Ken Ehrlich To Continue With The Annual Grammy Awards Through 2020

Ken Ehrlich

Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich has extended his long-term commitment to The Recording Academy through 2020. Ehrlich, who is currently executive producing the upcoming 59th Annual Grammy Awards, began working on the telecast nearly 40 years ago, when he produced the 22nd GRAMMY Awards in 1980 for Pierre Cossette Productions.

It was on that night that he paired Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand to perform “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” in what would soon become known as a Grammy Moment. His signature touch, Ehrlich’s Grammy Moments continued in the ensuing years, with pairings such as Eminem and Elton John; Prince and Beyoncé; and Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and Joe Walsh. Today, Grammy Moments are an anticipated hallmark of Music’s Biggest Night®, helping make it one of the most-watched entertainment specials in television history.

“Ken is not just a producer, but a true creative visionary who summons the power of live music and television in a way that allows him to transport audiences, both in the house and in their living rooms,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “He has played a critical role in shaping the GRAMMY Awards over the past 37 years, and we’re proud to announce our continued partnership, and excited to see what he’ll do next.”

“Every year, Ken manages to come up with amazing pairings, great production surprises, and an uncanny ability to cover the breadth of our diverse musical landscape, and we are excited about the prospect of continuing to call on Ken for those moments,” added Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. Since 1973, the CBS Television Network has been the television home of the GRAMMY Awards.

In addition to the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, Ehrlich has also produced a number of tribute specials presented by The Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures, and CBS: Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life—An All-Star GRAMMY Salute, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America—A GRAMMY Salute, and Sinatra 100—An All-Star GRAMMY Concert. Continuing that tradition, Ehrlich is currently producing a tribute to the iconic Bee Gees, Stayin’ Alive: A GRAMMY Salute To The Music Of The Bee Gees, which takes place on Feb. 14, just two days after the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Taking place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and hosted by television personality and performer James Corden, the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The Grammy Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, Ben Winston is a producer, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers.

Josh Turner Previews New Album ‘Deep South’

Josh Turner

Josh Turner’s trademark deep vocals are in fine form on Deep South, his new album set for release March 10 on MCA Nashville.

On  Thursday, Feb. 2, at Nashville’s Eugenia Hall studio, Turner previewed his first new music since 2012. It’s a project that blends today’s radio-ready country with the traditionalism that drew fans in the first place. Six albums into his career, the multi-Platinum singer looks like he hasn’t aged a bit.

Turner thanked his hero, Randy Travis, who was watching in the intimate crowd, adding that the icon was one of his biggest inspirations and also has “the best hair in country music.”

Performing with his band in-the-round, Turner invited songwriters who contributed to the new album to join him onstage for the stories behind the songs, many of which he was hearing for the first time.

Lead single “Hometown Girl” shows Turner veering into new territory, but not so far that he leaves longtime fans in the dust. He recalled the first time producer Kenny Greenberg played the song for him: “It was different for me, but it definitely felt like a hit.” (Indeed, the song is No. 6 on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout chart.) Written by Daniel Tashian and Marc Beeson during a session at the Big Yellow Dog offices, the co-writers recounted Tashian handling most of the melody and Beeson parlaying his sharp wordsmith skills into a song inspired by a high school crush.

With multiple producers on Deep South, Turner’s longtime collaborator Frank Rogers worked studio magic on the title track. A solo-write by Turner, the fun song checks off all things Southern, from fried chicken to shuckin’ corn.

Al Anderson, Brandon Kinney and Ben Daniel talked about their sunny tune “Where The Girls Are.” After a stalled attempt at penning a Stevie Ray Vaughan-style song, they chased down a title inspired by Kinney’s preschooler son, who loves to chase girls.

Steven Dale Jones discussed his co-write with Justin Ebach and Brad Tursi, “Never Had A Reason.” A love song with lyrics about leaving notes on the counter, and happily staying home on Friday night, Jones said, “It’s about how love changes what you do and how you act.”

Turner said he loves the way it “evokes emotion,” and complimented Jones on being “a very thoughtful writer. No nonsense.”

