Exclusive: Concord Music Publishing Signs Donovan Woods

Donovan Woods

Concord Music Publishing has signed Donovan Woods to its writer roster. The new publishing agreement covers all future works, in addition to several songs from his latest project, Without People, which released Nov. 6, including singles “Seeing Other People” and “We Used To.”

The Ontario native has had his songs recorded by Tim McGraw (“Portland, Maine”) and Charles Kelley (“Leaving Nashville”), and as an artist, his catalog has earned more than 200 million streams to date.

“I’ve known Brad for a long while now, he was an early supporter when I arrived in Nashville, so I’m thrilled to get the chance to work closely with him and his squad,” said Woods. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about the team, so I’m very happy to get started and be a part of the excitement.”

“Donovan is a poet and a true craftsman. He has an uncanny ability to write songs that invariably make the listener feel he wrote it about their own life,” said Brad Kennard, Sr. VP, A&R at Concord Music Publishing in Nashville. “For years now, I’ve loved his artistry and have had so much respect for his songwriting. It’s a thrill to finally get the opportunity to work with him.”

Woods is managed by Michelle Szeto at Paquin Entertainment and represented by Paradigm Talent Agency (US), Paquin Artists Agency (Canada), The Orchard, WMA Agency and Shore Fire Media.

Woods’ new project features co-writes with Tucker Beathard, Ashley Monroe, Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson, Katie Pruitt and fellow Concord writer Thomas Finchum. Woods also recently launched the Donovan Woods With People project, which aims to support marginalized communities via collaborations with independent creators in an array of art mediums, to create visual interpretations for each song on Woods’ new album. His video for “We Used To” was created by Brooklyn-based artist and songwriter Ariana and the Rose as part of the project.

Eric Church, Maren Morris, Luke Combs Lead CMA Awards Winners

Maren Morris. Courtesy ABC

The 54th Annual CMA Awards were celebrated in Nashville tonight, airing live on ABC, and co-hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker.

Eric Church took home his first Entertainer of the Year honor, while Maren Morris earned three trophies, for Female Vocalist of the Year, as well as Single and Song of the Year, for “The Bones.”

Luke Combs earned his second Male Vocalist of the Year honor, and picked up his first Album of the Year honor, for What You See Is What You Get. Meanwhile Morgan Wallen earned New Artist of the Year.

Jimmie Allen honored Charley Pride with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jimmie Allen and Charley Pride. Photo: Courtesy ABC

A full list of honorees is below:

CMA Awards Nominees (winners in RED):

Entertainer of the Year
Eric Church–WINNER
Miranda Lambert
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Luke Combs

Female Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris–WINNER
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year
Eric Church
Luke Combs–WINNER
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion–WINNER
Rascal Flatts

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay–WINNER
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

New Artist of the Year
Jimmie Allen
Ingrid Andress
Gabby Barrett
Morgan Wallen–WINNER
Carly Pearce

Album of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s) and Producer(s))
Jon Pardi, Heartache Medication (Producers: Bart Butler, Ryan Gore, Jon Pardi)
Ashley McBryde, Never Will (Producers: Jay Joyce, John Peets)
Old Dominion, Old Dominion (Producers: Shane McAnally, Old Dominion)
Miranda Lambert, Wildcard (Producer: Jay Joyce)
Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get (Producer: Scott Moffatt)–WINNER

Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriters)
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Songwriters: Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris (Songwriters: Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz)–WINNER
“Even Though I’m Leaving,” Luke Combs (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt Durrette, Ray Fulcher)
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Randy Montana, Carly Pearce, Jonathan Singleton)
“More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress (Songwriters: Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis, Derek Southerland)

Single of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s))
“I Hope,” Gabby Barrett (Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale; Mix Engineer: Buckley Miller)
“Beer Never Broke My Heart,” Luke Combs (Producer: Scott Moffatt; Mix Engineer: Jim Cooley)
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber (Producer: Dan Smyers; Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano)
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hull, Jay Joyce)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris (Producer: Greg Kurstin; Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin)–WINNER

