwriter Lukas Nelson, songwriter Lee Ann Womack, BMI songwriters Willie Nelson, Eric Church and Liz Rose. Photo: Erika Goldring

BMI hosted its second annual BMI Maui Songwriters Festival on Maui from December 1-3.

The three-day, multi-genre festival offered three days of story and song with some of the industry’s top songwriters, including Eric Church, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson, Aubrie Sellers, Liz Rose, Robert Earle Keen, Charlie Worsham and many more.

BMI songwriters Charlie Worsham (L) and Liz Rose (R) pose before their show at the Grand Wailea. Photo: Erika Goldring

BMI songwriters Charlie Worsham (L) and Liz Rose (R) pose before their show at the Grand Wailea. Photo: Erika Goldring


Robert Earl Keen. Photo: Erika Goldring.

Robert Earl Keen. Photo: Erika Goldring


Eric Church. Photo: Erika Goldring

Eric Church. Photo: Erika Goldring

Date Set For 2017 ‘Billboard’ Music Awards


The 2017 Billboard Music Awards will return to ABC, airing Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET.

Nominees or performer announcements have not been revealed at this time.

Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on a 12-month reporting period ending in March of 2017.

The 2016 Billboard Music Awards drew its third-largest audience with an average of 9.8 million viewers and a 3.2/10 in Adults 18-49.

Benefit Concert Set For Savannah Welch

Kevin Welch and Savannah Welch.

Kevin Welch and Savannah Welch

A benefit concert has been set for actress/musician Savannah Welch, known for her roles in Boyhood and Tree of Life, and a member of the band The Trishas. Welch suffered severe injuries and lost her leg in a tragic accident on Nov. 2 in Wimberley, Texas.

On Dec. 13, Kevin Welch (Savannah’s father) and The Dead Reckoners will reunite for a special, one-time performance. Kevin Welch will perform alongside fellow The Dead Reckoners band members Kieran Kane, Mike Henderson, Tammy Rogers and Harry Stinson. Hosted by Wally Wilson and Skyville Live studio in Nashville, the evening will also include special guests.

Kevin Welch is a former Nashville resident for more than 30 years, and charted five singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

The show will begin at 7 p.m., with tickets available at

RIAA Gold & Platinum Certifications Announced For November 2016

riaaSeveral Nashville artists have garnered Gold and/or Platinum certifications with the RIAA for November 2016.

Old Dominion earned this past months’ only Gold album for country with its debut project, Meat and Candy. In addition, Eric Church has amassed several Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum certifications.

Multi-Platinum Single

  • Eric Church, “Springsteen” (3x Platinum)

Platinum Single

  • Brothers Osborne, “Stay A Little Longer”
  • Eric Church, ‘Like a Wrecking Ball”
  • Eric Church, “Like Jesus Does”
  • Eric Church, “Creepin'”
  • Eric Church, “Love Your Love The Most”
  • Eric Church, “Taladega”
  • Kelsea Ballerini, “Peter Pan”
  • Luke Bryan, “Huntin’, Fishin’, Lovin’ Every Day”

Gold Single

  • Dustin Lynch, “Mind Reader”
  • Eric Church, “Talladega”
  • Eric Church, “Guys Like Me”
  • Eric Church, “Like A Wrecking Ball”
  • Eric Church, “Cold One”
  • Kane Brown, “Used To Love You Sober”
  • Lauren Daigle, “How Can It Be”

Lauren Alaina’s ‘Road Less Traveled’ To Release Jan. 27


Lauren Alaina is flexing her songwriting muscle on her upcoming album for Mercury Nashville/19/Interscope Records, due Jan. 27. Alaina co-wrote all 12 tracks on the upcoming Road Less Traveled, including the album’s title track, which is also her current Top 20 single.

She penned “Road Less Traveled” with pop star and songwriter Meghan Trainor, along with Jesse Frasure. The project was produced by busbee, who has worked with Maren Morris and Keith Urban.

Among the writers on the project are Dan Couch, Seth Ennis, Lindsey Lee, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackleton, Caitlyn Smith, and Emily Weisband, who co-wrote five of the album’s 12 tracks.

“I am so excited to get this album out,” shares Alaina. “I wrote for it for three and a half years. I’ve grown so much as a person, a songwriter and an artist in that time. These songs are a true representation of who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going. This album has pushed me to accept who I am and be 100 percent honest about it. Road Less Traveled is truly ME. I can’t wait to share my stories, my music and myself with the world.”

Road Less Traveled Track Listing:
1. Doin’ Fine (Lauren Alaina, Emily Shackleton, busbee)
2. My Kinda People (Lauren Alaina, Emily Weisband, busbee)
3. Three (Lauren Alaina, Seth Ennis, Jordan Reynolds)
4. Road Less Traveled (Lauren Alaina, Jesse Frasure, Meghan Trainor)
5. Queen of Hearts (Lauren Alaina, Lindsey Lee, Victoria Banks)
6. Think Outside the Boy (Lauren Alaina, Emily Shackleton)
7. Painting Pillows (Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Jack Rimes, Alex Masters)
8. Next Boyfriend (Lauren Alaina, Emily Weisband, Matt McVaney)
9. Crashin’ the Boys Club (Lauren Alaina, Emily Weisband, Johan Fransson)
10. Same Day Different Bottle (Lauren Alaina, Caitlyn Smith, Dan Couch)
11. Holding the Other (Lauren Alaina, Emily Weisband, Eric Olson)
12. Pretty (Lauren Alaina, Felicia Barton, Emily Weisband)