Jonathan Singleton is one of Turner’s go-to songwriters, and with good reason, he is one of the pens behind the singer’s biggest hit to-date, “Why Don’t We Just Dance.”

On the upcoming album, Singleton contributed the cut “Southern Drawl,” written with Andrew Dorff, who passed away in December. Singleton came up with the idea about hearing the words “I love you,” in a “sweet, soft, slow, Southern drawl.” Turner recalled the first time he met wife Jennifer, and hoping that when he heard her speak a drawl would spill out.

While the song was an ideal match for Turner’s voice, there was one lyric he just couldn’t bring himself to sing. Originally composed with a line about “lips redder than Alabama Crimson,” the diehard Clemson Tigers fan changed the words to “Alabama sunset.”

Turner closed with “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” He said, “This song has sent a jolt of electricity through every crowd we’ve played it for.” That evening was no exception.

Deep South Track Listing:
1. Deep South
2. All About You
3. Hometown Girl
4. Beach Bums
5. Southern Drawl
6. Where The Girls Are
7. Never Had A Reason
8. Wonder
9. One Like Mine
10. Lay Low
11. Hawaiian Girl

Weekly Register: Brantley Gilbert’s ‘Devil’ Top Seller of The Week

Brantley Gilbert claims the top spot on the Top Country Albums chart this week with his latest project, The Devil Don’t Sleep, at 66K albums sold. Lauren Alaina‘s Road Less Traveled debuts in the No. 2 position with 9.7K, while Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller continues to remain in the Top 5 with 8.1K sold for the week. Rounding out the Top 5 are Garth BrooksUltimate Collection with 7.2K, and Keith Urban‘s Ripcord at 5.7K.

Album sales are still down overall by 23.5 percent and overall digital sales are also down 25.8 percent. Country albums sales are looking a bit better this week only down 11.5 percent, while country digital sales are down 22.8 percent.

Sam Hunt

In digital track sales rankings, Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like A Back Road” comes roaring in at 53K for the week, while Little Big Town‘s ‘Better Man” commanded 25K. Jon Pardi‘s “Dirt on My Boots” sold 20K to take third place for the week, while Keith Urban “Blue Ain’t Your Color” with 18K, and Reba‘s “Back to God” with 14K rounded out the Top 5.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill‘s new collaboration, “Keep Your Eyes On Me,” from the movie The Shack, debuts at No. 21 on the country digital tracks rankings. The track sold 7.6K in its debut week.

Overall track sales are down 25.5 percent, while country tracks declined by 22.5 percent.

Information provided by Nielsen Soundscan.

In Case You Missed It: Luke Bryan Represents Nashville With Classy Super Bowl Performance

Luke Bryan represented Nashville well during Super Bowl 51 on Sunday evening (Feb. 5), with an understated, steady rendition of the national anthem at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Prior to Bryan’s performance, performers Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones, who originally portrayed the Schuyler Sisters as part of the Broadway hit Hamilton, offered a rendition of “America The Beautiful.”

The New England Patriots would go on to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

Big Machine Label Group, Bell Media Forge New Media Alliance

Big Machine Label Group head Scott Borchetta is expanding his reach for the company globally with a just-announced new partnership with Bell Media. Together Bell and BMLG will discover and develop new talent around the world via a new TV format that will showcase up-and-coming musicians on a national and international stage. The multifaceted entertainment initiative between Bell Media and BMLG will cultivate talent through new television, radio, recording and live concert projects.

Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with assets in television, radio, advertising, and digital media. The company owns 30 television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network, 30 specialty channels, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster with 215 music channels including 105 radio stations in 54 markets across the country which are all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service.

“Bell Media has a track record of success in live music production, extensive platforms, and leading promotion of homegrown talent in many areas,” said Borchetta. “Together, our strengths make us strong partners to lift this global project off the ground.”

“Bell Media builds upon its commitment to artist development with this new initiative, and with whom better to align than the best in the business, Scott Borchetta,” said Randy Lennox, President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media.




