Chris Tomlin Announces Second Good Friday Nashville Concert

Chris Tomlin will hold his second annual Good Friday Nashville concert on Friday, March 30, 2018 at Bridgestone Arena. Good Friday Nashville special guests include Kim Walker Smith of Jesus Culture, Matt Maher, Christine D’Clario, Tauren Wells and Pat Barrett who will all perform on stage with Tomlin throughout the night. Author and pastor Levi Lusko will speak. Tickets for this year’s event go on sale Thurs., Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. CT.

This year, Tomlin will again partner with and donate net proceeds from the concert event to Tennessee Kids Belong (TKB), the state chapter of national non-profit, America’s Kids Belong, and highlight Governor Haslam’s TN Fosters Initiative.

“What an amazing opportunity to bring our Nashville community together on this important day to remember the beautiful gift of hope we have all been given because of the selfless sacrifice of Jesus,” said Tomlin. “I was completely blown away at our inaugural Good Friday Nashville show last year to see the power of unity and know what that can do. It left me with an even greater desire to continue it and spread that same feeling of hope and love to the community of those in need like the children in our foster care system here in Tennessee and supporting those foster care families.”

The inaugural Good Friday Nashville in 2017 became the largest ticketed Christian concert in the venue’s history. Due to the overwhelming response and impact in the community, Tomlin has committed to performing the yearly concert event indefinitely and is currently holding the venue through 2024.

Tomlin recently debuted “Resurrection Power,” the first single from his new album, due out later this year. The song is available now at all digital retailers.

Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Jason Isbell, Little Big Town Named Early Grammy Winners

Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Jason Isbell, Zach Williams and CeCe Winans were among the early winners for the 60th annual Grammy Awards, held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The annual Grammys Premiere Ceremony, hosted by Paul Schaffer, was streamed online at

Chris Stapleton earned two early trophies, winning both Best Country Song (for “Broken Halos”) and Best Country Solo Performance (for “Either Way”).

“This is an amazing honor to be here. This song is just me and an acoustic guitar, so for that to win is a beautiful thing to me,” Stapleton said from the stage. He went on to thank his family and anyone who voted and bought the album.

Reba McEntire earned the Best Roots Gospel Album for Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. “This honor isn’t mine,” she said. “I give this back to God.”

Little Big Town earned Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Better Man.”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit earned both Best Americana Album (The Nashville Sound) and Best American Roots Performance (“If We Were Vampires”).

CeCe Winans was also a two-time winner, earning Best Gospel Performance/Song, and Best Gospel Album (for Let Them Fall In Love). Newcomer Zach Williams earned Best Contemporary Christian Music album, for Chain Breaker.

The televised portion of the 60th annual Grammy Awards will begin Sunday (Jan. 28) at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Early Winners Include:

Best Country Song (award goes to the songwriter): “Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “Better Man,” Little Big Town

Best Country Solo Performance: “Either Way,” Chris Stapleton

Best Gospel Performance/Song: CeCe Winans, “Never Have To Be Alone”

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “What A Beautiful Name,” Hillsong Worship

Best Gospel Album: Let Them Fall In Love, CeCe Winans

Best Roots Gospel Album: Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, Reba McEntire

Best American Roots Performance: “If We Were Vampires,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Best Americana Album: The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

Best Bluegrass Album: Law of Gravity, The Infamous Stringdusters and All The Rage, In Concert Volume One, Rhonda Vincent And The Rage (tie)

Copyright Royalty Board Increases Mechanical Rates For Songwriters

On Saturday (Jan. 27), the Copyright Royalty Board released its ruling on mechanical rates for songwriters for 2018-2022. The court decided in favor of an increase in the overall percentage of revenue paid to songwriters, from 10.5 percent to 15.1 percent over the next five years, marking the largest increase in the Copyright Royalty Board’s history.

The decision stems from a trial that took place from March through June 2017 with the National Music Publishers Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International, representing interests of music publishers and songwriters against Amazon, Apple, Google, Pandora and Spotify.

