Country Music Association Names Kelly Striewski To Sr. VP Role

Kelly Striewski

The Country Music Association has named Kelly Striewski as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, effective in August. Striewski previously worked for dick clark productions in Los Angeles, overseeing the company’s corporate and consumer marketing and communication efforts for dcp shows including Academy of Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest and So You Think You Can Dance, among others.

At the CMA, Striewski will oversee development and execution of CMA’s marketing, communications and strategic partnerships strategies, including oversight of CMA’s marketing, communications, market research, creative, digital and strategic partnerships teams. She will also serve as a member of the CMA’s executive leadership team, working with the CMA Board of Directors to build strategic initiatives for the organization and will work closely with CMA’s network television partner, ABC Television Network.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kelly to our executive team at CMA,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “She is a highly-accomplished entertainment veteran with a wealth of knowledge in both music and television. Kelly’s experience and expertise in marketing, communications and partnerships, as well as artist and industry relations, will be critical to CMA’s continued strategic growth.”

“I am honored to join CMA and to fully immerse myself into the Nashville community,” says Striewski. “It will be a privilege to work under the leadership of the organization’s highly-regarded CEO, Sarah Trahern and the exceptional CMA Board of Directors. I look forward to utilizing my marketing and television expertise to develop unique and innovative strategies that drive continued growth for country music.”

Prior to her work at dcp, Striewski led the Nintendo of America account team at Golin where she oversaw all PR activity, social media and influencer campaigns, game launches, special events and the brand’s expansion into mobile. Striewski also spent 15 years with B|WR Public Relations, where she led PR activity for notable brands such as PUMA, Lincoln Motor Company, Stand Up To Cancer, Neil Lane, Beaches & Sandals Resorts and DELL, among others.

Tyler Rich Celebrates RIAA Gold Certification


Tyler Rich was recently surprised with an RIAA plaque commemorating the Gold certification of his single “The Difference.”

A virtual hangout with members of his Collective Artist Management and Big Machine Label Group teams brought some good news for Rich, when he was surprised with the certification for the track, which reached the Top 30 on country radio, and No. 1 on SiriusXM’s The Highway. Rhett Akins, Devin Dawson, Benjamin Burgess and Jacob Durrett penned the song.

“A virtual hang with my label and team, turned into a surprise presentation for ‘The Difference’ going GOLD! I couldn’t think of a better way to thank everyone that has bought, streamed, or shared this song than to cheers you all and have Devin [Dawson] join for a livestream jam,” said Rich. “I’ve spent this quarantine working on and recording new material non-stop, I can’t wait for you to hear what’s next!”

BREAKING: Pam Tillis Revealed As Featured Speaker For 2020 Rising Women On The Row

Pam Tillis

MusicRow is honored to announce Pam Tillis as the featured speaker at MusicRow‘s Rising Women on the Row breakfast on Wednesday, March 25 at 8:30 a.m. at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Guests will be treated to an on-stage interview with Tillis and MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson.

The previously announced Rising Women on the Row honorees for 2020 are Jen Conger (FBMM, Business Manager), JoJamie Hahr (BBR Music Group/BMG, VP Marketing), Mandy Gallagher Morrison (City National Bank, Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager), Missy Roberts(Universal Music Publishing Group, Senior Creative Director), Jennie Smythe (Girlilla Marketing, CEO) and Stephanie Wright (UMG Nashville, Senior VP, A&R). Read more about the honorees here.

Tickets can be purchased here.

City National BankTri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, and Loeb & Loeb are the Presenting Sponsors for the 2020 Rising Women on the Row event.

A special performance, sponsored by Radio Disney Country, will also be announced soon.

As the child of country music royalty, Pam Tillis was determined from a young age to find her own way in music as a singer and songwriter. After many false starts with her own recording career, including a pop single on Elektra and 1984’s “Above And Beyond The Doll Of Cutey” for Warner Brothers, Tillis came to the attention of Tim Dubois who headed up the Nashville office of Arista records.

After much soul searching, Tillis made the commitment to make an honest country record. The album Put Yourself In My Place yielded two No. 1 songs, two top five singles, and one top twenty hit, and in its first year the album was certified Gold. Tillis followed this success with three Platinum albums on Arista, including Homeward Looking Angel in 1992, Sweethearts Dance in 1994 and Greatest Hits in 1997. Tillis achieved six No. 1 songs during this time including “Shake the Sugar Tree,” “Mi Vida Loca,” “When You Walk In The Room,” “In Between Dances,” “Don’t Tell Me What To Do,” and “Maybe It Was Memphis,” while 14 of Pam’s other singles landed in the top ten and top twenty.

