Sandi Spika Borchetta Elevated To Executive VP, Creative At BMLG

Sandi Spika Borchetta

Big Machine Label Group has announced Sandi Spika Borchetta has been elevated to Executive Vice President, Creative. Overseeing all visual elements across multiple imprints and brands since the company’s inception in 2005, Spika Borchetta will continue to spearhead content including film, music videos, live performances, photography, design and graphics for BMLG.

“Sandi has been a critical component of BMLG since the idea of the label”, says BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta. “Her undying support and belief in what the label could become has been my rock.” Borchetta continues, “There is nobody that works harder than Sandi and the Creative team and their content output is arguably unmatched.”

Under her leadership, BMLG has scored numerous CMA, ACM and CMT Awards for videos such as Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care” & “Humble & Kind,” Thomas Rhett’s “Die A Happy Man,” Lady A’s “What If I Never Get Over You,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” and Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing.” Additionally, the Creative team has garnered Davey Awards for BMLG Corporate Integrative Campaigns and projects such as Steven Tyler’s “Somebody From Somewhere” lyric video, Sugarland’s “Babe” music video and Cheap Trick’s BANG, ZOOM, CRAZY…HELLO album.

“Big Machine Label Group has been such a rewarding experience,” says Spika Borchetta.  “It’s been amazing to be a part of this company from day one in 2005. I feel fortunate and blessed to have worked side by side with my best friend and hero, Scott, for the past 16 years. The BMLG Creative Team is the very best on the planet and I’m grateful for their passionate talents contributing to the success of the entire machine.”

Spika Borchetta has also been inducted into the Tennessee State Museum Costume and Textile Institute recognizing design work for Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, and Kenny Rogers to name a few.

Thomas Rhett Remains At No. 1 On MusicRow Radio Chart

Thomas Rhett‘s song,” Country Again” remains No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart this week. This is Rhett’s second single this year to spend two weeks at No. 1 following “What’s Your Country Song,” which peaked in January.

The single is the title track to Rhett’s double album and appears on Side A of the release. Rhett co-wrote every song on Side A, and penned “Country Again” with Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley.

“It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve written yet and honestly just feels full circle in so many ways… it’s about the crazy journey I’ve been on over the last decade and ultimately finding my way back home,” Rhett says of the song.

Dates have been rescheduled for Rhett’s Center Point Road Tour with Cole Swindell and Gabby Barrett. The tour kicks off in Aug. 13 in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

Click here or above to view the latest edition of The MusicRow Weekly containing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart.

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Brad Paisley, Tyler Booth, Ernest

Brad Paisley

The winners here are all gentle persuaders.

Country music makers often make the mistake of believing that listeners need to be hit over the head to get them to pay attention. Defying that mindset today are the subtle and charming Brittney Spencer, Ernest, Jameson Rodgers and our Disc of the Day winner, Brad Paisley. Our Fourth of July superstar drops his “City of Music” tomorrow. Get ready to be impressed.

Our DisCovery Award winner comes to us from Sony, a busy company that accounts for four of our DisClaimer entries this week. It’s Tyler Booth with his dandy “Beautiful Outlaw.”

TYLER BOOTH / “Beautiful Outlaw”
Writers: Buddy Owens/Phil O’Donnell/Tyler Booth; Producer: Phil O’Donnell; Label: Villa 40/Sony Music Nashville
— The solid “outlaw” beat and the drawling, personality-plus vocal draw you in at once. The clever lyric does the rest of the work. I’m in.

ROSS ELLIS / “I Wish You Would”
Writers: Dan Fernandez/Michael Whitworth/Ross Ellis; Producer: Brandon Hood/Dann Huff; Label: RCA Nashville
— It’s well produced, and his pleading vocal is on the money. The song seems kinda masochistic to me.