Musical Event of the Year
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber (Producer: Dan Smyers)
“Be a Light,” Thomas Rhett with Reba McEntire, Lady A, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban (Producer: Dann Huff)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris feat. Hozier (Producer: Greg Kurstin)
“Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” Miranda Lambert with Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack and Elle King (Producer: Jay Joyce)
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Producer: Busbee) — WINNER

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to Artist(s) and Director(s))
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber (Director: Patrick Tracy)
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Director: Trey Fanjoy) — WINNER
“Homemade,” Jake Owen (Director: Justin Clough)
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Director: Sam Siske)
“Second One to Know,” Chris Stapleton (Director: David Coleman)

Musician of the Year
Jenee Fleenor (Fiddle)–WINNER
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Rob McNelley (Guitar)
Ilya Toshinsky (Guitar)
Derek Wells (Guitar)


Luke Combs. Courtesy ABC

Morgan Wallen. Courtesy ABC

Lady A Cancels CMA Awards Appearances Following COVID-19 Exposure

Lady A has announced they will not be taking part in the CMA Awards this evening (Nov. 11), due to COVID-19 exposure.

“Sadly, one of our immediate family members has just tested positive for COVID-19 this week,” Lady A stated via Instagram and Twitter.  “So far, the three of us continue to test negative, and out of caution and love for everyone involved with the CMAs, we’ve decided to stay home from the awards tonight. We’re bummed that we won’t be able to perform with Darius Rucker and Thomas Rhett, but luckily Charles already taped his performance with Carly Pearce so you will still be seeing him take the stage! We’ll be cheering on our friends at home like the rest of y’all! Stay safe out there.”

Lady A’s Charles Kelley previously taped a performance of “I Hope You’re Happy Now” with Carly Pearce, stepping in for Lee Brice, Pearce’s duet partner on the recorded version of the song, after Brice canceled his CMA appearance earlier this week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lady A was set to perform with Darius Rucker on Rucker’s single “Beers & Sunshine,” while Lady A’s Hillary Scott was set to join Thomas Rhett for a performance of “Be A Light,” alongside Reba McEntire and Chris Tomlin.

Along with Brice, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard also revealed earlier this week that he would not be appearing on the CMA telecast due to a positive COVID-19 result.

See Lady A’s full statement below:

Joe Walsh To Welcome Jason Isbell, Vince Gill, Jewel, Willie Nelson For VetsAid Festival

Joe Walsh will welcome more than two dozen artists for his fourth annual VetsAid festival, set to be streamed online on Dec. 12 at vetsaid.veeps.com.

This year’s lineup will include Jason Isbell, Vince Gill, Tim McGraw, Amanda Shires, Blake Shelton, Jewel, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Ben Harper, Willie Nelson and the Boys, Billy Bob Thornton, Eddie Vedder and more.

“For the past three years we’ve held this glorious traveling circus in cities across the country with a day-long rock and roll festival and jobs fair to support our veterans and their families,” said Walsh.

“Typically, we fill up an arena, play for five hours, and raise a bunch of money – nearly $1.5 million to date – to help our veterans get the care and support they deserve. But because of COVID this year, we’re going virtual as so many things are,” Walsh continued. “Our veterans community already suffers from increased poverty rates, mental health issues, re-entry difficulties and personal crises in the best of times. During this pandemic they are especially vulnerable. I’m proud of this nationwide tradition we have built and I can’t think of a better way to remember and honor the men and women who have served our country this holiday season than by helping us raise funds to support their essential and basic needs. Join us online for a worldwide broadcast of unique musical performances of all kinds, never-before-seen VetsAid footage from years past and great stories from me and some of the greatest musicians in the world this Dec. 12.”

Walsh launched VetsAid on Sept. 20, 2017 with an inaugural concert at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. VetsAid typically seeks to host the events in cities across the country with large veteran populations. Previous shows have included performances by musicians including James Taylor, Chris Stapleton, Don Henley, ZZ Top, Sheryl Crow, The Doobie Brothers, Zac Brown Band, Jason Isbell, Keith Urban, Haim, Gary Clark Jr. and Joe’s brother-in-law Ringo.