Tillis fell in love with music at an early age. Band, chorus, talent shows, church and the creative community of Nashville all helped to shape the young singer. Growing up, Pam was in a variety of bands, spanning from jazz and alternative country to top 40. She sang demos and lent her voice to many national jingles including Coca Cola, Country Time Lemonade and a Coors Silver Bullet with country superstar, Alan Jackson. At the same time, Tillis worked as a staff writer for Elektra Asylum Publishing and later took a job writing for Warner Brothers Publishing, which resulted in her songs being recorded by some of the biggest names throughout all genres of music, including artists like Chaka Khan, Juice Newton, Dan Seals, Gloria Gaynor, Conway Twitty and the top 10 hit “Someone Else’s Trouble Now” for Highway 101.

Tillis has performed on the stages of Broadway in New York, modeled on the pages of Glamourmagazine and is a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry. Some of Tillis’ most memorable award moments are being a 3-time CMA award winner including the prestigious 1994’s Female Vocalist Of The Year Award, and being nominated multiple times for Grammy’s Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1993 for “Maybe It Was Memphis,” in 1996 for “Mi Vida Loca,” and in 1998 for “All The Good Ones Are Gone.” Tillis is also proud to be a 9-time Academy of Country Music Award nominee, a 2-time Grammy award winner and 6-time Grammy nominee, and an American Music Award’s nominee.

Tillis has celebrated an IBMA award win in 2004 for Recorded Event Of The Year “Livin’ Lovin’ Losin’” and most recently a 2012 IBMA Song Of The Year nomination for co-writing Dale Ann Bradley’s “Somewhere South Of Crazy”.

Though Tillis has rolled easily with the tides and has drawn something from every new twist the ever-changing country music world has shown her, she has always insisted on writing and cutting songs that speak from the soul. The results have been records that emanate an almost painful beauty. She’s garnered more than 30 charting singles on Billboard charts, and 10 studio albums including her favorite, the critically acclaimed 2002 It’s All Relative (a tribute to her father, the great Mel Tillis), and three other releases RhinestonedRecollection and Just In Time For Christmas off her own label, Stellar Cat Records. In 2012 Red River Entertainment released Dos Divas a country duo album with fellow superstar Lorrie Morgan under the name Grits and Glamour.

Tillis’ star continues to shine brightly in the third decade of her career. She will release her eleventh studio albumLooking For A Feeling, April 24 on Stellar Cat Records via OneRPM Distribution, and is currently touring extensively on her own as well as with her Grits And Glamour tour partner, country star, Lorrie Morgan.

Taylor Swift Is IFPI’s Global Recording Artist of 2019

Taylor Swift has been named the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2019 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide. This is the second time Swift has won the award, as she also received the accolade in 2014.

Swift had another hugely successful year in 2019, releasing her seventh studio album, Lover, in August. The album debuted at No. 1 in more than 10 countries and reached three million album equivalent sales worldwide by the end of its first week of release. Three singles were released from the album last year, including “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, “You Need To Calm Down,” and the title track, “Lover.” “ME!”opened at number one on the global Spotify charts.

“Taylor Swift is the epitome of a truly global star,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI. “She continues to grow as an artist and maintains an incredibly strong connection with her fanbase, whilst continuing to evolve her sound with each album. It is a pleasure to be able to present her with the Global Recording Artist of the Year award for the second time.”

Swift is the recipient of the seventh IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, which reflects an artist’s worldwide success across digital and physical music formats, from streams to vinyl. Previous recipients of this prestigious award also include One Direction (2013), Adele (2015), Drake (2016 & 2018) and Ed Sheeran (2017).

The IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award and Top 10 chart measures consumption across all formats (including streaming channels, digital and physical album and singles sales) and all countries. It is weighted based on the relative value of each method of consumption.

IFPI Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2019

1.Taylor Swift
2. Ed Sheeran
3. Post Malone
4. Billie Eilish
5. Queen
6. Ariana Grande
7. BTS
8. Drake
9. Lady Gaga
10. The Beatles

LEADERSHIP: A Conversation 30 Years In The Making With Jim Ed Norman, Tony Brown, And Joe Galante

Pictured (L-R): Jim Ed Norman, Tony Brown, Joe Galante. Photo: Haley Crow / MusicRow

Founded 30 years ago, Leadership Music has become a mark of excellence in the Nashville music industry. When respected label head and producer Jim Ed Norman found himself inspired by Leadership Nashville, a broad spectrum program for leaders started by Nelson C. Andrews and C. Brent Poulton in 1976, he brought the concept to the figureheads of the Nashville music business community. At a small luncheon in the old Warner Bros. building, Norman proposed a similar program focused on communication and education within the Nashville music industry. The group agreed, resulting in the birth of Leadership Music in 1989.