Exclusive: Chris Young Talks Grammy Nomination And Mentoring Music’s Next Generation

Chris Young. Photo: David McClister

Chris Young’s career is in high gear right now, with an opening slot on Jason Aldean’s They Don’t Know Tour beginning in April. On Feb. 12, the singer/songwriter will vie for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

His collaboration with Cassadee Pope, “Think Of You,” is nominated against recordings by Dierks Bentley and Elle King, Dolly Parton and Pentatonix, Kenny Chesney with Pink, and Brothers Osborne. The category notably includes three male/female duets.

“I think there are a lot of great collaborations. That’s one of the reasons we are excited to be in that category because of those songs. It’s like, ‘That’s a huge song, and that’s a huge song.’ It’s been a good time for male/female duets right now,” Young says.

In the midst of promoting his current single, “Sober Saturday Night,” Young is also focused on giving back to others, through his recent alignment with Folgers. The Folgers Jingle Contest will offer aspiring singer-songwriters a chance to put their own spin on the iconic Folgers jingle, for a chance to win several prizes, including a mentoring session with Young.

“I loved the idea,” Young says. “It’s such an iconic jingle. Being able to have up and coming musicians take their spin on it and move forward with an idea like that is so cool.”

One grand prize winner will earn $25,000.

“When I was an up-and-coming musician there were multiple times when that would have been just life-changing money for me,” Young says of the grand prize. “I’m really excited about it.”

Young credits growing up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, just south of Nashville, with providing him numerous mentors that helped him learn the craft.

“I met so many people that wrote with me while I was still trying to figure out how to even write a song. I got to watch singers and songwriters play that other people wouldn’t get to watch, just because I was close to Nashville. I have a long list of mentors.”

Young is dedicated to helping the next generation of artists. He recently launched an annual scholarship for recording industry students at his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University.

“I don’t think I can do what I do every day without learning from a lot of people Music education is a huge part of that. This is my life and I love my job. I want to do all I can for people who are trying to come up in the music industry right now.”

Individuals can submit their videos for the Folgers Jingle contest through Feb. 27, 2017, at

Big Machine Label Group’s Kelly Rich To Exit Later This Month

Kelly Rich

Big Machine Label Group’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Interactive Kelly Rich will exit BMLG on Feb. 14 for an opportunity to be revealed in coming weeks. Rich has been with BMLG for 10 years.

BMLG Founder/President/CEO Scott Borchetta said, “Kelly and I have been working on and executing big marketing ideas since the late 90’s with Dreamworks Nashville. In late 2006, when Big Machine was just past its first year of operation, we jumped at the opportunity to hire Kelly to lead our sales and marketing team right as Taylor [Swift]’s debut album was being released. From that multi-million selling release to our latest Reba McEntire album release, Kelly has been a critical part of every win. While we can’t reveal her exciting new opportunity, I look forward to continuing to work very closely with Kelly on many, many more incredible marketing initiatives for Big Machine Label Group artists. As she is transitioning we are taking this opportunity to have our next sales and marketing people come in and learn from the best.”

“Every chapter of your life’s story must come to an end so that you can start the next. The Big Machine Label Group has been such an important part of my life these last 10 years and I will always remember and celebrate our victories. It truly takes a village and I know everyone on the BMLG team feels the same about the incredible impact we have made on the industry and the exciting history we have made together,” said Rich.

BMLG is looking to hire an executive with at least three years of record retail sales account experience (Target, Walmart, iTunes, etc.). Qualified applicants interested in applying can do so by emailing [email protected].

After Feb. 14, Rich can be reached at [email protected].

Eric Church Offers Fans Access To Virtual Concert Experience

Fans can now experience Eric Church’s sold-out, full-length 2016 Stagecoach Country Music Festival performance in virtual reality.

The 13-song set is available via, which offers 180 and 360-degree views from the audience and the stage itself using an eight-camera set up.

This on-demand experience can be purchased by fans for $19.99, or upgraded to include VR viewer bundle for $34.99 at Virtual concert goers using either their iPhone or Android phone via Google Cardboard, or Samsung Gear VR can choose either the multiple camera director’s cut, front row of the concert, or a full 360 view.