Additionally, the CRB removed the Total Content Cost (TCC) cap, giving publishers the benefit of a true percentage of what labels are able to negotiate in the free market resulting in significantly higher royalties for songwriters. The CRB also increased the TCC rate resulting in the most balance between record label and publishing rates in the history of mechanical licensing. In addition, the CRB granted a late fee which will dramatically alter the licensing practices of digital music companies.

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite stated, “We are thrilled the CRB raised rates for songwriters by 43.8% – the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history. Crucially, the decision also allows songwriters to benefit from deals done by record labels in the free market. The ratio of what labels are paid by the services versus what publishers are paid has significantly improved, resulting in the most favorable balance in the history of the industry. While an effective ratio of 3.82 to 1 is still not a fair split that we might achieve in a free market, it is the best songwriters have ever had under the compulsory license. The court also decided in our favor regarding a late fee which will force digital music services to pay songwriters faster or be subject to a significant penalty. The bottom line is this is the best mechanical rate scenario for songwriters in U.S. history which is critically important as interactive streaming continues to dominate the market.

“The decision represents two years of advocacy regarding how unfairly songwriters are treated under current law and how crucial their contributions are to streaming services. We thank the songwriters who shared their stories with the court and helped illustrate how badly these rate increases are needed. While the court did not grant songwriters a per-stream rate, the increases in overall rates and favorable terms are a huge win for music creators.”

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Executive Director Bart Herbison said, “Songwriters desperately need and deserve the rate increases resulting from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) trial. The CRB was a long and difficult process but songwriters and music publishers together presented a powerful case for higher streaming royalty rates. The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) thanks our songwriter witnesses Steve Bogard, Lee Thomas Miller and Liz Rose whose testimony was compelling.”

Sony/ATV Music Publishing CEO Martin Bandier said, “As the leading music publisher, we believe that overall this is a very positive ruling by the CRB as it will deliver an unprecedented topline rate increase for songwriters and publishers over the next five years. While we are disappointed not to get the per-stream rate that we wanted, the planned rate increases go a long way to fairly compensate our songwriters for the essential contribution they make to streaming’s success story.”

“When It Rains It Pours”: Luke Combs Celebrates Second No. 1 Hit

Combustion’s Chris Farren, COR Music Publishing’s Mickey Jack Cones, BMI’s Bradley Collins, River House’s Lynn Oliver-Cline, Ray Fulcher, Luke Combs, Jordan Walker, Sony Music Nashville’s Randy Goodman, Big Machine’s Mike Molinar and 50 Egg Music’s Jonathan Singleton celebrate Comb’s No. 1 hit “When It Rains It Pours.” Photo: Steve Lowry

Luke Combs has quickly added another chart-topper, following his debut single “Hurricane.” Industry members gathered at BMI’s Nashville office to celebrate Combs’ second Platinum, multi-week No. 1 single, “When It Rains It Pours.” The track was penned by BMI songwriters Combs, Ray Fulcher and Jordan Walker (of Walker McGuire).

“When It Rains It Pours” marks the first No. 1 for co-writers Fulcher and Walker, and each were honored with BMI guitars to commemorate the occasion.

Among those celebrating were BMI’s Bradley Collins, Warner-Chappell’s Ben Vaughn, River House’s Lynn Oliver-Cline, Big Machine’s Mike Molinar, COR Entertainment’s Mickey Jack Cones, Combustion Music’s Chris Farren, CMA’s Brandi Simms, and more. MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson was also on hand to honor the writers with MusicRow Challenge Coins, for “When It Rains It Pours” reaching No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart.

Each of the co-writers can be found out on the road this spring. Combs will kick off the 2018 leg of his headlining tour, Don’t Tempt Me With A Good Time, with two sold-out nights at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. His third single off the album, “One Number Away,” impacted radio earlier this month and continues to climb the charts. Fulcher, who penned 8 of the 12 tracks on Combs’ debut record, joins Morgan Wallen on the road. One-half of rising country duo Walker McGuire, Jordan Walker is out promoting their self-titled debut EP on the Lost Tour, which features a mixture of headlining shows and support dates for Lee Brice, Granger Smith and Drew Baldridge.