The founding council for Leadership Music was made up of 12 power players from Nashville’s music industry, including Norman, Rick Blackburn, Tony Brown, Tom Collins, Bill Denny, Joe Galante, Bruce Hinton, Dale Franklin, Bill Ivey, Joe Moscheo, Tandy Rice and Roger Sovine.

Norman, Galante and Brown recently visited the MusicRow offices to discuss the establishment of Leadership Music 30 years ago, as well as its importance to the Nashville music industry with MusicRow‘s Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. The article appeared in MusicRow‘s 2019 InCharge, a directory of 388 key decision-making professionals within the Nashville entertainment community.

Leadership Music’s Founding Council with Leadership Nashville founder, Nelson Andrews. Pictured (L-R): Bruce Hinton, Joe Moscheo, Rick Blackburn, Tony Brown, Bill Ivey, Dale Franklin, Jim Ed Norman, Joe Galante, Nelson Andrews, Bill Denny, Roger Sovine, and Tom Collins. Not pictured is Founding Council member Tandy Rice.

“We had a framework because of Leadership Nashville,” said founding council member and renowned music industry executive Joe Galante. “That was such a great program for us to follow. What Leadership Nashville does is cover the city–an even more daunting challenge than what we were about to do. This is probably the only town you could pull this off in. This is not, in my mind, an exportable model, not only because of the dedication of the founding council, but of everybody that came after.”

The goal was clear from the start: inspire camaraderie amongst the companies within the Nashville entertainment industry, provide an education of various roles, and improve communication up and down Music Row. The council went to work on creating program days and activities that would benefit the first class of attendees. “We had many new people moving to town. Some people had been friends for a long time, but there were a lot of new people coming in. Leadership Nashville had been such a great catalyst for bringing people together of diverse opinions and points of view,” said Norman.

Galante added, “You would think after all these years, we would know more about each other’s jobs, and that’s what Leadership Music does. Not only does it give you the ‘Rolodex’ and the introductions to people, but it gives you the knowledge that you didn’t have before. That was Nelson’s vision for Leadership Nashville. Jim Ed took up the challenge and then we all rallied around him. I actually think it’s helped strengthen the town.”

Pictured (L-R): Owen Bradley, Chet Atkins, and Scott Hendricks.

Creating significant change was crucial to the mission of Leadership Nashville, as well as Leadership Music. Norman recalled, “At the end of each year at the Leadership Nashville graduation, Nelson Andrews would say, ‘Okay. You’ve had this amazing experience. You’ve gotten a chance to meet people from different facets of the community. You see how it operates and works, and you’ve been inspired, hopefully, by all of that. What are you going to do with it?’”

When Leadership Music started, the music industry as a whole looked very different. Vinyl was on its way out, country music was fighting for its own charts and although artists and songwriters were making money, the genre had not gained universal acceptance or recognition outside of Nashville. This was about to change. The offices up and down Music Row, that were reporting to their parent companies in New York or L.A., were about to be heard.

“We were an island to ourselves to a large degree,” Galante said. “The reality was that it was a real investment in education for the executives in this town, which I think only strengthened us. We did have people here that were tied in, but this really strengthened that process to bring speakers in from a broad standpoint. We still were considered backwoods by most people. Maybe once or twice a year, you got a New York executive here but they didn’t come on a regular basis, and they couldn’t wait to get the hell out of dodge. When Country Soundscan happens, all of a sudden everybody goes, ‘Hell, you guys are actually selling music down there. When did that start happening!?’ But prior to that we were fighting on a continual basis to get the support, to get the charts to recognize us. All that stuff didn’t happen by itself. I think people forget, to a large degree, when we all started working together, this was largely a regional format.”

Leadership Music not only seeks to identify problems in the music industry, it addresses them and looks for solutions. “It was a male-dominated industry,” Norman said of the time Leadership Nashville was started. “All the stuff that you go through to make sure the class, in any given year, represents not only the particular disciplines, but all the other things that we’re trying to work on in our society and our culture, give the class the chance of becoming a microcosm of America.”