Industry Ink: Lee Brice, Pennington Entertainment, Backstage Nashville Live, Triple 7 Public Relations

Lee Brice Surprised With First Double-Platinum Honor

Lee Brice receives his first RIAA double-Platinum Award for “I Don’t Dance” (Curb Records, 2014) from Jonathan Lamy, EVP, Communications and Marketing, RIAA and Cara Duckworth Weiblinger, VP, Communications, RIAA. Photo: Daniel Swartz /

Lee Brice was surprised with his first double-Platinum award from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) marking more than two million sales and streams of his single “I Don’t Dance,” which released on Curb Records in 2014.

Jonathan Lamy, Executive Vice President, Communications and Marketing, RIAA, made the presentation prior to Brice’s American Made Tour stop at Fairfax, Virginia’s EagleBank Arena.

“Congratulations to Lee on his new status as a multi-Platinum artist. ‘I Don’t Dance’ is such an iconic song and we’re proud to help recognize its double-Platinum certification,” said Lamy. “It’s clear that Lee is a special artist, with every one of his seven singles certified Gold or higher. Seven for seven – that’s an impressive track record worth celebrating!”

Lee was recently recognized with a plaque reflecting the RIAA Diamond — more than 10 million in sales and streams — certification of Garth Brooks’ The Ultimate Hits, which included Lee’s single “More Than A Memory,” which he wrote with Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana.

In addition to this career milestone, Lee recently celebrated the announcement of a third child — a little girl — who will be making her debut later this summer, plus a string of sold-out ‘American Made’ tour dates.


Pennington Entertainment Expands Roster

Hudson Moore

Hudson Moore has signed with artist management team Pennington Entertainment, led by Shawn Pennington. Moore joins Pennington Entertainment’s roster which includes Grammy-nominated duo Thompson Square, platinum-selling band Parmalee, iconic rock band Blues Traveler and The Hillbilly Way.

“Hudson is the real deal, the full package and one hell of an entertainer!” Pennington says. “His support from within the industry, and most importantly from his fans is far reaching! Team Pennington is stoked to be onboard!”


Songwriters Series Backstage Nashville Live! Launches At 3rd & Lindsley

The Nashville Entertainment Group and 3rd and Lindsley have partnered to offer a Saturday afternoon hit songwriters’ series that provides an authentic Nashville VIP Experience complete with bourbon tasting and signature cocktail specials. The weekly series, Backstage Nashville Live!, will kick off Saturday, Feb. 25 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

The first event will feature Ray Stephenson (Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Merle Haggard), Gordon Kennedy (Change the World), and Danny Flowers (Eric Clapton, Don Williams, Emmy Lou Harris), as well as special guest Karla Davis from The Voice and American Idol.

Tickets are available online at or by phone at 866-468-3401.


Triple 7 Public Relations Adds To Staff

Chloe Williams

Triple 7 Public Relations has added Chloe Williams to its staff. Williams will report to Tanya Taylor, who has led the company’s Nashville office since 2008.

A graduate of MTSU, Williams previously worked as an event assistant at Pickers Creek Winery where she booked bands for live musical performances, managed social media accounts and shared company information with visitors. Since joining Triple 7 PR in August 2016 as an intern, she realized her interest in handling publicity and brand building for the company’s expansive client roster.

The Nashville team currently handles PR campaigns for FOX’s MasterChef Junior, Amazon Prime Videos’ critically acclaimed series Bosch, HBO’s upcoming Nashville event for “Big Little Lies,” 51 Minds’ Broken Skull Challenge and I Love Kellie Pickler for CMT, Craig Wiseman’s annual “Stars for Second Harvest” event, and Chicken Soup for the Soul books and television series. The team also represents leading health and wellness campaigns for Jillian Michaels’ streaming fitness platform FitFusion, Dr. Gail Saltz, celebrity trainer Drew Logan and Yoga Medicine founder Tiffany Cruikshank.

