BREAKING: Department of Justice Ends ASCAP/BMI Consent Decree Review Without Action

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Anti-Trust Division head Makan Delrahim addressed today (Jan. 15) the DOJ’s review of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees, in a webinar sponsored by Vanderbilt Law School. The DOJ has ended its ASCAP and BMI consent decree review without taking action.

Delrahim said compulsory licenses “are not the answer” and that any future changes Congress may consider should allow songwriters the ability to negotiate in the free market. Delrahim—who submitted his resignation letter on Jan. 13, effective on Jan. 19.—also suggested the DOJ consider reviewing ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees every five years. He applauded ASCAP and BMI for launching their new SONGVIEW database which will allow music users/licensees to more easily find song ownership data.

The consent decrees were put in place to prevent anticompetitive behaviors and determine sensible licensing rates. The ASCAP consent decree was modified in 2001 and the BMI consent decree was modified in 1994. The decrees require ASCAP and BMI to issue licenses covering all works in their repertory upon request from music users. If the parties are unable to agree on an appropriate price for a license, the decrees provide for a “rate court” proceeding in front of a U.S. district judge. Neither decree contains a termination date.

Many publishers, songwriters and other music industry members have criticized the longstanding decrees, stating that they limit the ability of songwriters and publishers to obtain their own licensing agreements that could result in higher revenues in a free marketplace.

Read how the music industry is responding to the issue here.

A&R Executive Larry Willoughby Dies

Larry Willoughby

Loving husband, father, grandfather, singer-songwriter and former Vice President of A&R at Capitol Records, Larry Willoughby, died at the age of 70 after battling Alzheimer’s and having contracted COVID-19.

Larry was born on Feb 24th, 1950 in Houston, TX. He married his highschool sweetheart, Janet Howard Willoughby in 1969. After a few years as a firefighter, they moved to Nashville, with a passion and dream of being in the music industry and that they did. Last year they celebrated 50 years of marriage.

Larry is the former Vice President of A&R for Capitol Records Nashville, where he helped shape the careers of many country stars, among them Keith Urban, Trace Adkins, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan.


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He got his big break in the music business when he earned a spot in country singer-songwriter Guy Clark’s band. Under Clark’s guidance, Willoughby honed his own songwriting and performing skills. Soon after, he landed a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

His debut album, Building Bridges, rose to No 47 on the Billboard charts in 1984. The title track from the album reached No. 55 as a single—but 12 years later took him to new heights. In 2006, Brooks & Dunn turned “Building Bridges” into a Grammy-nominated, Top 5 single. It featured guest vocals from Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow and was nominated for Musical Event of the Year at the CMA Awards and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals at The Grammys.

Willoughby spent several years on tour after the release of his Building Bridges album, then found himself drawn to the business side of country music. He signed on as tour manager for country stars Rodney Crowell, his cousin and so-called brother, and Rosanne Cash before moving in the direction of artist development. After a stint as director of membership with ASCAP, he was recognized for his talent for listening, pitching and placement of songs by renowned producer, Tony Brown and hired as Director of A&R at MCA/Universal Records. During Willoughby’s tenure, MCA became known as the “Golden” label recognized as the industry leader throughout the 90’s with major successes of recording artists, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood, and The Mavericks.

Even with his move to Capitol as VP of A&R, he kept a hand in songwriting. His songs have been recorded by such artists as Waylon Jennings, Rodney Crowell, Eddy Raven, Big House, the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Nicolette Larson and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Larry is survived by wife, Janet; two sons, Kobalt Nashvile’s Jesse Willoughby (Bonnie) and Cody (Laurin), and two granddaughters, Livia and Lailee Willoughby.

If desired, family and friends may make memorial contributions to an incredible non-profit Alzheimer’s Care and Event center in Memphis, Tennessee, Page Robbins.

Little Big Town Extends Global Publishing Deal With Warner Chappell Music Nashville

Little Big Town

Little Big Town has extended its global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Nashville.