KYLIE MORGAN / “Shoulda”
Writers: Kylie Morgan/Shane McAnally/Ben Johnson; Producer: Shane McAnally/Ben Johnson; Label: EMI
— Rocking and sexy. She has a pert, saucy vocal style. The stomping, guitar-screaming track is mixed a little too high, threatening to thoroughly overwhelm her. Tone it down.

BRAD PAISLEY / “City of Music”
Writers: Brad Paisley/Lee Thomas Miller/Ross Copperman; Producer: Ross Copperman/Luke Wooten; Label: Arista
— It’s a musical love letter to Nashville. A wonderful song, delivered by one of our greatest artists.

ERNEST / “American Rust”
Writers: Ernest/Rodney Clawson/Jordan Reynolds; Producer: Joey Moi; Label: Big Loud
— This new artist is an award-winning songwriter (as Ernest Keith Smith), having been behind hits by FGL, Sam Hunt, Morgan Wallen and Chris Lane. On disc, he is a marvelously evocative story teller. Over a shuffling beat, he softly sings of heartland America in a lyric loaded with vivid imagery. A superb debut.

RAY STEVENS / “Gas”
Writers: Barry Smith; Producer: Ray Stevens; Label: MCC/Curb
— Pun after pun after pun after pun … about farting. Goofy and maybe a little crass, but awfully clever. His legendary zaniness remains intact.

JAMESON RODGERS / “When You Think of Mississippi”
Writers: Jake Mitchell/Jameson Rodgers/Josh Miller/Smith Ahnquist; Producer: Chris Farren/Jake Mitchell; Label: River House/ Columbia
— Beautifully done. Heartfelt, wistful, dreamy and country all the way. This guy is the bomb and should be a star.

CLAY WALKER / “You Look Good”
Writers: Clay Walker/Jaron Boyer/Michael Tyler; Producer: Michael Knox/Jaron Boyer; Label: Show Dog Nashville
— She looks attractive to him no matter the setting. It’s a simple sentiment, simple production and simple performance. A little too simple. I liked his last single better. Pass.

BRITTNEY SPENCER / “Sober & Skinny”
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: BS
— Very nice. Over a gently rolling rhythm, she plaintively sings of the little failings we all have. Most especially, she relates to the imperfections in a relationship—“when you get sober, I’ll get skinny.” There is magic in her voice, an instrument of lovely nuances and beautifully turned phrases. Open the door and let her in.

TRACY LAWRENCE & EDDIE MONTGOMERY / “Price of Fame”
Writers: Tracy Lawrence/Brad Arnold/Rick Huckaby; Producer: Tracy Lawrence/Flip Anderson; Label: TL
— These two veterans sound completely authentic on this rolling anthem about the cost of living your life on the country-music highway. Produced with clarity and sung with finesse.

BRELAND & KEITH URBAN / “Throw It Back”
Writers: Daniel Breland/Keith Urban/Sam Sumser/Sean Small; Producer: Sam Sumser/Sean Small; Label: Bad Realm/Atlantic
— It’s a thumpy, banjo-laced banger that combines Urban’s soaring tenor with Breland’s droll, dry, quasi-rapped electronically-processed baritone. It’s quite repetitive, but that’s the way pop and hip-hop are, right?

NOAH SCHNACKY & JIMMIE ALLEN / “Don’t You Wanna Know”
Writers: Noah Schnacky/Joshua Wade Dorr/Dylan Guthro; Producer: Dylan Guthro; Label: Big Machine
— Noah brings youthful verve to this, and Jimmie rides along gamely. Electronic burbles of sound, synth beats and a murky hip-hop vibe are all deployed. But the whole thing sounds aimless and vague. I think the gist of the “song” is talking a city girl into loving a country boy, but beyond that, I find no real point to it.

2021 CMT Music Awards Highlights: Winners, Performances, Collaborations

Carrie Underwood wins Video of the Year at the 2021 CMT Music Awards.

Last night (June 9) the 2021 CMT Music Awards were held live at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, the show included its traditional array of awards and an impressive lineup of performers and collaborations.

