Music Biz 2018 Adds Pandora’s Roger Lynch As Keynote Speaker

Photograph by Matthew Staver

Pandora CEO Roger Lynch will keynote a Featured Presentation on May 16 at 5 p.m. CT at the Music Biz 2018 Conference at the Omni Nashville Hotel and discuss the impact that this shift will have on listeners, brands, artists, and the industry at large. He will also share key perspectives coming out of his first six months at Pandora, his vision for the company’s future, and his predictions of what the increase in music streaming means for the future of the music business.

“Roger has consistently had his finger on the pulse of what’s next throughout his career, having founded and grown multiple companies in the online TV space,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “We’re interested to hear how his experiences as a leader and entrepreneur in adjacent industries have informed his vision for Pandora and what he sees ahead for the future of the music business.”

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will also tackle some of the most important legal issues facing the music industry at its latest Entertainment & Technology Law Conference, which will be held Monday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT during the Music Biz 2018 conference at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Sponsored by law firms Dickinson Wright and Leavens, Strand & Glover, the event will feature an in-depth discussion of modern artist development; the Music Modernization Act, which was recently passed unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives; collective management of rights; and trademark protection for bands. Attendees will be able to interact with advocates and influencers such as U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), John Johnson of ASCAP, Rick Carnes of the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA), Ted Goldthorpe of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Colin Rushing of SoundExchange, and a variety of prominent attorneys.

“2018 is shaping up to be a huge year for legislation in the music space, and our goal for this year’s Law Conference is to give our attendees a road map to navigate the legal path ahead,” said Donio. “Our multi-faceted program will bring law experts together with major music industry players to discuss a range of issues faced by everyone from major and independent labels to publishers, artists, managers, entrepreneurs, startups, and attorneys. We’re looking forward to a lively discussion.”

Admission to the Law Conference is included with full registration to the Music Biz 2018 conference, which is available at with special student rates of $169 for Music Biz members and $219 for non-members. Those who only wish to attend the Law Conference can also sign up at a rate of $199 for members and $249 for non-members. Four CLE credits have been approved by the Tennessee State Bar Association.

Mark Your Calendar—May 2018

Single Add Dates

May 7
Granger Smith/You’re In It/BBR Music Group-Wheelhouse Records-BMG
Jordan Davis/Take It From Me/MCA Nashville
Scotty McCreery/This Is It/Triple Tigers Records
Kelsey Lamb/Little By Little/Marco
Rachel Steele/Here To Get My Stuff/Brick Road Records
Jim Brown/That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout/Jim Brown Music
Brandon Maddox/Good Side/Brandon Maddox Music

May 8
Frank Vieira/Fill It Up

May 14
Maddie & Tae/Friends Don’t/Mercury
Alexandra Demetree/Coastin/SSM Nashville
Richard Schroder/Wildest Dreams/Amplifier Records

May 18
Cowboy Troy/Laugh With Me/Shakin’ Bacon Productions

May 21
Tyler Farr/Love by the Moon/Columbia
Abi/A Day Without/One Country/Nine North
Ryan Sims/American Things/High 4 Recordings

Industry Events

May 7
AIMP Awards at the Ryman Auditorium

May 7-9
ASCAP’s 13th annual “I Create Music” EXPO at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles

May 8
Gospel Music Association Foundation’s 5th Annual GMA Honors and Hall of Fame Ceremony at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena

May 14-17
Music Biz at the Omni Nashville Hotel

May 27
2018 K-LOVE Fan Awards returns to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House

May 28
Memorial Day

Album Releases

May 4
Drake White/Pieces [Digital EP]/BMLG Records

May 11
Brent Cobb/Providence Canyon/Low Country Sound-Elektra Records
Ashley Campbell/The Lonely One/Whistle Stop Records
Buck Owens and the Buckaroos/The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967–1970/Omnivore Recordings-Buck Owens Estate