Members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook have topped the charts numerous times with singles like “Pontoon,” “Girl Crush,” and “Better Man,” and scored Top 10 hits like “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Little White Church,” “Tornado,” and “Day Drinking.” Their ninth studio album, Nightfall, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and delivered last year’s Grammy-nominated “The Daughters,” and their current single, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” has racked up 75.3 million streams since its debut and is currently enjoying 3.3 million streams weekly.

Aside from writing much of their own material, Little Big Town also has credits on hits from Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce, and others. The group is nominated for Best Country Album (Nightfall) and Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Sugar Coat”) at the upcoming 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.

“I’ve been lucky enough to know Karen, Kimberly, Phillip, and Jimi for years and have watched them grow into the powerhouse group we all know and love,” said Ben Vaughn, President/CEO, WCM Nashville. “There’s no question they’re consistent hitmakers, but they’re also not afraid to take risks and make compelling creative choices with their sound. It’s always paid off, and this year is no different, with two major Grammy nominations and another hit single on their hands with ‘Wine, Beer, Whiskey.’ All of us at Warner Chappell are excited to continue this journey alongside them.”

“Warner Chappell has been our home since nearly the very beginning of our journey as Little Big Town. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the team there, whom we have great respect for,” added Little Big Town.

Throughout their nearly 25-year career, Little Big Town has been nominated over 60 times across the Grammys, CMAs, and ACMs, taking home over 20 awards, including ten ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year wins. In 2016, the group was honored with the ACM’s Crystal Milestone Award to mark their outstanding achievements in the music industry, and in 2018, the CMA awarded Little Big Town with the International Artist Achievement Award for their contribution to promoting country music outside of the United States.

Little Big Town is managed by Sandbox Entertainment and represented by Jess Rosen at Greenberg Traurig LLP.

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Rhonda Vincent, Sister Sadie, Carolina Blue, The Grascals

Rhonda Vincent

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) airs its 2020 awards show on Circle TV on Monday (Jan. 18).

What better time to catch up with some of its winners, as well as other current hit makers in the genre?

The essential-listening tracks here belong to IBMA Entertainer of the Year winners Sister Sadie, as well as Donna Ulisse, Carolina Blue, Jerry Salley and our Disc of the Day winner, Rhonda Vincent.

The IBMA’s New Artist honorees Mile Twelve, also own this week’s DisCovery Award.

The award show is a pip, with performances by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Brooke Aldridge, Taj Mahal, the Del McCoury Band and dozens more. Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and Ronnie McCoury induct New Grass Revival, The Johnson Mountain Boys and The Station Inn’s J.T. Gray into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

SPECIAL CONSENSUS / “Chicago Barn Dance”
Writers: Becky Buller/Missy Raines/Alison Brown; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Alison Brown; Label: Compass
– This durable band is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a No. 1 bluegrass single and the IBMA’s Song of the Year winner. It’s a lyric celebrating the WLS National Barn Dance during the days of the Great Depression. The group members alternate lead vocals while the track dances with twin-fiddle work and lively mandolin and banjo breaks. A joy to hear.

CAROLINA BLUE / “Too Wet to Plow”
Writers: David Stewart; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Billy Blue
– This band is currently No. 1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart with its Take Me Back CD. Its motto is “Traditional Yet Original,” and you can hear the band’s freshness on this quickly rising single. Between the youthful, yearning lead vocals, twinkling instrumental finesse and flawless harmony singing, this band has the future of the genre in its hands.

RHONDA VINCENT / “I Ain’t Been Nowhere”
Writers: Chuck Mead; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Upper Management
– The Queen of Bluegrass returns with a sneak peak of her upcoming album, a riotously funny update of Hank Snow’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” explicitly written as a COVID ode to being quarantined. Previously popularized by its writer, Chuck Mead, this deserves massive airplay. Vincent will be inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry cast on Feb. 6.