Tickets on-sale to the public Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 at 12 p.m. ET.

Ryman Auditorium To Host Livestream Event To Help Music Touring Community

A free livestream festival aimed at supporting those in the live events and music touring industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is set for Dec. 16 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

The Live Events Lift Up Festival, also called LEVL Up Fest, will stream live from the Ryman beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT that evening, featuring 25 artists and entertainers spanning the genres of country, pop, Americana, and more. A lineup will be announced in coming weeks. In addition to music, the virtual attendees will hear stories from artists and crew members about the efforts it takes behind the scenes to produce live events and entertainment.

When quarantine and social distancing mandates forced live events to shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the live events industry slammed to a halt. More than 12 million jobs were lost and more than 70% of live events workers lost 100% of their income.

“We’ve seen depression and anxiety take hold across our community, loss of life due to suicide, families in fear of losing homes and generational small businesses closing their doors,” says Shannon Cook, Co-Founder of LEVL UP Fest.  “With large-scale gatherings not expected to return until mid to late 2021, workers across this industry face a very uncertain future.”

Co-Founder of LEVL UP Fest Eileen Valois said via a statement, “In times of crisis, the entertainment and events industry have always stepped up with a call to action and so many incredible events like Live Aid and Farm Aid to the more recent Global Citizen events. Behind the scenes of every one of those benefits are the millions of people in our workforce. The average concert requires nearly 500 people to make it possible, from concessions and security to tour bus drivers, technical crew and everyone in between. This is OUR crisis and now we need to take care of our own.”

Valois, who is the Senior Vice President of Sports & Fan Entertainment at leading production solutions provider PRG and Cook, who is the Chief Operating Officer for TOURtech, are joined by five additional co-founders, representing a cross-section of the events industry including entertainment and private events.

The festival will benefit MusiCares, The Roadie Clinic, and the Country Music Association Foundation (with funds donated to the CMA Foundation to be used for the CMA EDU program). The LEVL Up Fest team will also launch a merchandise store this week; East Wind Screenprint has partnered with the organization to design merch and will donate 50% of the net proceeds back to the festival.

More than 30 professionals were brought together as an “Industry Council” to provide insight throughout the planning process; as well as organizations including Roadies of Color United, Event Safety Alliance, and We Make Events. Show Makers, a 501(C)(3) organization that provides resources for people who make events, is the Philanthropic Partner to LEVL UP Fest and will facilitate all funds raised in association with the event. TOURtech, a company that provides Wi-Fi and public safety technologies for live events and among the many suppliers impacted by the shutdown of live events, has stepped up as the supporting entity of record for LEVL UP Fest. The group says they are grateful to all of the partners who are providing a myriad of production and venue services and support.

Go West Creative CEO and Chief Creative David Fischette will executive produce the event, while Keith Levenson (conductor/composer for The Who since 1994 and co-founder of Fustercluck Music) will serve as music supervisor.

Tim McGraw Goes ‘Beyond The Influence’ On New Apple Music Radio Show

Tim McGraw is hosting a brand new radio show, Beyond The Influence Radio, coming to Apple Music Country. The show will debut tomorrow, (Nov. 12) at 4 p.m. CT and every other Wednesday at 5 p.m. CT.

He’ll chat with a variety of guests on the new bi-weekly show, include Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, Lori McKenna, Joe Walsh, Dolly Parton, and more. With each new episode, McGraw aims to deepen the understanding of how people, music, or moments have influenced us on a human level, and explores the idea through his own journey as well as with some of the most influential people in their craft.

“For years, I’ve been the one answering all the questions,” said McGraw. “Every time I’m talking to someone they always ask, ‘What was the influence behind that song?’ or W’hat influenced you to take on that role?’ While I do love that question, it always makes me feel like there’s so much more beyond that. When I decided to do this show for Apple Music Country, I knew that I wanted to take those simple answers and dive deeper, go beyond the influence and see what we can uncover on the other side.”