After winning the award for Video of the Year, the biggest honor of the night, Carrie Underwood maintained her position of most decorated artist in CMT Music Awards history with a whopping 23 career wins. Curb Records recording artist Dylan Scott won Breakthrough Video Of The Year for his music video for “Nobody,” his first CMT Award.

Hosts Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown

Hosts Brown and Ballerini both walked away with CMT trophies, Ballerini for her her performance of “The Other Girl” at the 2020 CMT Music Awards with Halsey. Brown took home Male Video Of The Year for “Worship You,” as well as Collaborative Video Of The Year with Chris Young for “Famous Friends.” For a full list of winners, click here.

The CMT Equal Play Award was presented to Linda Martell. The trailblazer was honored with a reel of her story and role in music history as the first Black female solo country artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage along with a slew of her additional career achievements.

Chris Stapleton and H.E.R. perform “Hold On” at the 2021 CMT Music Awards.

Among the performers who took the stage last night were impressive collaborations like country crooner Chris Stapleton and soulful singer H.E.R.’s jaw dropping rendition of “Hold On;” Underwood and Needtobreathe delivering their recent track “I Wanna Remember;” Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, and Jack Ingram teaming up to perform a stripped down version of “Tequila Does;” and Ballerini with Paul Klein (LANY) debuting their brand new song “I Quit Drinking.”

Lady A, Carly Pearce, Lindsay Ell, and a full spread of female band members opened up the show with their powerhouse anthem “Lady” while Mickey Guyton, Breland, and Gladys Knight joined forces for a medley of “Cross Country” and The Temptations 1970 song “Friendship Train.”

Ingrid Andress performs “Lady Like” at the 2021 CMT Music Awards.

Ingrid Andress performed her hit song “Lady Like,” and also lended her vocals on “Like That” with JP Saxe; Lauren Alaina and Jon Pardi took the stage to perform “Getting Over Him;” Brothers Osborne and Dierks Bentley sang “Lighten Up” from the Bonaroo Farm; and Brown and Chris Young closed out the night with “Famous Friends.” Luke Combs (“Cold As You”), Luke Bryan (“Down To One”), and Thomas Rhett (“Country Again”) also gave solo performances throughout the night.

2021 CMT Music Awards Winners List

The 2021 CMT Music Awards aired live from Nashville on Wednesday night (June 9). Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini served as hosts.

Carrie Underwood and John Legend were awarded the night’s top honor of Video Of The Year for “Hallelujah.”

Little Big Town took home Group/Duo Video Of The Year for their lively “Wine, Beer, Whiskey.” Chris Young and host Brown won Collaborative Video Of The Year for their charming “Famous Friends,” and Brown also took home Male Video Of The Year for “Worship You.”

Brown’s co-host Ballerini won  CMT Performance Of The Year for her performance of “The Other Girl” at the 2020 CMT Music Awards with Halsey.

Dylan Scott was presented the Breakthrough Video Of The Year for “Nobody,” his first-ever award.

Gabby Barrett, who announced she would not attend the CMT Music Awards due to “personal circumstances” days before the event, won Female Video Of The Year for “The Good Ones.”

For a full recap of the 2021 CMT Music Awards including performances and special collaborations, click here.

The 2021 CMT Music Awards winners are highlighted below:

Video Of The Year
Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration)

  • Carrie Underwood with John Legend – “Hallelujah” – WINNER
  • Kane Brown – “Worldwide Beautiful”
  • Keith Urban with P!nk – “One Too Many”
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “hole in the bottle”

Female Video Of The Year
Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist

  • Carly Pearce – “Next Girl”
  • Gabby Barrett – “The Good Ones” – WINNER
  • Kelsea Ballerini – “hole in the bottle”
  • Maren Morris – “To Hell & Back”
  • Mickey Guyton – “Heaven Down Here”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Settling Down”