Leadership Music is celebrating its historic 30th year, with alumni totaling more than 1,200, including nearly four dozen current and former heads of record labels; executive directors of the CMA, GMA, CRB, CMF, Folk Alliance, Americana Music Association, International Bluegrass Music Association, International Entertainment Buyers Association and NSAI; executives from The Recording Academy, the National Endowment for the Arts, RIAA, the First Amendment Center, Nashville Symphony, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, MusicRow, SoundExchange, CMT, GAC; the Country Music Hall of Fame; Microsoft; Samsung, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, Pandora, two Nashville Mayors, a U.S. Congressman, a past editor of USA Today; deans of three universities, attorneys, accountants, publishers, publicists, journalists, booking agents, artist managers, artists, songwriters, radio executives, entrepreneurs, record producers and engineers, video producers, musicians and bankers.

Getting into Leadership Music was no easy task. Candidates were already established leaders in their varied professions in the music industry, and getting selected was sought after, as Leadership Music quickly became a symbol of status and accomplishment.

“This was music’s version of the Masons, nobody knew what they did,” legendary producer and A&R man Tony Brown joked. “I think this was a great way of networking. If you could get into Leadership Music, you could network with the people you couldn’t get in to see. I loved the fact that it covered everybody from the soldiers up to the executives, and everybody in between. It became a real status symbol– if you could be in the program.”

Thirty years later, Leadership Music remains a symbol of status, and a sought-after opportunity. “There’s been so many organizations that people will poke at and say, ‘It’s been the same group of people for 25 years’,” Galante said. “This group continues to morph, and it reflects the general music business. It doesn’t get stuck, and that is the strength of Leadership Music. It just naturally evolves and adapts to its environment. And that’s the best thing that we could hope for.”

“I think the thing that Leadership Music does do though, is that passion statement,” Galante continued. “All during the program days, as you’re all aware, it’s not just business. It’s the creative and what it means for these artists, and I think people walk away with a newfound respect, because it’s hard. No matter what part of the process it is, everybody in this room signed somebody, believes in it, and you get the shit knocked out of you several times along the way.”

Inspiring leaders have been strengthened from Leadership Music, including the likes of Mike Dungan, Leslie Fram, Bart Herbison, Robert Oermann, Scott Borchetta, Jackie Patillo, Kyle Young, Sally Williams, Terry Wakefield, John Esposito, Dave Cobb, Barry Dean, Liz Rose, Mary Gauthier and many more. Participants make an extensive time commitment when they are selected to Leadership Music. The program lasts eight months, with the first and last meetings being weekend retreats. Within six monthly meetings, which average 12 hours each, the participants make on-site visits around the community, focusing on such subjects as Songwriting/Publishing, the Artist, Studio/Audio, Record Company, Live Music and Media.

Pictured: The first class of Leadership Music displays their certificates in 1989. Members of the first class included: Janice Azrak, Eddie Bayers, Jeffrey Beals, Ed Benson, Connie Bradley, Jerry Bradley, Donald Butler, Vincent Candilora, David Conrad, Tony Conway, Paul Corbin, Tim DuBois, Jim Foglesong, Joanne Gardner, Lon Helton, Scott Hendricks, Stanley Hitchcock, W. Michael Milom, Robert K. Oermann, Kerry O’Neil, Chip Peay, Joyce Rice, Pat Rogers, Thom Schuyler, Nancy Shapiro, Harold Shedd, Connie Westfall, Jack Weston, and Roy Wunsch.

“One of the things I had tried to point out over the course of time is following the money,” Galante said. “I really think part of our responsibility was to show people things like ‘What is a mechanical?’ Most people go ‘Mechanical? What is that?’ Still to this day, I’m always amazed at how often people say, ‘How does that work again?’”

“We have so many people that are coming in from other disciplines around the country, and it helps us stay abreast of the issues,” Galante continued. “I think bringing people in from YouTube and SoundExchange is all good news for us, as opposed to getting the news secondhand.”

Brown suggests that Leadership Music is crucial to the Nashville music business now more than ever. “I think Leadership Music keeps people in line with the fact that the business is so fractured,” he said. “I don’t know everybody at every label like I did back in the day, and I don’t think that’s because I’m not at a record label now. I read every magazine in the music industry, and I stay up on who’s going where. I think that Leadership Music now is probably more important than it was when we started it.”

Galante agreed. “Music still is under-appreciated,” he said. “We’re still going through the same conversation about being compensated and protecting the copyright. How many decades, and we’re still arguing about this stuff. We just include the term ‘metadata’ now, that we never used to talk about, which is an important issue.”