Dolly Parton Sets CBS Special ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’

Dolly Parton will team with CBS for a one-hour entertainment special, A Holly Dolly Christmas, set for Sunday, Dec. 6 beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand at CBS All Access.

A Holly Dolly Christmas is produced by Sandollar Productions and NOZ Entertainment, and executive produced by Parton and Danny Nozell. The special will find Parton telling stories and performing songs from her recently-released album A Holly Dolly Christmas.

“I am so proud to be a part of the CBS family this holiday season with my new Christmas special,” said Parton.

“When Dolly Parton calls and tells you she wants to do a Christmas show, you don’t hesitate,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music & Live Events/Alternative & Reality for CBS. “A special with the multi-Grammy Award-winning, prolific songwriting, epic live performer of all time? She had us at hello. There’s only one Dolly Parton, and we are so excited to be bringing her to viewers this holiday season.”

Maren Morris Sets Brooklyn Bowl Nashville Livestream Event


Maren Morris is set to perform during tonight’s CMA Awards and is nominated in several categories, but she has at least one more performance set before the end of the year.

Morris just announced a livestream event at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl, set for Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the livestream go on sale Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. CT.

Heading into the CMA Awards, Morris is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year (for “The Bones”),  Song of the Year (“The Bones”), and was nominated for Musical Event of the Year (for “The Bones” featuring Hozier; the honor ultimately went to the Carly Pearce and Lee Brice collaboration “I Hope You’re Happy Now”).

Jordan Feliz Scores Third Career Chart-Topper With “Glorify”

Jordan Feliz has landed his third No. 1 radio hit this week with “Glorify,” which topped the Billboard Christian Hot AC/CHR National Airplay chart. The multi-format hit is the first single from his upcoming third album, Say It, set for release Dec. 18 from Centricity Music.

“Glorify” features a full Gospel choir backing Feliz’s recognizable falsetto along with a soaring praise-heavy chorus and propulsive beats, and was co-produced by Jordan Mohilowski and Colby Wedgeworth.

Feliz’s trajectory for his new album Say It was fraught with personal trials after success began to feel less like a blessing and more like a burden over the past few years. Feliz quickly became a household name when his first radio single, “The River,” the title track from his critically-acclaimed debut, became a smash. Spending an unprecedented 12 weeks at No. 1, the chart-topping single was named ASCAP’s “Christian Music Song of the Year” and garnered Feliz his first Gold certification. But he suffered his first panic attack as he and his wife, Jamie, welcomed their second child and he struggled to carry the weight of the spotlight and the livelihoods of multiple families connected to his career on his shoulders. Realigning his priorities and surrendering his anxiety to God, the hitmaker entered the studio to craft his third full-length project, Say It, with a renewed sense of identity and purpose.

“I’ve worked harder for this record than I’ve worked for almost anything in my life,” said Feliz. “With these songs, I want to encourage people to talk more about the beauty and the miracles that God does in our lives when we invite Him into our struggles…this record is all about what God has done in my life.”

Dolly Parton, Jimmie Allen, Lauren Alaina, Brett Young Set For “Television-Only” Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Event

Dolly Parton, Brett Young, Lauren Alaina, Pentatonix, and Jimmie Allen are among the celebrities set for the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is being revamped as a no-audience, television-only event. Viewers can tune in to the live broadcast of the parade on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to Noon in all time zones.

This year, the procession will forgo its traditional 2.5-mile march through Manhattan, to deter the gathering of large crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of parade participants has also been reduced by 75 percent.

Other performers slated to take part include Noah Cyrus (with Jimmie Allen), Ally Brooke, Sofia Carson, CNCO, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Ella Mai, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Leslie Odom Jr., Kele Palmer, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Sebastian Yatra, and more.

The event will include Broadway/theatrical performances including Ain’t Too Proud-The Life and Times of the Temptations, Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls and the Radio City Rockettes.