Male Video Of The Year
Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist

  • Chris Stapleton – “Starting Over”
  • Darius Rucker – “Beers and Sunshine”
  • Kane Brown – “Worship You” – WINNER
  • Luke Bryan – “Down To One”
  • Luke Combs – “Lovin’ On You”
  • Thomas Rhett – “What’s Your Country Song”

Duo/Group Video Of The Year
Best video by a duo or group; awarded to the artists

  • Brothers Osborne – “All Night”
  • Lady A – “Like A Lady”
  • Little Big Town – “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” – WINNER
  • Old Dominion – “Never Be Sorry”
  • Parmalee and Blanco Brown – “Just The Way”
  • Runaway June – “We Were Rich”

Breakthrough Video Of The Year
Best video from an artist’s major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female or group/duo)

  • Dylan Scott – “Nobody” – WINNER
  • Hailey Whitters feat. Little Big Town – “Fillin’ My Cup”
  • HARDY – “Give Heaven Some Hell”
  • Lainey Wilson – “Things a Man Oughta Know”
  • Mickey Guyton – “Black Like Me”
  • Niko Moon – “GOOD TIME (Ride Along Video)”

Collaborative Video Of The Year
Best video from a collaboration; awarded to the artists

  • Carrie Underwood with John Legend – “Hallelujah”
  • Chris Young and Kane Brown – “Famous Friends” – WINNER
  • Elle King and Miranda Lambert – “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”
  • Keith Urban with P!nk – “One Too Many”
  • Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris – “Chasing After You”
  • Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard – “Undivided”

CMT Performance Of The Year
Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)

  • From the 2020 CMT Music Awards – Brooks & Dunn and Luke Combs “1, 2 Many”
  • From the 2020 CMT Music Awards – Dan + Shay “I Should Probably Go To Bed”
  • From the 2020 CMT Music Awards – Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus “This Is Us”
  • From the 2020 CMT Music Awards – Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey “The Other Girl” – WINNER
  • From the 2020 CMT Music Awards – Little Big Town “Wine, Beer, Whiskey”
  • From CMT Crossroads – Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price “Twinkle Twinkle”

Sam Williams Signs To UMG Nashville

Pictured (L-R): Missi Gallimore (Owner & CEO, T.R.U.T.H. Management), Sam Williams, Cindy Mabe (President, UMG Nashville), Mike Dungan (Chairman & CEO, UMG Nashville)

Universal Music Group Nashville has signed singer-songwriter Sam Williams.

Williams, the grandson of country music pioneer Hank Williams and the son of outlaw legend Hank Jr., sings and writes in his own style, fusing gut-wrenching honesty and plainspoken poetics with raw vulnerability and empathy.

“We are so proud and excited that Sam Williams is joining Universal Music Group,” says President of UMG Nashville Cindy Mabe. “His powerful, soulful vocals combine with his introspective storytelling to fully immerse you into Sam’s own life making you feel everything he feels. He’s such a special talent and I believe Sam’s music will help lead country music into its next evolution.”

Williams is set to release his debut album, Glasshouse Children, later this summer. Early releases from the project include “Shuteye,” “Can’t Fool Your Own Blood,” “The World: Alone,” and most recently “10-4,” which have all garnered critical acclaim. Williams also made his national television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in April of this year where he performed “Can’t Fool You Own Blood.”

Hunter Phelps Makes Top 10 On MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart

Hunter Phelps moves up several spots to No. 9 this week on the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart.

He is a co-writer on “Cold Beer Calling My Name” (Jameson Rodgers feat. Luke Combs), “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” (Chase Rice feat. Florida Georgia Line), “Give Heaven Some Hell” (HARDY), “That Ain’t Me No More” (Matt Stell), and “Thinking ‘Bout You” (Dustin Lynch feat. Lauren Alaina).