Ray Fulcher, Luke Combs, and Jordan Walker. Photo: Steve Lowry

Ray Fulcher, Jordan Walker, Luke Combs, and MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Steve Lowry

In Pictures: ASCAP, AIMP, Kalie Shorr

ASCAP Teams With Room In The Inn

Pictured (L-R): Room In The Inn’s Melanie Barnett, ASCAP’s Kele Currier, Aaron Eshuis, Joe Clemmons, and Room In The Inn’s Maggie Sananikone and Wendy Smotherman

Inspired by ASCAP writer and Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Schlitz, who performs each week at Room In The Inn, ASCAP will feature songwriters to perform at the shelter once per month in 2018, while ASCAP staffers will volunteer to serve the guests. The series launched in January with songwriters Aaron Eshuis and Joe Clemmons, while ASCAP’s Kele Currier and Robert Filhart were on hand to serve guests alongside Room In The Inn staffers and volunteers.

Room In The Inn aims to provide programs to emphasize human development through education, self-help and work in the community.


Pictured (L-R): Songwriters Aaron Eshuis and Joe Clemmons perform at Room In The Inn


AIMP Holds Publishers and Artist Development Panel

Pictured (L-R): Brad Peterson, Regions Bank; AIMP Nashville Executive Director John Ozier, ole; Adam Zinke, Black Box; Livia Tortella, Black Box; AIMP Nashville Board Member Ree Guyer, Wrensong Music; Brian Popowitz, Black Box; Kari Barnhart, Regions Bank; AIMP Nashville Board Member Tim Hunze, Parallel

Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) held a panel yesterday in Nashville, titled “How Publishers Will Fill The Artist Development Gap In Nashville’s Music Industry In 2018.”


Kalie Shorr Celebrates New EP Release

Pictured (L- R): Blake McDaniel and Brad Bissell, agents at CAA; Kalie Shorr; Todd Cassetty of Cassetty Entertainment, Zach Farnum of 117 Entertainment

Kalie Shorr and her team gathered to celebrate the release of her new EP Awake at The Back Corner on Thursday evening in Nashville.


Cheyenne Frontier Days Releases Full Performer Lineup

Cheyenne Frontier Days has announced the complete lineup for 2018 Frontier Nights with the addition of Nickelback on July 26 and Toby Keith on July 27. Held at Frontier Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming, July 20-29 “The Daddy of ‘Em All,” will feature some of the biggest names in country music.

Kicking off the first night of Cheyenne Frontier Nights, breakout artist Michael Ray will join superstar duo Florida Georgia Line on Friday, July 20. Platinum-certified for his single, “Ready Set Roll,” Chase Rice will join record-breaking seven-time No. 1 hit-maker Cole Swindell as he headlines on Saturday, July 21. Following two back-to-back nights of Championship Bull Riding, Grammy-nominated singer and co-writer of the most downloaded song by a female country artist since 2015, Cam will take the stage to open for Eric Church on Wednesday, July 25. Dubbed as “one of the most versatile [acts]” Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots with second generation cowboy Ned LeDoux will both open for newly announced headliner Toby Keith on Friday, July 27. Closing the final Frontier Nights performance alongside Dierks Bentley on Saturday, July 28 will be ACM, CMT and CMA nominee Kip Moore.

Tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, Feb., 2 at 9 a.m. MT on, the Cheyenne Frontier Days ticket office or by phone at 307-778-7222.


Mary Chapin Carpenter Celebrates Career On Upcoming New CD

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s new album, Sometimes Just The Sky, (Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers) will be released March 30. A celebration of her 30-year recording career, the project features new versions of some of Carpenter’s most beloved songs as well as one new song, the title track.

Produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Paul McCartney, Ray LaMontagne), the 13-track album was recorded live at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios outside Bath, England. Joined by long-time collaborator Duke Levine on guitar and a handpicked band of Johns’ favorite musicians, Carpenter reimagined one song from each of her 12 studio albums along with the title track.

“I read a beautiful interview with Patti Smith in which she said that you don’t have to look far or wide, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive or madness in order to find things to soothe you in life, or to be happy about,” explains Carpenter about the title track. “Sometimes just the sky makes everything fall into perspective.”