Shust, Story, Zschech to Release New CCM Projects This Spring

Aaron Shust is releasing a new record for Centricity Music, Love Made A Way. The 11-song project, produced by Nathan Nockels (Matt Redmond, Chris Tomlin), includes both familiar worship anthems and powerful new songs like Shust’s latest single “You Redeem,” which is currently top 40 at Christian radio and rising.

Shust features vocalists such as Matt Hammitt, Christy Nockels, Grayson|Reed’s Molly Reed and For All Season’s Emily Hamilton on the new album, and listeners will recognize classic praise songs such as “Ever Be,” “Cornerstone” and Shust’s career staple “My Savior My God,” but performed like never before— an intentional decision on Shust’s part.

“This was a chance to take some of the songs we play live every night and freshen up the recordings,” he says. “But I also wanted to write new songs and offer new thoughts, new praises and new worship.”

The new album is scheduled for release March 10.

Love Made A Way Track Listing:
1. Heartbeat (with Matt Hammitt)
2. My Hope Is In You (with April Geesbright)
3. Belong
4. You Redeem (with Matt Hammitt)
5. Ever Be (with Emily Hamilton of For All Seasons)
6. God of Brilliant Lights
7. Cornerstone (with Jillian Linklater)
8. Death Was Arrested (With Christy Nockels)
9. Resurrecting (with Molly Reed of Grayson|Reed)
10. My Savior My God (with Christy Nockels)
11. Lead On (King Eternal)


Laura Story will release her new CD Open Hands on March 3. Her fifth full-length album offers 11 new tracks, including the lead single/title track featuring Mac Powell of Third Day. Story also teamed up with Matt Maher and Matt Redman on the new project, which is available for pre-order beginning today with listeners receiving “Open Hands” and “Death Was Arrested” as instant grat tracks.

“Open Hands is something I’ve been learning on so many different levels,” shares Story. “The crazier life gets, the more this idea of ‘open hands’ became the theme that God was teaching me. Worship in its very core begins with surrender. That’s how we really show God that He’s worth it all.”

Open Hands Track Listing:
01 Death Was Arrested
02 Open Hands
03 You Came Running
04 Give You Faith
05 For The Love Of My King
06 Awake My Soul (1000 Tongues)
07 Whisper
08 Every Word You Breathe
09 Majesty
10 Extraordinary
11  Grace Abounds 

Worship leader, author, and pastor Darlene Zschech is releasing a new CD, Here I Am Send Me, globally on March 3 on Integrity Music. Recorded live with her team at Hope Unlimited Church on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, the album is Zschech’s first project following a life-changing cancer diagnosis in 2014. The album features 11 new songs penned with guest writers like Martin Smith, Paul Baloche, Jenn Johnson and Leeland Mooring.

“‘Here I Am Send Me’ was written following the revelation I received from Genesis 22, which is when Abraham responds to God in worship by saying ‘Hineni,’ meaning, ‘here I am Lord, whatever you ask, before you ask, my answer is yes’,” says Zschech. “None of us know how many days we have. Whatever days I have—and I’m declaring a ripe old age—I want to live them intentionally. I want to live the love of Christ… Everywhere we go, we take the presence of the Lord, we take His presence and His hope, His extravagant love. It’s a journey. I’m not there yet, but that’s the journey that I am embracing.”

Here I Am Send Me Track Listing:
1.   You Are Great (Darlene Zschech, Martin Smith)
2.   You Will Be Praised (Darlene Zschech, Paul Baloche, Jenn Johnson)
3.   Daylight (Darlene Zschech, Beth Gleeson)
4.   Kingdom Come (Darlene Zschech, Thomas Macken)
5.   First Love (Luke Taylor, Sarah Potts)
6.   Love And Wonder (Zoe Zschech, Bonnie Gray)
7.   Your Eyes (Darlene Zschech, Andy Macken, Thomas Macken)
8.   Emmanuel (Darlene Zschech, Andy Macken)
9.   Beloved (When I Survey) (Darlene Zschech, Leeland Mooring, Casey Moore)
10. Here I Am Send Me (Darlene Zschech, Andy Macken)
11. Go (Darlene Zschech, Andy Macken)