George Strait Receives Bob Hope Award

George Strait Receives the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment. Pictured (L-R): Major Drew Dix, Sgt. Leroy Petry and George Strait. Photo: Ryan Johnson for the Medal of Honor Society.

George Strait was recognized last Friday, Oct. 25, at the Medal of Honor Convention’s Patriot Award Gala with the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment, which honors entertainers who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the U.S. military through film, literature or music.

The Bob Hope Award was established in 2003 by President George W. Bush, in commemoration of Hope’s 100th birthday. Past recipients of the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment include Tom Selleck, Jon Voight, Trace Adkins, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Oak Ridge Boys, and more.

Strait’s ninth annual Vaqueros del Mar golf tournament and benefit concert, which Strait hosted alongside friend and businessman Tom Cusick from Oct. 20-23 at the Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort in Boerne, Texas, raised $2.2 million for the Feherty’s Troops First Foundation which benefits wounded military service men and women. In addition to Strait, performers during the event included Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers and Sailor Jerry.

Strait’s Vaqueros del Mar Golf Tournament Raised Over $2.2 Million for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation. Pictured (L-R): Tom Cusick, David Feherty, Srgt. Major Tom Capel, Ed Garahan, George Strait. Photo: Terry Calong

Cole Swindell Celebrates Ninth Career No. 1

Pictured (L-R): Shane Tarleton (SVP, Artist Development); Matt Signore (COO); John Esposito (Chairman & CEO); Cris Lacy (EVP, A&R); Cole Swindell; Ben Kline (EVP/GM); Tom Martens (VP Radio & Streaming); Justin Luffman (VP Artist Development); Chad Schultz (VP Radio Marketing).

Cole Swindell earned his ninth career No. 1 single this week with “Love You Too Late.” He joined his Warner Music Nashville label family yesterday (Oct. 28) to celebrate the occasion.

In the five years since he released his debut record, 2014’s Cole Swindell, he has earned several No. 1 hits. “Love You Too Late” can be added to a string of chart-toppers such as “Middle of a Memory,” “You Should Be Here,” “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey,” and “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.”

He’s also released five Down Home Sessions EPs.

‘CMT Artists of the Year’ Sees Growth Among Younger Viewers

Following the live airing of the music special CMT Artists of the Year on Oct. 16, the show saw a 108% year-over-year growth among younger viewers, age 18-34 (live + same day).

Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett were honored as 2019’s CMT Artists of the Year, while Ashley McBryde was celebrated as Breakout Artist of the Year and Reba McEntire feted as Artist of a Lifetime.

Certain songs featured during the 90-minute special saw an uptick in sales and streaming. Chris Young‘s “Drowning” saw an increase of 103% in sales and a 24% uptick in streaming; Young dedicated his performance of the song that evening to Kane Brown’s drummer Kenny Dixon, who passed away in a car crash just days before the CMT Artists of the Year show aired.

McEntire’s “Is There Life Out There,” which Lady Antebellum performed during the show, saw a 50% uptick in sales following the show’s airing, and an 18% increase in streaming. McEntire’s “Fancy,” which Sam Hunt performed during the show, saw a streaming increase of 9%. McBryde performed her new single “One Night Standards,” earning a 9% increase in sales and a 14% increase in streaming. Fellow honoree Underwood saw sales of her hit “Blown Away” increase 31% and “Two Black Cadillacs” increase 15% (streams for “Cadillac” increased by 4%); Underwood performed a medley of both songs via livestream from a tour stop in Cleveland, Ohio, on her Cry Pretty Tour 360 that evening.

CMT Artists of the Year was also the No. 1 most social show on cable that evening (excluding sports and news), with year-over-year growth of 277% in social video views, as well as 301% growth in social engagements.

“We are thrilled this year’s celebration connected with our audience across all mediums and proud it generated the most social views and engagements on CMT channels in tentpole history!” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music Strategy & Talent at CMT. “It truly shows country music transcending age and screens, and how the healing power of music and resilience in our community continues to resonate with all.”

New Short Film From Apple Music To Take Viewers Inside Miranda Lambert’s ‘Wildcard’

Shortly following the release of Miranda Lambert‘s upcoming seventh studio album Wildcard on Nov. 1, Apple Music will take music fans behind the making of the album. On Nov. 4, Apple Music will release an original short film Behind Miranda Lambert’s Wildcard. The film will include commentary from the album’s producer Jay Joyce, as well as co-writers Natalie Hemby, Ashley Monroe, Luke Dick, and The Love Junkies (comprised of hit writers Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey).