The leadoff track from the album, “Heroes and Heroines” is out now.

1. Heroes and Heroines
2. What Does It Mean To Travel
3. I Have A Need For Solitude
4. One Small Heart
5. The Moon and St. Christopher
6. Superman
7. Naked To The Eye
8. Rhythm of the Blues
9. This is Love
10. Jericho
11. The Calling
12. This Shirt
13. Sometimes Just The Sky

Reba Is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Newest Colonel

Reba has been tapped to portray the latest colonel in Kentucky Fried Chicken’s rotating colonel ad campaign and will promote its new Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken. She is the first ever music superstar chosen to play KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders, and will appear in TV ads and on computer screens nationwide to promote the new flavor beginning Jan. 28. Other celebs who have played the Colonel include Rob Lowe, Rob Riggle, Billy Zane, George Hamilton, Jim Gaffigan, Norm Macdonald, and Darryl Hammond.

“With Reba’s southern roots and entrepreneurial spirit, she truly embodies the values of the Colonel and the crowd-pleasing flavor of our Smoky Mountain BBQ,” said Andrea Zahumensky, CMO, KFC U.S. “The pairing of a universally loved music legend like Reba with a universally appealing flavor like Smoky Mountain BBQ makes what I like to call ‘Smoky Mountain Magic.’”

“I grew up with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s part of my story, and I’m so excited to now be part of theirs,” said McEntire. “I’ve held a lot of roles in my life – sort of like the Colonel himself – but this is certainly the most unique one yet.”

KFC’s Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken blends barbeque recipes from Memphis and the Carolinas, and will make its debut in participating U.S. restaurants on Jan. 29.

Watch the four commercials below:

Songwriter Tom Douglas To Testify During Judiciary Committee Field Hearing

Pictured (L-R): Bart Herbison (NSAI Executive Director), Congressman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Songwriters Bonner Black, Tom Douglas, and Claire Douglas

Songwriter Tom Douglas, a longtime member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), testifies Friday (Jan. 26) at a U.S. House of Representatives Field Hearing to be held at Fordham University in New York City.

Douglas will support the “Music Modernization Act of 2017” during his testimony. Known as one of the most moving speakers among American songwriters, Douglas has been an active part of NSAI’s advocacy efforts including visits on Capitol Hill.

Read Douglas’ testimony below:

Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, and Members of the House Committee on the

Thank you for this opportunity to testify about the Music Modernization Act of 2017, which I
will refer to today as the MMA. This legislation is critically important for songwriters,
addresses multiple areas of the music licensing ecosystem and is a bi-partisan bill supported by
an unprecedented collection of songwriter groups, other music industry groups and the digital
services themselves.

My story is similar to that of most American songwriters. I began writing songs at an early age
while I was still in school. After graduation, I moved to Nashville to try to make songwriting
my profession. After a few years with little success at songwriting and wanting to marry and
raise a family, I had to turn away from my dreams and moved to Dallas to work in real estate.
Attending a songwriter conference in Austin six years later, I handed a cassette tape copy of
one of my songs to a noted music producer named Paul Worley. Thankfully he listened to that
song when he returned to Nashville. That song “Little Rock,” became a No. 1 hit for Colin Raye in
1994. About a man in recovery, it still serves as an anthem for individuals and their families
dealing with substance abuse. And while I was not dealing with substance abuse, I guess part
of the song was really about me adapting to a life without songwriting as my job.
People don’t know the songwriter Tom Douglas, but their lives have been enriched by my
songs such as: “The House That Built Me,” “I Run To You,” “Raise ‘Em Up,” “Grown Men Don’t
Cry” and “Southern Voice.” This is true of all songwriters, especially those who are not
artists. Our songs identify American culture and move hearts and minds across the globe. Our
songs have value. That’s why adoption of the MMA is critical.