MILE TWELVE / “Jericho”
Writers: Catherine Anne Bowness, David Shelton Benedict, Nathaniel Benjamin Sabat, Evan James Murphy, Browyn; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Bryan Sutton; Label: Delores the Taurus Records
– This young Boston band won the New Artist award at the IBMA honors. Its current City on a Hill CD is a jewel, balancing brilliant acoustic playing with meaningful songs such as this intensely emotional account of a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD. For flash, check out the whiplash track “Cold Wind.” For another ear-opener, listen to the band’s bluegrass take on Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”

TINA ADAIR / “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses”
Writers: Paul Nelson/Gene Nelson; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Adam Engelhardt/Glen Duncan; Label: Engelhardt Music Group
– New on the bluegrass chart this month is this gorgeous take on the 1988 Kathy Mattea goldie (a CMA Single of the Year winner then). Exemplary picking and the mountain-soprano vocal beauty we have come to expect from this artist.

SISTER SADIE / “900 Miles”
Writers: Dale Ann Bradley/Tina Adair/Deanie Richardson/Gena Britt; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Pinecastle
– Tina Adair, Dale Ann Bradley, Gena Britt and Deanie Richardson comprise Sister Sadie, the first female band to win the IBMA Entertainer of the Year trophy. In addition, Sister Sadie claimed the 2020 Vocal Group of the Year bluegrass award, an honor also won in 2019. Richardson’s mournful fiddle paves the way on this minor-key Appalachian folk chestnut. Adair moans the vocal lead. Bradley chimes in on soprano harmony, and then Britt adds her stunning deep-alto part. A thrilling listening experience.

MERLE MONROE / “Hello Sunshine”
Writers: Tim Raybon; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Pinecastle
– Happy, toe-tapping music of new love. Love these close-harmony, fleet-fingered guys. The single charges into the bluegrass top-10 this month.

VALERIE SMITH / “From a Distance”
Writers: Julie Gold; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Midnite Mike Pokalsky; Label: Bell Buckle
– First an international hit for Nanci Griffith (1988), then a pop giant by Bette Midler (1990), this awesome song now gets an acoustic bluegrass rendition with Claire Lynch and Irene Kelley in vocal support of Smith, the pride of Bell Buckle, TN. It’s as powerful and touching as ever.

THE GRASCALS / “Sleepy Little Town”
Writers: Jerry Salley/J.B. Rudd; Publishers: none listed; Producer: The Grascals; Label: Mountain Home
– This lilting lament for lost innocence makes its wistful debut on the charts this month. It’s a preview of this multiple award winning Nashville band’s next collection. The group is among the genre’s most dependable, and this does not disappoint.

DONNA ULISSE / “When I Go All Bluegrass On You”
Writers: Donna Ulisse/Rick Stanley; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Billy Blue
– This is the most charming celebration of the joys of bluegrass I’ve ever heard. Every line is a delight, and so is every instrumental note. I particularly like the way the pickers “answer” her when she gives them a shout-out. A total smile.

JUNIOR SISK / “Hooked on Bluegrass”
Writers: J.R. Satterwhite; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Mountain Home
– Bluegrass is “my drug of choice.” Because “I feel good when I hear it, so I use it as a crutch.” Addiction has never sounded merrier.

JERRY SALLEY / “Let Me Be the Bridge”
Writers: Jerry Salley/Jim Rushing; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Very Jerry
– The man is so hillbilly-gifted he ought to be illegal. Not only one of the greatest hard-country writers still working today, he’s also a moving, natural singer. This barroom two-step will sway you across the dance floor while your heart rejoices that such a Country Music Great walks among us.

Sam Carter Signs With Spirit Music Nashville And 2 Mix Music

Pictured (L-R): Frank Rogers, CEO, Spirit Music Nashville; Katie Flynn, Creative Director, Spirit Music Nashville; Mike Fiorentino, Director A&R, Spirit Music Nashville; Sam Carter; Kara Jackson, Creative Director, Spirit Music Nashville; Derek Wells, Senior Director A&R, Spirit Music Nashville/President 2MixMusic.

Sam Carter has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Spirit Music Nashville and 2 Mix Music, Spirit’s joint venture with producer Derek Wells.

A 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Dallas, Georgia, Carter spent the last few years playing shows around the Southeast and honing his craft as a songwriter.