See the film’s trailer below:

Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn, Dan+Shay, More Set For CMA Awards

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards has announced more superstar pairings for the upcoming show, including performances and collaborations by Garth Brooks with Blake SheltonBrooks & Dunn with Brothers OsborneDan + ShayKelsea Ballerini, Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson, Lady Antebellum and Halsey, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett.

Country Music’s Biggest Night, hosted by Carrie Underwood with special guest hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, will air live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8/7c on ABC.

Previously announced performers include Eric Church, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntireMaren Morris, Dolly Parton with for KING & COUNTRY and Zach Williams, P!NK and Chris StapletonCarrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Additional performers and presenters will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Reba McEntire To Launch Lifestyle Podcast With Spotify

Reba McEntire has teamed with Spotify to lead a new lifestyle podcast, set to launch in early 2020. The podcast will focus on welcoming guests to share stories of their struggles and triumphs.

“I am so excited to be partnering with Spotify on my new podcast and I’m even more excited to be connecting with my fans in a way I haven’t done before,” says Reba. “I’m looking forward to sharing some of what I’ve learned from my own life challenges and hopefully learning more along the way. Spotify is the perfect platform to share this journey with my fans, old and new!”

“We are so honored that one of country music’s most beloved stars, Reba McEntire, has chosen to launch her podcast exclusively on Spotify next year,” says Brittany Schaffer, Head of Artist & Label Marketing for Spotify Nashville. “We are all longtime fans of Reba’s extraordinary music, her career, and her razor sharp insights, and are certain that fans will absolutely love hearing a strong female icon like Reba share her advice and personal thoughts on all!”

The podcast is the latest of several recently-released exclusive Spotify podcasts, such as the 10-episode Set It Straight with Midland podcast and others from Kevin Bacon and Bill Simmons.

On Nov. 13, Reba will co-host the 53rd annual CMA Awards alongside Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton.

Sturgill Simpson Teams With Tyler Childers For 2020 Tour

Sturgill Simpson will hit the road with Tyler Childers in 2020 on his Sturgill Simpson: A Good Look’n Tour, with 37 shows beginning on Feb. 21 at Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama. The tour will include a show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on May 22.

Simpson’s team teased the new tour in a decidedly old-school way–by putting up posters touting upcoming shows in various cities, including a poster hung near Cobra in East Nashville that touted the May 22 Nashville show. On Sunday (Oct. 27), the Instagram account, @wherethef–kissturgillsimpson posted an image with a wall filled with posters advertising 37 shows on the tour.

Simpson produced Childers’ latest album, Country Squire, as well as his previous album Purgatory. Simpson released his newest album, Sound & Fury, on Sept. 27, and accompanied the album with an anime film.

“We are a live band. Everyone knows we are a live band. Steal the record or give it away, just come to the shows,” Simpson said via a release. “For free tickets send a message to Tyler’s Instagram.”

Sturgill Simpson: A Good Look’n Tour 2020
*Not part of the AMEX presale
Date City Venue
Friday, February 21, 2020- Birmingham, AL Legacy Arena at the BJCC
Saturday, February 22, 2020- Asheville, NC US Cellular Center
Tuesday, February 25, 2020- Knoxville, TN Knoxville Civic Coliseum
Friday, February 28, 2020- Lexington, KY Rupp Arena
Saturday, February 29, 2020 -Detroit, MI Masonic Temple Theatre
Wednesday, March 4, 2020- Pittsburgh, PA Petersen Events Center
Friday, March 6, 2020 -Charlotte, NC Spectrum Center
Saturday, March 7, 2020- Duluth, GA Infinite Energy Center
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 -North Charleston, SC North Charleston Coliseum
Friday, March 13, 2020- Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
Saturday, March 14, 2020 -Philadelphia, PA The Met Philadelphia*
Sunday, March 15, 2020- Washington, DC Anthem
Monday, March 16, 2020- Washington, DC Anthem
Wednesday, March 18, 2020- Toronto, ON Coca-Cola Coliseum
Friday, March 20, 2020- Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Saturday, March 21, 2020- St. Louis, MO Chaifetz Arena
Sunday, March 22, 2020- Southaven, MS Landers Center
Friday, March 27, 2020- Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Saturday, March 28, 2020- Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
Sunday, March 29, 2020- Sugarland, TX Smart Financial Centre
Wednesday, April 1, 2020- Independence, MO Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Friday, April 3, 2020- Chicago, IL United Center
Saturday, April 4, 2020- Minneapolis, MN Armory
Thursday, April 9, 2020- Omaha, NE Baxter Arena
Friday, April 10, 2020- Madison, WI Alliant Energy Center
Thursday, April 23, 2020- Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Saturday, April 25, 2020- Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Tuesday, April 28, 2020- Salt Lake City, UT Maverik Center
Wednesday, April 29, 2020- Missoula, MT Adams Center
Friday, May 1, 2020- Portland, OR Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Saturday, May 2, 2020- George, WA Gorge Amphitheatre*
Tuesday, May 5, 2020- San Francisco, CA Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Friday, May 8, 2020- Inglewood, CA The Forum
Friday, May 15, 2020 -Boston, MA TD Garden
Saturday, May 16, 2020- New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Friday, May 22, 2020- Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Sunday, May 24, 2020- Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center