May 18
Trent Harmon/You Got ‘Em All/Big Machine Records
Kelly Willis/Back Being Blue/Premium Records-Thirty Tigers
Various/Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s” exhibit in Nashville/CMHoF

May 25
Tyler Dial/Repaint/Neon Cross Music

Country Lakeshake Announces Next From Nashville Stage Lineup

Country LakeShake revealed the lineup for the three-day, two stage festival’s “Next From Nashville” stage today. Delta Rae, Dillon Carmichael, Morgan Evans, Muscadine Bloodline, Tyler Rich, Mitchell Tenpenny, The Wild Feathers, Charlie Worsham and more are all set to take the “Next From Nashville” stage at the Windy City festival in June.

The announcement follows the news that superstars Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, and Florida Georgia Line will perform at the fourth-annual event at Chicago’s Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on June 22-24.  Also on the bill are Lee Brice, Billy Currington, Russell Dickerson, Jillian Jacqueline, Tracy Lawrence, Chris Lane, Jackie Lee, LOCASH, RaeLynn, Runaway June, Dylan Scott and Cole Swindell.

Launched in 2015, Country LakeShake takes place amidst the backdrop of the Chicago skyline. Three-day and single-day passes are available now at

Chris Stapleton Earns Triple Platinum Album Honors

Chris Stapleton just earned new album sales honors, including a triple Platinum certification for his 2015 debut solo album, Traveller. The album ranks in the Top 5 this week on the Nielsen Soundscan Country Albums chart.

Additionally, Stapleton’s two 2017 albums have earned sales honors, with From A Room: Vol. 1 earning RIAA Platinum certification, and From A Room: Vol. 2 earning RIAA Gold certification.

The certifications are the latest accolades for Stapleton, who recently earned Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year (From A Room: Vol. 1 as both artist and producer) at the ACM Awards, as well as Best Country Album (From A Room: Vol. 1), Best Country Song (“Broken Halos”), and Best Country Solo Performance (“Either Way”) at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

In celebration of From A Room: Vol. 1 and From A Room: Vol. 2, Stapleton will hit the road again this year as part of the expansive “Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show” tour. Dates include New York’s Madison Square Garden, Los Angeles’ The Forum and Chicago’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre among many others. Produced by Live Nation, the tour will feature Marty Stuart and Brent Cobb as special guests.

Moreover, Stapleton is featured on Justin Timberlake’s new song, “Say Something.” The music video—which was filmed in a single shot at L.A.’s historic Bradbury Building—has been viewed over 173 million times.

Chris Lane Surprised With Gold Plaque For “Take Back Home Girl”

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Chris Lane was surprised with a Gold plaque commemorating 500,000 sales and streams of his current single “Take Back Home Girl” featuring Tori Kelly just moments after his Stagecoach debut. The track has been certified Gold in both the U.S. and Canada by the RIAA, while garnering 100 million combined streams and ascending into the Top 15 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off album number two than with a Gold single. The response on ‘Take Back Home Girl’ has been the biggest of my career and I’m so excited to share this moment with my team,” says Lane. “I definitely want to shout out to Tori Kelly, she’s an amazing singer and the perfect fit for this song. Having her be part of it makes it even more special.”

Already riding a hot streak for summer 2018, Lane has also scored his first-ever Radio Disney Music Awards nomination, as “Take Back Home Girl” vies for Play It Again! – Radio Disney Country Favorite Song.

Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Zach Williams Added To K-Love Fan Awards

The K-LOVE Fan Awards have added more performers for its sixth annual event, including Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong Worship, Matt Maher, Tauren Wells featuring Natalie Grant, We Are Messengers featuring Social Club Misfits and Zach Williams.

Additionally, Danny Gokey, Mike Donehey (Tenth Avenue North), Natalie Grant and Plumb have been added as presenters. The fan-voted awards show will take place May 27 at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, and will be hosted by Matthew West and Mandisa.

Steven Curtis Chapman is set to host Saturday’s Songwriters Showcase. The popular Run for Love 5K to benefit Hands & Feet Project will return giving weekenders the opportunity to serve the orphaned and abandoned in Haiti.

