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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
Warner Music Nashville toasted awards season ahead of the 51st Annual CMA Awards this week with a spirited celebration surrounded by its label family, artists and management teams, gathering with WMN Chairman and CEO John Esposito to celebrate the year’s accomplishments. From Chris Janson, RaeLynn and Brett Eldredge’s No. 1 debuts on the Billboard country albums charts, to Blake Shelton, High Valley and Cole Swindell’s sold-out tour stops, the WMN family had much for which to be thankful for.
Additionally, following the 51st Annual CMA Awards, artists, staff and industry guests gathered at the George Jones Museum downtown, pictured below.
Photos by John Shearer/Getty Images for Warner Music Nashville
On Tuesday (July 11) River House Artists/Columbia Nashville breakout singer/songwriter Luke Combs joined his BMI co-writers Thomas Archer and Taylor Phillips at downtown Nashville’s ACME Feed and Seed to celebrate their two-week No. 1 and Platinum-certified hit single, “Hurricane.” The momentous occasion marked the very first No. 1 at country radio for all three writers.
BMI’s Bradley Collins welcomed an overflowing crowd of friends, family and industry members to commemorate the success of “Hurricane” as the first debut artist single to top the country radio charts for multiple weeks since Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” and the first debut solo male to accomplish the task since Darius Rucker in 2008. To date, “Hurricane” boasts more than 134 million streams and is the lead single from Combs’ debut album This One’s For You.
“I came out here in September of 2014 and had made some connections and started writing with some people and a lot of those people are in this room today. Obviously it’s super special to have your first No. 1 song and to be able to share it with all these people in this room,” Combs shared.
BMG’s Chris Oglesby honored Archer, while InTune Entertainment’s Jeff Catton and Warner/Chappell’s Will Overton took the stage to honor Phillips.
“Nashville’s one of those towns where you write a bunch of songs and you get told ‘no’ day in and day out. So it just makes that one ‘yes’ a whole lot sweeter,” Archer said. “It’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport. Both of these guys have put teams around them, as all of us have, and I think that was the catalyst for the whole song…surrounding ourselves with good people.”
“I met this guy named Jeff Catton and Jeff took a chance on me. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just told you I’d do something,” Phillips said. “Warner/Chappell thank y’all for letting me be a part of y’all’s family and BMI and anybody else I forgot. From the bottom of my heart thank y’all for everything and God bless every one of you.”
Joint publishers Jonathan Singleton, 50 Egg Music, and Mike Molinar, Big Machine Music, congratulated Combs and his co-writers and honored each of them with their first No.1 plaques. Molinar also presented plaques to Lynn Oliver-Cline, who signed Combs to a deal with her newly-established River House Artists last year, and Combs’ manager Chris Kappy of Make Wake Management.
David Smith honored the songwriters on behalf of Pinnacle Bank with a donation to Camp Sunshine. Country Radio Broadcasters’ Holly Lane was on hand to celebrate the chart-topping hit with another plaque for each writer. Other presenters included Country Aircheck’s Chuck Aly, MusicRow‘s Sherod Robertson, and Carolyn Tate and Lisa Davis Purcell from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Oliver-Cline took the stage again to congratulate Combs and thank the industry before Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Randy Goodman introduced Columbia Nashville Senior Vice President of Promotions Shane Allen. Allen remarked, “Every No. 1 is special, but there are certain No. 1’s that you just know it’s the start of something so much bigger.”
Combs closed the event by thanking his co-writers, team, and family. “I just really thank you guys for being here today and not only believing in me but believing in yourselves and believing in this song. Thank you guys so much, let’s have some drinks!”