Erin Enderlin To Celebrate ‘Faulkner County’ Album Release With Nashville Appearances

Erin Enderlin will unveil her first new full-length album since 2017 with the release of Faulkner County this Friday, Nov. 1. She’ll celebrate the album release Nov. 1 in Nashville with an album signing and acoustic performance at The Ernest Tubb Record Shop from 3:30-5:00 p.m., as well as a performance at The Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman for both the 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. shows. Enderlin will also play another Nashville show at the Bluebird prior to the album release on Oct. 30.

Produced by Jim “Moose” Brown and Jamey Johnson, the 14-track LP features a stellar supporting cast including Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Terri Clark, Cody Jinks, Dillon Carmichael, and others offering harmonies on the vivid collection.

Enderlin has had a busy Fall defined by career firsts and incredible momentum. After sold-out shows in her first-ever UK tour, she returned to Nashville to showcase at Americanafest. She’ll close out 2019 having played more than 100 shows, and her success as a writer continues, as musical heroes turned to her for songs. Reba McEntire, Terri Clark, Rodney Crowell, Rhonda Vincent and more all recorded Enderlin-penned gems in 2019.

Eleven Seven Music Group Rebrands As Better Noise Music

Eleven Seven Label Group is rebranding as Better Noise Music.

“Better Noise is more than just a music company,” says Better Noise COO Steve Kline. “We are a content company that creates books, films, documentaries, theatrical productions, tours, and television, that provide opportunities to reach audiences in unique and impactful ways. We’re more than a record label, we develop and nurture artists and bands.”

The company’s new global signings include Five Finger Death Punch, AWOLNATION and Mongolian rock sensations, The HU. These bands join a roster that includes: Mötley Crüe, Papa Roach, Dirty Heads, Bad Wolves, Fire from the Gods, Nothing More, Escape the Fate, Sixx: A.M. and HELLYEAH. The roster dominated the Mediabase Active Rock radio market with a 20% share.

Last year, the company launched its first country rock act in Cory Marks, who is set to tour with Gordon Bamford in Spring 2020. Additional new signings from Better Noise International include Bang Bang Romeo (U.K.), Juno-nominated Bleeker (Canada) and Atlas Genius (Australia).

Partnering with FUGA, AMPED and Membran, the company operates a global marketing and distribution platform, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Toronto and Sydney.

UMPG Nashville Inks Deal With Justin Ebach

Pictured (L-R): Terry Wakefield, Cyndi Forman, Zach Lund, Missy Roberts, Justin Ebach, Troy Tomlinson, Ron Stuve, Travis Gordon. Photo: UMPG Nashville

Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville has entered into a global publishing agreement with award-winning songwriter Justin Ebach.

Ebach, who was named SESAC’s 2017 Songwriter of the Year, has earned four No. 1 songs including “Good Girl” by Dustin Lynch, “Here Tonight” and “Sleep Without You” by Brett Young, and “Singles You Up” by Jordan Davis. Other artists including Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Dan + Shay, Jimmie Allen, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Maddie & Tae have also recorded his songs.

Missy Roberts, Senior Creative Director at UMPG Nashville said, “Ebach has quickly become one of Nashville’s premiere multi-genre writer-producers. His work ethic and drive are second to none. We could not be more honored that he chose to bring his immense talents to UMPG.”

Ebach added, “I am extremely excited about this new partnership with UMPG. Missy Roberts has been someone I’ve admired as a publisher for many years. Troy Tomlinson taking over leadership really confirmed that UMPG is where I want to be in this new creative season.”