Sony/ATV Renews Deal With Jon Pardi

Jon Pardi. Photo: Jim Wright

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville has extended its worldwide publishing agreement with the multi-Platinum, award-winning singer, songwriter, artist and producer Jon Pardi.

Pardi’s hits include 3x Platinum, multi-week No. 1 single “Dirt On My Boots,” 2x Platinum, No. 1 singles “Head Over Boots” and “Heartache On The Dance Floor,” and Gold-certified single “Heartache Medication.”

Recently, he partnered with Thomas Rhett on the popular No. 1 single “Beer Can’t Fix,” and his  album Heartache Medication is nominated for ACM’s Album of the Year category this year, making him a double-nominee as both an artist and producer.

Sony/ATV Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston stated, “Jon Pardi is a honky-tonk genius—his music is dynamic and captures every aspect of life and love, which is why his songs will remain timeless. On behalf of all of us here at Sony/ATV, we are grateful to continue working with Jon and making country music history together.”

Sony/ATV Nashville VP, Creative Tom Luteran said, “Jon is the ultimate unicorn as an artist. He is constantly breaking new ground with his music and his genre defining sound. It’s been a pleasure to accomplish what we have during the past four years and going forward I’m sure we will continue to hit new heights.”

“Sony/ATV has been incredible to work with and has believed in me from the start. We all share in a unique, creative vision that has taken us to some incredible places, and I’m excited to keep that going,” said Pardi.

Taylor Swift Returns To Country Radio With “Betty”

Taylor Swift is returning to country radio with the harmonica-laced ballad “Betty,” from the superstar’s recently-released album folklore. Country radio stations in Nashville, New York, and Tulsa are among those already playing the track, though its official add date is Aug. 17.

“Betty” will be worked to country radio by Universal Music Group’s MCA Nashville imprint (Swift signed to Universal Music Group in 2018). Swift is a co-writer on the song, which she also co-produced alongside Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner.

Swift’s most recent song to gain traction in the country market came with last year’s “Soon You’ll Get Better” (ft. The Chicks), which reached No. 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart. In 2018, “New Year’s Day,” the closing track to Swift’s album reputation, reached No. 41 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart.

One week after Swift surprised fans with the unexpected release, folklore has become the top-selling album of 2020, with more than 2 million in global sales and more than half a billion total streams on audio and video in seven days. The album reached No. 1 on iTunes in more than 85 countries.

Swift is the only female artist to have seven albums each sell at least 500,000 copies in a single week, with the albums Fearless, Speak Now, RED, 1989, reputation, Lover, and now folklore.

Last week, folklore broke the global record for first day album streams on Spotify by a female artist with 80.6 million streams and delivered the most-streamed pop album on Apple Music in 24 hours with 35.47M streams.

Miranda Lambert Earns Seventh Country Radio Chart-Topper With "Bluebird"

Miranda Lambert has earned her seventh No. 1 single this week, as “Bluebird” tops both Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart.

“Bluebird” is the second single from her album Wildcard and Lambert co-wrote the track alongside Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick. The song has earned more than 130 million on-demand streams to date.

“2020 hasn’t offered a whole lot to celebrate, especially for musicians,” Lambert said on Twitter. “But I am celebrating this week. I’m celebrating happiness and the feeling of artistic freedom in a time where we all feel a little caged. I’m celebrating country music and all the joy it has brought to my life. I’m celebrating ALL the fans, the writers, the musicians, the crews and bands, radio and streaming services, and venues for allowing me to have the most wonderful career for the last 17 years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thank you to Luke Dick for allowing me to write this beautiful idea with you and to Natalie Hemby (my Dean Dillon) for bringing it home. Also Jay Joyce for bringing it to life and giving it wings, Trey Fanjoy for setting this bluebird free in the most beautiful video. And my management Shopkeeper MGMT/Marion Kraft and Sony Nashville for fighting for this song and for me. Turns out we did have a wildcard up our sleeve.”

“Bluebird” marks Lambert’s first No. 1 song on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart in eight years, and her first on Mediabase in six years.

She previously reached No. 1 as part of the 2018 Jason Aldean collaboration “Drowns The Whiskey,” but as a solo artist, her most recent No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart was in 2012 with “Over You.” She last hit No. 1 on Mediabase in 2014 with “Automatic.”

“Bluebird” follows an uptick in No. 1 songs from solo female artists so far in 2020, following chart-toppers from Maren Morris (the multi-week No. 1 “The Bones”), Ingrid Andress (“More Hearts Than Mine”), Gabby Barrett (“I Hope”) and Carly Pearce (“I Hope You’re Happy Now” ft. Lee Brice).