“I remember getting a call at the end of the year from someone who’d been in the business, who was well known, and said, ‘I’ve been in the business for 20 years. What are you going to teach me?’ to start, and at the end it was, ‘I’ve been in the business for 20 years, and I can’t believe what I learned,’” said Norman.

Pictured (L-R): Robert K. Oermann, Brenda Lee, Sally Williams, and Jeff Gregg.

Norman, Galante and Brown are unquestionably in the class of excellence personifying Leadership Music. When it comes to leadership, the three have valuable insights on developing such an important trait.

Norman touts respected United States Army General Norman Schwarzkopf’s notion of leadership, saying, “Schwarzkopf had that wonderful quote on leadership about it being this potent combination of strategy and character and if you must be ‘all in’ on one, make sure it’s character. We would go into these [programs] and be strategizing about business and how to get better. People came to appreciate that we’re in this together and what it meant to maintain high character and integrity as you walk through this process.”

“And it’s a lonely job,” Galante added. “I think that character is essential because if your team doesn’t trust you, you have the basis removed. [This includes] being able to listen, seek as much council as you possibly can before you make a decision, and let people feel like they have been heard. You may not agree with them, but that’s your responsibility. And there’s the accountability–you have to be able to stand up and say, ‘I made that decision. Yes, I’m responsible for that. I’ll take the hit.’”

Brown referred back to his star-making days at RCA, saying, “I think the employees have to know you have a passion, and that you have knowledge about what’s happening and what’s going to happen, and standing up for the history of the music that you’re working in. They have to think that you know what you’re doing. You’ve got to have taste. You can have good taste, and good taste could mean commercial music that sells, but then you’ve got to have taste that is a little eclectic, to where they think you’ve got a set of balls and you have blind faith.”

“It’s really your ability to provide insight, inspire, to be there, available for counsel,” Jim Ed Norman summarized. “ I think it might have been Colin Powell that said, ‘When a soldier stops bringing you their problems, is when you stop being a leader.’ You have to build an environment that encourages people to feel comfortable and safe, to tell you the truth, and you have to be prepared to listen to the truth and respond to it as productively as you can. I think the number one trait is character and integrity.”

Pictured: Tim DuBois

The three music industry giants also keep close to heart that even though the music business is a business, the music and artists must remain the prime focus.

“We can get consumed with the business,” said Norman. “It’s vital to remember that the business is built on the shoulders of artists, and they hold us up.”

“We are in the artist business,” Galante agreed. “I used to tell people all the time they are the ones in front of the microphone. Our job is to support them.”

Breaking: Nominees Revealed For 31st Annual MusicRow Awards

MusicRow is pleased to announce the nominees for the 31st Annual MusicRow Awards, Nashville’s longest-running and now newly expanded industry trade publication honors.

Download the PDF and see the complete list of nominees.

Subscribed members of MusicRow will receive ballots by email on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Voting closes on Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m. CT. The 2019 MusicRow Awards will be presented during an invitation-only event on Wednesday, June 26. To receive a ballot and invitation for balcony seating at the MusicRow Awards, become a MusicRow subscriber here.

Supporting Sponsors of the event are Vaden Group | Elliott Davis, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Keller Turner Andrews & Ghanem, PLLC. Partner level sponsors include Ram Trucks and City National Bank.

Nominees in all eleven categories are determined by the MusicRow selection committee. Winners are selected based on votes from the publication’s subscribed members. Outside submissions were accepted for the Breakthrough Songwriter and Breakthrough Artist-Writer categories, which honor writers and co-writers who scored their first Top 10 single during the eligibility period (May 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019).

MusicRow will also honor the Top 10 Album All-Star Musicians Awards at the event, recognizing the studio players who played on the most albums reaching the Top 10 of Billboard‘s Country Album Chart during the eligibility period.

Winners will be announced at the 2019 MusicRow Awards. MusicRow‘s June/July print magazine will also debut at the awards ceremony.

If you do not have a MusicRow print news subscription, you may subscribe to receive your ballot and invitation.

Mentoring And Inspiring Women In Radio Group Releases Gender Analysis Research Findings

The Mentoring And Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) released its annual Group Gender Analysis Study, which examines the advancement of female radio professionals. This year’s study showed growth in roles including general manager, sales manager and program director positions, though not in radio programming roles.