“I couldn’t be more excited about starting the new year off with a talent like Sam Carter!” said Wells, Sr. Director A&R, Spirit Music Nashville/President, 2 Mix Music. “He’s a gifted, natural singer who knows what he wants to say as a writer and an artist. Our whole building is fired up to be a part of his team and we look forward to all of the successes that we see on the horizon for him.” 

“Sam has such a natural, raw talent. I can’t wait for everyone to get to know him,” said Katie Flynn, Creative Director, Spirit Music Nashville. “Not only does he stand out as an artist but paired with his passion for music and his hard-working approach, the sky is the limit for him. Our team is so excited to work alongside him and to help him reach his goals.”

“I am so excited for this opportunity to work with the Spirit/2 Mix family,” said Carter. “This has felt like home since day one. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me and create some awesome music with them.”

BREAKING: Greg Thompson Appointed President And Partner Of Big Loud Management

Greg Thompson

Big Loud Management announced today (Jan. 14) the appointment of executive heavyweight Greg Thompson to President and Partner, effective immediately.

“I’ve worked closely with Big Loud in the past, and have been able to see what an incredible organization they have built,” says Thompson. “I want to thank Seth [England], Joey [Moi], and Craig [Wiseman], for this amazing opportunity to join the family. I’m thrilled to lead a group of world-class managers and have the privilege to be on the same team as some of the greatest artists in the world.”

Coming from Maverick Management/Live Nation in Beverly Hills, California, Thompson served as President of the top-tier management conglomerate. Hands-on in helping synergize managers and superstar talent like U2, Madonna, Doja Cat, Brandy, and more, he led the charge in expanding their sought-after all-genre roster. Prior, Thompson held a long bicoastal tenure with Capitol Music Group/EMI, playing a critical role in developing artists Katy Perry, Sam Smith, and Coldplay. With over 25 years of high-level music executive experience, his early career stints include Island Def Jam, Elektra Records, and Chrysalis Records.

“It’s hard to imagine how things could get better at Big Loud right now, but adding Greg [Thompson] to our company is exactly that. He is a leader, mentor, and first-class executive. We are very thankful to him for coming on board when he could have chosen just about anywhere. He will be key in overseeing all of our managers and assisting with each of their respective artists, not to mention being a key resource for us partners as well,” says Big Loud Partners (Seth England, Joey Moi, and Craig Wiseman)

Expanding Big Loud’s footprint to Los Angeles, California, Thompson will continue managing clients Philmon Lee and Ananya Birla, while further elevating the leading Nashville, Tennessee-based independent management firm.

Thompson can be reached here.

Visionary Media Group Signs Clayton Anderson [Exclusive]

Pictured (L-R): Tracy Percival, Anastasia Brown, Clayton Anderson, J.R. Hensley. Photo: Evan De Stefano

Country music artist, Clayton Anderson, has signed with the multi-dimensional entertainment and music company Visionary Media Group. VMG is set to expand upon his unique touring concept, provide assistance with the release of his children’s book, and help finish the screenplay he’s writing.

Anderson has racked up over 240K monthly listeners on Spotify and over 10 million streams on the platform alone. Earlier last year, he teamed up with Bud Light for the Bud Light Dive Bar Tour: Home Edition alongside Jake Owen, Dierks Bentley, OneRepublic, and more, which allowed him to keep sharing music, virtually, with his fans during the pandemic.

“I’m beyond grateful and excited for the opportunity to be joining Anastasia Brown, Tracy Percival and the entire VMG family! I was so close to giving up my dream when COVID hit, but this partnership is such a blessing,” Anderson said. “Our ideals and passion for music are parallel and I honestly can’t convey how very thankful I am. I’m so fired up!”

Raised in southern Indiana, Anderson has built a loyal following with his blend of Midwestern rock and independent country. While enrolled at Indiana University, he wrote his first song in the school’s library and began playing fraternity parties around town, earning an audience long before graduation. He’s gone on to open for many artists, including Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Jimmy Buffett, and Carly Pearce. He has also performed alongside Zac Brown Band at the Indy 500, with 40,000 people in attendance.