BEXAR’s Chris Ryan Signs With Reservoir

Pictured (L-R): Scott McGhee (1˚ Entertainment Music & Management Group), Greg Gallo (VP Creative, Reservoir), Chris Ryan, John Ozier (EVP Creative, Reservoir), Golnar Khosrowshahi (CEO, Reservoir) Photo credit: Haley Crow/MusicRow

Chris Ryan has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Reservoir. Ryan is part of the country music duo BEXAR, which recently signed with Warner Music Nashville.

The Reservoir deal includes all compositions from Ryan’s catalog, plus future works, including BEXAR’s newly-released single “Again.”

The up-and-coming country duo, pronounced “bear,” gets its name from Ryan’s hometown, Bexar County, Texas. Ryan performs lead vocals/guitar alongside Logan Turner, who rounds out their sound with additional vocal/banjo/guitar. BEXAR self-released their EP, BEXAR, in 2018 and have since amassed over 25 million streams. Their new single “Again,” a collaboration with writer-producer Ross Copperman, has been released on all platforms.

“Chris Ryan is a masterful songwriter and storyteller,” said John Ozier, Reservoir EVP, Creative. “It’s such an exciting time, as BEXAR are working on new music and sharing it with the world and we’re so happy to be on this journey with him.”

“As a songwriter, it’s so important to align with a publisher that has the same sensibilities as you,” added Ryan. “I love my team at Reservoir, John Ozier and [VP Creative] Greg Gallo, and the creative opportunities they provide me with.”

HARDY Announces Debut Album, ‘A ROCK’

Rising Big Loud Records artist HARDY has announced his debut album, A ROCK, releasing Sept. 4. The album follows his career-launching EPs THIS OLE BOY and WHERE TO FIND ME, as well as his collaborative mixtape HiXTAPE VOL. 1.

The singer-songwriter co-wrote all 12 songs on A ROCK, and the project was produced by ACM Producer of the Year nominee Joey Moi and co-produced by Derek Wells, with additional production on select tracks by David Garcia and Jake Mitchell. Hit-makers Hillary Lindsey, Jessie Jo Dillon and Ashley Gorley, as well as rising songwriters Hunter Phelps and Zach Abend, appear in the track list.

HARDY was recently nominated for his second MusicRow Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and is an ACM and CMA award-nominated songwriter.

A ROCK Track Listing:
1. “TRUCK” (Michael Hardy, Ben Johnson, Hunter Phelps)^
2. “BOYFRIEND” (Michael Hardy, Zach Abend, Andy Albert)^
3. “GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL” (Michael Hardy, Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson, Hunter Phelps)^
4. “BOOTS” (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hillary Lindsey)^
5. “WHERE YA AT” (Michael Hardy, Jessie Jo Dillon, David Garcia)*
6. “AIN’T A BAD DAY” (Michael Hardy, Jake Mitchell, Hunter Phelps)^
7. “ONE BEER” feat. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson (Michael Hardy, Hillary Lindsey, Jake Mitchell)^
8. “SO CLOSE” feat. Ashland Craft (Michael Hardy, Mark Holman, Hillary Lindsey)^
9. “BROKE BOY” (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Brett Tyler)^
10. “HATE YOUR HOMETOWN” (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hillary Lindsey)^
11. “UNAPOLOGETICALLY COUNTRY AS HELL” (Michael Hardy, Smith Ahnquist, Nick Donley, Jake Mitchell)•
12. “A ROCK” (Michael Hardy, Smith Ahnquist, Jake Mitchell)

^ Produced by Joey Moi and Co-Produced by Derek Wells
* Produced by Joey Moi, Derek Wells and David Garcia
• Produced by Joey Moi, Derek Wells and Jake Mitchell

Industry Ink: Whiskey Row, CMT Radio, Crowd Surf, Venture Music

GoFundMe Page To Aid Late Whiskey Row Entertainment Director Kris “DJ Steel” Chupp

Kris Chupp

A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit the family of Kris “DJ Steel” Chupp, who served as a local DJ and Entertainment Director for Nashville’s Whiskey Row and worked for Riot Hospitality Group.

Chupp died Sunday, July 12, due to complications from COVID-19. He had been in intensive care since June 26. All funds raised will go toward medical, funeral and other expenses.