Marking the show’s first appearance on television, TBN will broadcast the 2018 K-LOVE Fan Awards on Thursday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET to its audience of more than 100 million households, with most markets experiencing the show in HD. Coca-Cola Consolidated will again sponsor the awards show, marking the third consecutive year for the partnership.

Weekly Register: Jason Aldean’s ‘Rearview Town’ Spends Second Week At No. 1

Jason Aldean‘s Rearview Town continues to top the Nielsen Soundscan Country Albums rankings for a second week (and lands at No. 5 on the overall albums chart), following the album’s debut at the pinnacle of the Top 200 albums chart last week. The reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year’s album moved 38K (total consumption) this week.

At No. 2 is Brothers Osborne‘s Port Saint Joe, which debuts at No. 2 with 22K. Kane Brown‘s self-titled album is at No. 3 this week, with 17.9K in total consumption. Thomas Rhett‘s Life Changes is at No. 3 with 13K. Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller rounds out the Top 5 with 12.9K.

On the digital country sales rankings, the new Sugarland/Taylor Swift collaboration “Babe” debuts atop the chart, with 38K in sales. Aldean’s “You Make It Easy” follows at No. 2, with 21.8K.

Kane Brown‘s “Heaven” is at No. 3 with 18K. Kenny Chesney‘s new single “Get Along,” which he debuted at the recent Academy of Country Music Awards, is at No. 4 with 15.3K. Carrie Underwood‘s “Cry Pretty,” which she also debuted on the recent ACM Awards, is at No. 5 with 15K.

Guitar Maker Gibson Brands Files for Bankruptcy

Nashville-based Gibson Brands filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday (May 1), citing sharply diminishing sales and continued struggles with its debt load after a series of acquisitions. The 124-year-old company known as the maker of the legendary Les Paul electric guitar, filed for chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Gibson Brands has more than $500 million in loans due within the next six months. According to a statement from Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, the majority of Gibson’s creditors (69 percent) have agreed to a restructuring agreement that will allow Gibson to continue operating, as well as refocus on providing musical instruments. As part of that plan, the company will dissolve its Innovations unit, which operates largely outside the United States.

The company also said existing noteholders have agreed to provide $135 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

In addition to guitars, Gibson manufactures instruments under the Dobro, Wurlitzer and Baldwin Piano brands. The company employs nearly 900 people in its Nashville, Memphis, and Bozeman, Montana facilities.

Edison Research Releases Heavy Radio Listener Study

A new study from “The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners,” released by Edison Research, shows that one-fifth of broadcast radio’s biggest users already own a smart speaker. The report looks at the 30 percent of the American population ages 12 and over who are “Heavy Radio Listeners” – defined as those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day.

The study finds that 82 percent of heavy radio listeners have a radio in their home, which means nearly 18% of this group achieved ‘heavy’ status primarily through in-car or at-work listening.  Intriguingly, 20% of heavy radio listeners have Smart Speakers in their homes, which may allow for more at-home listening over time, but can also make it easier to use competing audio services.

In keeping with findings from past Edison research studies, radio’s best customers are heavy users of all audio – they listen heavily to broadcast radio, but do not limit themselves to it, something which has implications for future smart-speaker behavior. Nearly two-thirds listen to audio online, with large numbers choosing YouTube, Pandora, and the streams of AM and FM radio stations.  Over one-in-six heavy radio listeners say they have listened to a podcast in the last week.

“At this time of industry transition, it is vital that radio managers have high-quality research that represents the full U.S. population to use to understand their audiences.  This look at the Heavy Radio Listener from Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how Heavy Radio Listeners compare to the population at large,” said Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research.  “Readers of this report will see that the qualitative profile of Heavy Radio Listeners is very strong.  This is the kind of information that Radio managers can show to agencies and clients with confidence in the quality of the data.”

The Infinite Dial is the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  It uses ‘gold standard’ scientific telephone sampling to accurately reflect the entire U.S. population.