The Music Modernization Act includes:
• A new rate standard for songwriters’ digital mechanical streaming royalties. The
Copyright Royalty Board will be able to utilize the willing-buyer, willing-seller rate
standard that should result in more equitable rates because it is based on what my song
would be worth in a free market.
• Song ownership issues are addressed through a new blanket licensing entity called the
Music Licensing Collective. Governed by music publishers and songwriters the
Collective will assume responsibility for finding owners and keeping track of ownership
data. Digital services will be relieved from copyright infringement liability as long as
they adhere to best practices.
• The U.S. Copyright Office mass “Notice of Intent” (NOI) program that created many
burdens on songwriters and resulted in millions of dollars of unpaid royalties, will be
• Songwriters will, for the first time, be legally entitled to at least half of all unclaimed
funds from digital mechanicals to be equitably distributed based on songwriter activity.
• And ASCAP and BMI rate court judges will be randomly selected instead of being
appointed for life. By eliminating Section 114i of the Copyright Act, those judges will be
able to consider market factors like what record labels and artists earn for performances
of the song I wrote.

When my first hit song, “Little Rock,” was climbing the charts, artists sold millions of albums
and broadcast radio was not being challenged by streaming companies yet to exist. My
royalties for record sales or terrestrial radio broadcasts were counted in pennies. When my
song is streamed, royalties are counted in micro-pennies. For songwriters, it is not uncommon
for millions of streams to equal only hundreds of dollars in royalty payments.
For many years songwriters have begged Congress for relief. The entire American songwriter
community is hopeful we will begin finding that relief in the Music Modernization Act.
The MMA won’t immediately or completely solve songwriters’ digital rate woes, but it sets us
on the right path. The present standard of evidence to set my mechanical royalty rates was
established by Congress in 1909 for player piano rolls. Why so long? Because reaching
agreements between songwriters, music publishers, performing rights societies, record labels,
streaming companies and their representative organizations is Herculean. But, the MMA
represents precisely such a compromise.

Congressman Doug Collins should be commended for his ability to navigate the differences
these groups held. He and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries have led our industry into a new era
of cooperation with the introduction of the Music Modernization Act of 2017.
On behalf of American songwriters, I ask the House Committee on the Judiciary to swiftly
adopt this historic legislation.

‘Billboard’ Reveals 2018 Power 100 List

Billboard has named its 2018 Power 100 List, ranking the top influencers in the music industry.  This year’s top 10 includes:

  1. Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino
  2. Universal Music Group CEO/Chairman Lucian Grainge
  3. Spotify Founder/CEO Daniel Ek
  4. Azoff MSG Entertainment Chairman/CEO and Full Stop Management Chairman Irving Azoff
  5. Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer
  6. Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper; Warner Music Group CEO of Recorded Music Max Lousada
  7. Apple Senior VP, Internet and Software Services Eddy Cue; Apple Senior Director David Dorn; Apple Executive Jimmy Iovine; iTunes/Apple Music Head of Content Larry Jackson; Apple Vice President Robert Kondrk
  8. Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman/CEO Jody Gerson
  9. Red Light Management Founder Coran Capshaw
  10. Universal Music Group CFO/Executive VP/President of Operations Boyd Muir; Universal Music Group Executive VP Michele Anthony

Nashville-based executives in the 2018 Power 100 List include (by ranking):

29: Brian O’Connell, President of Country Music Touring Live Nation (in addition to Arthur Fogel, Chairman of Global Music/President of Global Touring, Live Nation Entertainment; Denis Desmond, Chairman, United Kingdom and Ireland, Live Nation; Bob Roux, President of U.S. Concerts, Live Nation; Russell Wallach, Global President of Media and Sponsorship, Live Nation Entertainment)

37: Mike Dungan, Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Group Nashville; Cindy Mabe, President, Universal Music Group Nashville

39: Randy Goodman, Chairman/CEO, Sony Music Nashville

46: Scott Borchetta, President/CEO, Big Machine Label Group

48: John Esposito, Chairman/CEO, Warner Music Nashville

77: Marcie Allen, President, Founder, MAC Presents; Cara Lewis, Owner/Founder, Cara Lewis Group

87: Sarah Trahern, CEO, Country Music Association

Women made up 17 percent of the 2018 Billboard Power 100 list (up from 10 percent in 2017), while men still hold the majority of top jobs in the industry. The labels sector made up 27 percent of the list, while live music execs held 24 percent of the Power 100 list (up from 20 percent in 2017).