CMT Radio’s Lauryn Snapp Adds On-Air Duties

Lauryn Snapp

CMT Radio’s Digital and Social Producer Lauryn Snapp will add on-air contributor duties for CMT After Midnite with Cody Alan and CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan. Snapp will join the Alan each night, bringing pop culture and lifestyle stories to the country radio programs. Snapp joined CMT in 2018 from the Creative Services team at Warner Music Nashville.

Crowd Surf To Offer Pro Bono Services For Black Creators, Civil Rights Organizations

Crowd Surf, a digital marketing agency founded in 2007, is launching an internal Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, led by Elise Stawarz, Justin Horowitz and Helen Showalter. The task force will focus on three core initiatives including recruitment for staff and internships at HBCUs, internal educational programming for the entire company and pro bono digital marketing services for projects that support both Black creators and the fight for social justice amongst the Black community.

Crowd Surf will offer services including innovative social strategy, facilitation of digital partnerships, content creation and graphic design to partners chosen for the program. Projects will be chosen quarterly and given three months of pro bono services to kick start or further expand each business or organization’s digital footprint.


Venture Music Partners With Ingrooves

Venture Music, a Nashville-based marketing collective, recently partnered with Ingrooves, an independent distribution company acquired by Universal Music Group in 2019.

Venture has also added three new employees, including Media Manager Nick Fox, Music Curator Kailey Prall and Operations Director Stephanie Edwards to its staff in order to serve a growing client roster.

Weekly Register: Luke Combs Continues At No. 1

Photo (c) 2019 David Bergman for Sony Records Nashville

Luke CombsWhat You See Is What You Get tops this week’s country albums chart, with 25K in total consumption, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Morgan Wallen‘s If I Know Me is at No. 2 with 21K, followed by Combs’ This One’s For You at No. 3 with 21K. Sam Hunt‘s Southside is at No. 4 with 16K, followed by Gabby Barrett‘s Goldmine at No. 5 with 12K.

On the Country On-Demand Streaming Songs chart, Barrett’s “I Hope” remains at No. 1 with 8.6 million streams. Maren Morris‘ “The Bones” is at No. 2 with 8.3 million streams, followed by Diplo & Julia Michaels Ft. Morgan Wallen‘s “Heartless” is at No. 3 with 7.9 million streams. Hunt’s “Hard to Forget” is at No. 4 with 7.8 million streams, while Wallen’s “Chasin’ You” is at No. 5 with 7.4 million streams.

Oak View Group Launches COVID-19 Task Force To Lead Reopening Of Live Entertainment Venues

Oak View Group, a global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, has launched a new task force mandated to safely reopen America’s live entertainment and public facilities as soon as possible.

Comprised of leaders across all facets of facility operations, including sanitization technology and equipment, research and development, design, food and beverage, capital expenditure management, content, and more, OVG’s task force will provide development and operation protocols, guidance, and ongoing auditing of all COVID-19 and other infectious disease mitigation to ensure Americans can return safely to live entertainment facilities.

The team will review and test more than 180 products, solutions, and technologies to see which can be used in the most effective manner to protect all who enter into the facilities. It will develop industry standards to properly sanitize facilities as well as provide guidance on safety protocols for all venues using the most current and medically proven products and procedures. The group will specialize in making sure venues — the seats, concourses, restrooms, concession stands, locker rooms, staffing spaces, and clubs — are sanitized according to government health recommendations. The team will also take extra steps to ensure employees are screened on an ongoing basis for COVID-19 symptoms when they come into work, as well as to implement other security upgrades.

“Our team will be influential in implementing the new standards that will be adopted across the entire live entertainment industry,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “The health and safety of fans, artists, and touring staff, during and after this evolving global pandemic, remains our top priority. By aligning ourselves with global companies, all which I consider the best in their respective fields, we are developing and executing the necessary standards to protect anyone who may enter live entertainment venues.”

To ensure a safe return to live venues during the 2020 calendar year, the task force will focus its attention across five pillars: developing standards along with its newly announced partnership with Delos, the Pioneer of Wellness Real Estate; testing solutions and technology; advising working groups on said standards and technology; advising the working groups on capital expenditure spends; and an auditing system that will lead to certification.

The task force will then develop a program based on the standardization to implement operational standards for all live entertainment and public facilities to follow. To deliver and execute these standards, the task force has developed a three-phased approach for facilities to follow in order to reopen: the creation of minimum operating standards to sanitize and cleanse facilities that align with Delos, a robust multi-day comprehensive training program for all staff and service providers involved in the production of events at facilities, and the development and implementation of an annual audit program and certification process to ensure venues are implementing and directing best practices.

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!”