Corey Crowder, who has co-writer credits on “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.,” “Famous Friends” (Chris Young + Kane Brown), and “Minimum Wage” (Blake Shelton), maintains his spot at No. 1 again this week.

The weekly MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart uses algorithms based upon song activity according to airplay, digital download track sales and streams. This unique and exclusive addition to the MusicRow portfolio is the only songwriter chart of its kind.

Click here to view the full MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart.

Weekly Register: Dierks Bentley Cracks Top 5 On Country Songs Chart

Dierks Bentley. Photo: Jim Wright

Capitol Nashville’s Dierks Bentley has cracked the top five on this week’s top country songs chart and takes the fifth spot with his current radio single “Gone” at 5.7 million streams and 78 million RTD, according to Nielsen.

Luke Combs takes the No. 1 spot on the country song chart for a third consecutive week with “Forever After All” earning 9.8 million streams this week. Gabby Barrett (“The Good Ones”), Eric Church (“Hell Of A View”), and Nelly & FGL (“Lil Bit”) maintain the second, third, and fourth spot this week with 6.9 million, 6.7 million, and 6.4 million streams, respectively.

Morgan Wallen continues his residency at No. 1 on the country albums chart with Dangerous: The Double Album earning 52K streams this week. His 2018 debut album, If I Know Me, also climbs to No. 4 with 16K streams, according to Nielsen. Combs takes up two spots again this week with What You See Is What You Get (29K) and his 2017 debut album This One’s For You (18K). Rounding out the top five, Blackberry Smoke takes over the fifth position with their new album You Hear Georgia receiving 13K streams.

Sony Music Publishing Nashville, Jimmie Allen Partner To Sign Tate Howell

Pictured (L-R): Anna Weisband, Jimmie Allen, Tate Howell, Rusty Gaston

Sony Music Publishing Nashville and Jimmie Allen’s Bettie James Music Publishing have entered a partnership to sign rising songwriter Tate Howell. Howell is the first songwriter to sign with Allen’s newly launched publishing company.

Howell gained prominence as a songwriter and musician through his work as one of Allen’s co-writers and his bass player. He also worked with Allen on his critically acclaimed, star-studded EP Bettie James, including co-writing the powerful hit “Why Things Happen,” featuring the late Hall of Famer Charley Pride and award-winning hitmaker Darius Rucker.

“From the first time I met Tate, he showed me he was motivated and willing to work. Not only is he one of my best friends, but he is also one of the hardest working and kindest people I know,” says Allen. “I feel like when a person comes along as talented as Tate, it’s easy to want to build a business around him. I’m honored to have him as the first signing to Bettie James Music Publishing, and I look forward to watching his career grow as a songwriter.”

“It’s truly surreal to get to work with such a distinct and historic company like Sony Music Publishing! I am so grateful for Anna Weisband and my team over at Sony, my road boss Mr. Jimmie Allen, and my manager Melissa Spillman for working so hard to help me make music and live out my dreams! Here’s to making so much more together,” shares Howell.

Adds Weisband, Sony Music Publishing Nashville VP, Creative, “I have been impressed by Tate’s songwriting from the very first song Jimmie ever played for me. His work ethic, talent, and drive are unstoppable and inspiring! Couldn’t be more excited to welcome Tate to the Sony Music Publishing family.”

Thomas Rhett Soars To No. 1 On MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart

In just eight weeks since its release, “Country Again” by Thomas Rhett claims the No. 1 position on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart. The single is the title track to Rhett’s double album and appears on Side A of the release. Rhett co-wrote every song on Side A, and penned “Country Again” with Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley.

“It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve written yet and honestly just feels full circle in so many ways… it’s about the crazy journey I’ve been on over the last decade and ultimately finding my way back home,” Rhett says of the song.

Dates have been rescheduled for Rhett’s Center Point Road Tour with Cole Swindell and Gabby Barrett. The tour kicks off in Aug. 13 in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

Click here or above to view the latest edition of The MusicRow Weekly containing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart.