Industry Ink: Darius Rucker, John Esposito, 30A, Nashville Rising Star, Mississippi Hall Voting

Darius Rucker Gets Randy Owen ‘Angel’ Honor

Pictured (L-R): Randy Owen; President and CEO of ALSAC Richard Shadyac Jr.; Darius Rucker. Photo: Seth Dixon

Darius Rucker was recently honored with the Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Academy Of Country Music. ACM Lifting Lives surprised Rucker with a $50,000 donation to St. Jude given in recognition of his work with both the hospital and the ACM.


Espo Addresses Monmouth Graduates

(L to R) Henry Mercer, chairman of the Monmouth University Board of Trustees, Paul R. Brown, president of Monmouth University, Olympic gold medalist and Distinguished Alumni Recipient Christie Rampone and Warner Music Nashville Chairman & CEO John Esposito

Warner Music Nashville Chairman & CEO John Esposito delivered the commencement address to over 400 students at Monmouth University on Friday (Jan. 13) before receiving an honorary doctorate of music from the University from Monmouth president Paul R. Brown.


ASCAP Celebrates At 30A

Pictured (L-R): Derek George, Jaren Johnston, ASCAP’s Evyn Mustoe, Cole Taylor, Cale Dodds, Josh Kerr, Abe Stoklasa, Emily Weisband, ASCAP’s Robert Filhart, Josh Kear and Frank Rogers

ASCAP was a major sponsor of the 30A Songwriters Festival for the 7th consecutive year, and this year’s festival included performances from writers like Josh Kear, Jaren Johnston, Jimmy Robbins, Derek George, Josh Kerr, and Brent Anderson. ASCAP showcases were held at The Boathouse in Watercolor, and on Friday night, special guests included Emily Weisband and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, who performed “Need You Now” with his co-writer Josh Kear.


Nashville Rising Star Launches Open Mic Contest

“Nashville Rising Star” is excited to announce Series 8 of their songwriter open mic competition. The contest will be held at the Whiskey Room at King’s Bowling in Nashville and is open to all songwriters of any genre. The contest started Jan. 11 and will be held Wednesdays for nine weeks.

The semi-finals will be held March 1 featuring 14 preliminary round winners. The audience (at the venue and online) selects one writer, and the music industry panel selects three writers to move on to the final round. The final round will be on March 8 and the grand prize winner will receive $500 cash and other career advancing prizes.


MAX Hall of Fame Voting Open

The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is asking fans to participate in the selection of the inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Class by voting from the Top 65 nominees that were selected by the nominating committee. Voting will be open until Feb. 17, and fans can vote once per email for their top 15 nominees. To read about the nominees, which include Sam Cooke, Bo Diddley, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Jimmy Buffett, and Faith Hill, go to


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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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