Females held 19.05 percent of general managers roles at radio stations in 2018, rising from 18.1 percent in 2017. That growth has been steady since 2004, when females held 14.9 percent of the GM roles. Female GMs held those roles in 19.2 percent of the Top 100 radio markets, a rise from 2017’s 18.5 percent.

Female sales managers held the role at 32.6 percent of stations in the study, rising from 31.9 percent in 2017. Females held 32.97 percent of the sales manager roles in the Top 100 radio markets in 2018, up from 2017’s 32.7 percent.

However, the study showed that growth has been relatively flat for the past 12 years when it comes to program director roles; in 2018, females held only 10.6 percent of radio programming roles, which is a drop from 11.4 percent in 2017.

“This meaningful annual exercise reminds us why we volunteer our time, and share our expertise, with other women in radio,” said MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik. “The MIW Group is committed to encouraging growth, and honing careers, so that the road to management will be more easily attainable by women dedicated to our profession. Although 2018 numbers reflect some growth, there is still work to be done.”

Weekly Chart Report (9/14/18)

Click here or above to access MusicRow’s weekly CountryBreakout Report.

Weekly Chart Report 3/16/18


Click here or above to access MusicRow‘s weekly CountryBreakout Report.

Blake Shelton Re-Ups “For Many Years” With Warner Bros./WMN

Pictured (L-R): Warner Music Nashville Chairman & CEO John Esposito and Platinum-selling Recording Artist Blake Shelton

Country music superstar and multimedia entertainer Blake Shelton has inked a deal, extending his 17-year partnership with Warner Bros. / Warner Music Nashville record label.

Together, Shelton has gone on to achieve 25 No. 1 singles, 10 Gold and Platinum-selling albums, seven Grammy nominations and five CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Award wins. One of the most visible and constant ambassadors of country music, Shelton has reinforced the genre’s value in front of more than 12 million viewers two nights a week for 13 consecutive seasons and counting as a coach on NBC’s The Voice. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Shelton served as co-host of the ACM Awards for five years.

“I remember my first trip to Nashville in 1994,” said Shelton. “I drove down Music Row and don’t know why, but when I passed the Warner Bros. building I said, ‘That’s the label I want to be on!’ Now, all these years later, I’m proud to have spent my entire recording career with such a great company. I look forward to more incredible years with my Warner family.”

The acclaimed recording artist celebrated his re-signing Wednesday night (Dec. 20) alongside WMN Chairman & CEO John Esposito, who added: “Blake Shelton is a cornerstone artist for Warner Music Nashville. Blake, Narvel Blackstock [management] and the whole label team put a stake in the ground years ago to prove that Blake was going to do unprecedented things in this business and be the artist to help us bring Warner back to greatness. Blake indeed has and will continue to break new ground. I am thrilled beyond words, and there is no better Christmas present than Blake committing to Warner for many years to come. He is a brother, and I love him and his humanity!” To that point, Esposito emphasized exclulsively to Billboard, “[Shelton] re-signed with us to basically end his career here. That’s a long time.”

Shelton last re-upped with the label eight years ago and most recently released his 10th studio album (not including a holiday or greatest hits), Texoma Shore in 2017, which became his sixth record to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and 11th all-genre Top 10. With his third No. 1 single in 2017 (in addition to “A Guy With A Girl” and “Every Time I Hear That Song”), Shelton’s “I’ll Name The Dogs” made him the first artist in Country Aircheck / Mediabase history to have six songs chart simultaneously. Shelton continued traction at radio this week by being named the No.1 most-played artist of 2017, reigning on both the Billboard and Aircheck year-end airplay charts. The songs previously went No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart.

Shelton will headline his 2018 Country Music Freaks Tour alongside Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce and special guest Trace Adkins. He will again team with CID Entertainment for VIP Experiences with 2018 packages offering new perks including an autographed ‘Country Music Freaks’ Tour plaque and an exclusive BS’ers Lounge baseball cap. VIPs will also get access to the BS’ers Lounge where Blake will perform an acoustic set and answer fan questions.

COUNTRY MUSIC FREAKS TOUR DATES
Date City Venue
2/15/18 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
2/16/18 Lubbock, TX United Supermarkets Arena
2/17/18 Las Cruces, NM Pan American Center
2/22/18 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
2/23/18 Moline, IL TaxSlayer Center
2/24/18 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
3/2/18 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
3/3/18 Bossier City, LA CenturyLink Center
3/8/18 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
3/9/18 Greenville, SC Bon Secours Wellness Arena
3/10/18 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
3/15/18 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
3/16/18 Baltimore, MD Royal Farms Arena
3/17/18 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center