“When Renee Bell introduced me to Clayton, I flipped over his powerful voice. Then with time, I learned about his work ethic and how entrepreneurial he is—that’s when we knew he was the right fit to join the Visionary Family,” said Brown, VMG Chief Content Strategist.

Anderson is currently gearing up to release a slew of new singles throughout 2021 culminating in a new album release slated for 2022.

BREAKING: Warner Music Nashville Promotes Five, Names Danny Bess CFO

Warner Music Nashville announced the promotion of five employees across the Finance, Radio & Streaming and Publicity departments today (Jan. 13).

After more than two years with the company, VP Finance Danny Bess has been promoted to CFO. He will continue reporting to EVP / GM Ben Kline. Brad Walker has also been promoted from Director to Sr. Director, Finance.

Bess transitioned over to Warner Music Nashville after nearly 25 years at Universal Music Group, concluding his tenure as VP Finance of its Nashville division. A Vanderbilt University graduate with an M.B.A. from Tulane, Bess began his career at Sony BMG in 1989. Walker, an alumnus of Western Kentucky University, started in financial services before entering the music industry at Sony/ATV. He has now been at WMN for 14 years.

“Danny is one of the most respected label finance people in this industry,” Kline said. “His experience in and knowledge of our evolving business is critical to our success, and I’m thrilled that he will assume this new role. Both Danny and I are incredibly proud to recognize the dedication we’ve seen in Brad Walker. Brad’s understanding of and adaptation to the changing marketplace is part of what makes him such a valuable member of the finance team.”

Jenni Tay has been upped from Manager to Director, Streaming under VP Streaming Tim Foisset. Tay began her streaming career between San Francisco and Los Angeles before settling in Nashville in 2018. She has worked on launch projects in the indie space for companies like Ingrooves and The Orchard as well as major labels such as Universal Music Group.

“Jenni is a vital, accomplished part of our streaming team,” Foisset said. “She is a true partner to those she works with in this industry: enthusiastic and innovative, supportive and nurturing, capable and decisive. Her relationships yield measurable, impressive results for our artists and we are a stronger label for it. We’re eager to see her role and influence grow.”

Mary Catherine Rebrovick and Victoria Chaitoff rise in the Publicity department, led by SVP Wes Vause, to Sr. Director and Director respectively. Rebrovick joined the WMN team as an assistant upon graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 2012, as did Chaitoff in 2015 after earning her degree in English from the College of William and Mary.

“Mary Catherine and Victoria both started their work careers with WMN, and since day one they’ve worked tirelessly to help our artists make their dreams come true. They have become respected leaders in the publicity field and beyond, and I could not be prouder to work alongside them!” Vause said.

John Loar Leads Charge To Bring Sports Entertainment District to Music City [Interview]

John Loar

Businessman John Loar moved to Nashville to be closer to his daughter. Now he finds himself leading the charge to bring a Major League Baseball team and sports entertainment district to Music City.

His background is in real estate operations and acquisitions. In the late ’90s, Loar led the effort for the Seattle Seahawks acquisition and near-relocation to Los Angeles. He also supported former pitcher and Diamondbacks GM, Dave Stewart, on the acquisition of the Miami Marlins.

It’s clear that Loar sees Nashville’s potential future as part of Major League Baseball as a full circle investment in Music City’s entertainment capacity. He’s interested in creating a sports, family entertainment district—like that of Atlanta, Georgia’s The Battery Atlanta, and Ballpark Village in St. Louis, Missouri—not just a baseball field.

Loar founded Music City Baseball, LLC, an organization primarily of Tennessee business, sports, music, and community leaders that is committed to bringing a MLB franchise to the City of Nashville, without government funding. With a focus on securing MLB approval of an expansion franchise in Nashville, the leadership team is also open to the possibility of relocation and rebranding of an existing franchise.

Understanding the fabric of Music City and it’s business climate, Music City Baseball has already engaged with the music industry, securing Music Advisory Board Members to involve them in the plan for bringing MLB to Nashville and the concept of a new entertainment district. Entertainment icons Luke Combs, Kane Brown, Darius Rucker and Justin Timberlake have joined the Board thus far.

Darius Rucker. Photo: Courtesy FINN Partners

“The importance of the music industry to Music City Baseball’s objectives, extends to why Nashville is an important market,” Loar tells MusicRow. “It’s the opportunity to just connect the two of those going forward. Nashville is Music City, it’s the hottest market in the country. This ballpark is truly not a ballpark, it would be an entertainment venue for world-class entertainment, where you can imagine residencies like in Las Vegas. It would be air conditioned and covered, so they could use it year round. So it’s not about baseball, it’s more about that opportunity to create a world-class [entertainment complex], for convention use, for corporate use, etc.

“Baseball is the reason why I’m the catalyst behind it, but what we’re building here is a world-class entertainment venue. Baseball plays for 22% of the time, 81 games, but what it creates is an opportunity to have a venue within a venue. By design with our partners ASM Global, coordinating our music industry advisors, [the Nashville music industry can have] an important role in being part of this process. They can be included in the design of how the facility operates, how it’s designed and how it functions,” Loar says.

Rendering of potential ballpark / entertainment complex. Photo: Courtesy Music City Baseball

In an effort to build a Major League franchise on equity and celebrate diversity, Music City Baseball wants to name the team Nashville Stars, in honor of several Negro League baseball teams that played games in Nashville in the 1940s. They established a partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which includes a net sharing of revenues from the sale of merchandise bearing the name “Nashville Stars,” and cooperation between marketing and social media efforts.

“It gives Major League Baseball the opportunity to take its place in history and be proactive instead of reactive in the conversations that continue to go on diversity and inclusion,” Loar says.

Music City Baseball was positioned to submit a proposal to Major League Baseball to establish a team in Nashville, but that step has been delayed a year due to business effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. Until then, Loar is focused on site selection for the proposed entertainment district.

“We hope it’s in Davidson County, but it will possibly be in Williamson County or Rutherford County. We’ve got eight sites that we’re considering,” Loar says. “We hope it’s part of the East bank, potentially the Tennessee State University site. A downtown ballpark gives us the opportunity to build, with our partner ASM Global, a world-class entertainment venue. The walkability, bringing the Cumberland River alive, and just being part of a downtown park is the objective.”

In 2021, it’s important for Music City Baseball to show their partner (ASM Global) that the Nashville market can be a revenue contributor, the reasons why, and to find a site for the ballpark.

“We think we can privately finance a ballpark here, as it’s really not a ballpark. It’s an entertainment venue. The baseball team becomes a tenant,” Loar says. “It’s driven by the music industry in residencies, and in conventions. It supports the growth of Nashville, the airport growth, the expansion internationally, and the hotel industry and the restaurant industries that continue to grow, even with COVID. People come to Nashville just because it’s Music City, so when the Red Sox, the Phillies, the Giants, or whoever see the Stars on the schedule, they’re going to come here for a three-game series, and be a part of the town and the market area.”

Warner Music Nashville’s Tom Starr Passes

Tom Starr. Photo: Courtesy Warner Music Nashville

Warner Music Group Nashville’s Tom Starr has died following a battle with cancer.

Starr was a part of the WAR promotion team, joining in 2014. He was Regional Mgr. of Radio & Streaming when he passed. With the Warner team, Starr helped work singles for Dan + Shay, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, Zac Brown Band, Frankie Ballard, and more.

Pictured: Tom Starr with Gator Harrison, Tennille Harrison, Kelly Janson, Chris Janson, John Esposito, and Rod Phillips at a Country Radio Seminar celebration in 2018. Photo: Alan Poizner/Peyton Hoge

Prior to joining Warner, Starr worked in pop world music, including stops at Interscope, EMI/Capitol, Jive, MCA and Elektra Records.

Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers posted a heartfelt tribute to Starr on his Facebook page, with a photo of a backstage photo from the early days in their career.


man, this one hurts. we’re so grateful to have had Tom Starr with us through the majority of our career (including our…

Posted by Dan Smyers on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Memorial arrangements have not yet been announced.