Lon Helton & Bill Mayne Recognized With St. Jude Angels Among Us Award

Lon Helton, Bill Mayne

Lon Helton and Bill Mayne are the recipients of this year’s St. Jude Angels Among Us Award.

The award is presented by Randy Owen, Alabama lead-singer and co-founder of Country Cares. Owen kick-started the beloved tradition of giving the award to others who have shown his spirit and exceptional dedication to the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Helton, who began his radio career in 1971, has utilized his industry platforms to support St. Jude since the start of the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program. He was one of the earliest St. Jude supporters during his time as Country Editor for Radio & Records magazine, penning multiple stories imploring country radio to increase its involvement in St. Jude radiothons. As the host of Country Countdown USA, Helton has participated in radio fundraisers and industry events, urging his nationwide audience to get more involved. Since establishing Country Aircheck in 2006, he has sustained his advocacy for patients at St. Jude with regular editorial content spotlighting important medical breakthroughs and radiothon success stories.

Mayne used his clout as head of Warner Bros Nashville to draw support when Country Cares for St. Jude Kids first launched, and to grow interest and participation from labels on Music Row. Mayne secured the first artist to attend the annual St. Jude event in the early 90s, the late Holly Dunn, and later Faith Hill and many other stars, which inspired the tradition and culture of artist participation at this event. Mayne then continued his involvement with St. Jude while serving as Executive Director for Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar from 2009-2019, incorporating St. Jude directly into the annual curriculum and urging involvement in the radiothon program.

This recognition places Helton and Mayne among the ranks of nine past recipients, including namesake Owen, in addition to Florida Georgia Line, Lady A, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, John Rich, former ALSAC Chief Operating Officer David McKee (posthumously) and St. Jude Country Cares Advisory Board member, Sharon Eaves (posthumously). Both Helton and Mayne also received the 20-Year St. Jude Pioneers Award for their long-time support of St. Jude kids.

Luke Combs, Keith Urban Honored With CMA International Artist Achievement Awards

Left: Luke Combs and Sarah Trahern. Photo: Joshua Brasted. Right: Keith Urban and Sarah Trahern. Photo: Acacia Evans

The  Country Music Association awarded Luke Combs and Keith Urban with CMA International Artist Achievement Awards during The 55th Annual CMA Awards. The honor recognizes outstanding achievement by a United States-based artist who has demonstrated significant creative growth, development and promotion of the country music industry outside of the U.S. during the eligibility period.

“Both Keith and Luke have been trailblazers for our genre, consistently growing and enhancing country music globally,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO. “They each place such a distinct priority on country music’s international fanbase and continue to further CMA’s mission to bring country music to audiences all over the world. We could not be prouder to present them both with this award.”

Combs’ sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get, debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, as well as on the country charts in the U.K. and Australia. With its release, Combs became the first male country artist to have their first two albums certified Silver in the United Kingdom. What You See Is What You Get has been in the Australian ARIA Top 50 Albums chart for 104 weeks while his debut album, This One’s For You, has been on the chart for 178 weeks. Combs is the second highest streamed country artist in the U.K. for 2021, only behind Dolly Parton, and will headline the Country to Country (C2C) Festival in 2022.

“This award means a lot to me,” says Combs. “I am humbled to have so many supporters outside of my home country who love my music, and I am really looking forward to playing for them soon. Thank you to the CMA for honoring me with this award!”

Urban has been a consistent pioneer for the global spread of country music for over a decade. In 2019, he not only headlined the C2C Festival in the U.K. and Europe, but also embarked on his own shows throughout the year. He has performed on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing as well as created a BBC Radio 2 series, proving his broadcast abilities.

Urban posted on his social channels saying: “CMA, thank you so much for this incredible honor, International Artist Achievement Award, thank you, thank you, thank you. This goes out to all the fans as well, thank you guys. Can’t wait to hit the road very soon.”

As announced earlier this fall, CMA awarded U.K. concert promoter Chris York the 2021 CMA Jo Walker Meador International Award. Winners for the remaining 2021 CMA International Awards categories will be presented in the coming months.

Lucy Bartozzi Upped At Round Hill Records, Relocates To Company’s Nashville Headquarters

Lucy Bartozzi. Photo: Imani Givertz

Round Hill Records has elevated Lucy Bartozzi to the position of Senior Director, Marketing. She has relocated from Los Angeles to the label’s Nashville to join the company’s new headquarter offices.

In her new role, Bartozzi will be responsible for the global marketing strategy for all Round Hill and label imprint releases, while also leading the execution of all campaigns. She will also oversee budgets and all creative, including advertising, video and album packaging. Bartozzi will continue to oversee the expanding marketing team, including merchandise/D2C, production, content and digital, and will run album campaigns for The Cult, Lit, Jared James Nichols and more.

Bartozzi joined Round Hill Records in 2019 as Project Director. Since then, she has launched marketing campaigns for artists such as Blues Traveler, Tash Neal, Black Pistol Fire and Lettuce as well as acts on the Triple Crown roster. Prior to Round Hill, she held the position of DSP Marketing Director at Mtheory and Project Manager at Red Bull Records. She graduated from the Bandier Program for the Recording and Entertainment Industries at Syracuse University.

“Throughout her tenure at Round Hill, Lucy has proven herself to be invaluable in all facets of marketing for our label imprints and front-line artists. Artist development is at the center of our label philosophy and I am confident that Lucy and the marketing team will continue to spotlight and manifest this,” shares President, Round Hill Records Joe Calitri. “I look forward to continuing to watch her grow in her new leadership role and I am also excited that Lucy will now be based here in Nashville as we open our new label headquarters in the same building as our famous Sienna Studios on Music Row. Bring on 2022!”

“I’m thrilled to join Joe and the Round Hill team in Nashville! It has truly been an honor working with our growing roster alongside the Round Hill team and I look forward to continuing to super-serve our talented artists in this new role in Music City,” adds Bartozzi.

Industry Ink: Sophie Moll, CRS Scholarship, Reel Muzik Werks, Stone Senate

Sophie Moll Joins JRM Publishing, Mailbox Money Music As Creative Manager

Sophie Moll

Sophie Moll has joined JRM Publishing/Mailbox Money Music in the role of Creative Manager. Moll will work under the direction of Sarah and Jimmy Robbins.

Originally from Conyers, Georgia, Moll moved to Nashville in 2014 to attend Belmont University. After graduating in 2018 with a B.B.A. and majoring in music business, she began working at Wrensong Entertainment under Ree Guyer, where she quickly realized she wanted to pursue a career in music publishing.

“Sophie has already proven herself to be an indispensable addition to our team. We are fortunate to have her join JRM Publishing/Mailbox Money Music as we grow our roster and ventures,” shares Sarah Robbins.



Jess Blais Receives 2022 Steve Ferguson CRS Scholarship For 2022 Conference

Jess Blais

The recipient of the 2022 Steve Ferguson CRS Scholarship has been announced as Jess Blais. She was selected by a board of country radio programmers and other industry professionals and will receive a paid registration for the 2022 Country Radio Seminar, running Feb. 23-25 in Nashville.

Blais serves as the content director for KYSM / Country 103.5 in Mankato, Minnesota. She will be honored during the 2022 CRS conference.

Spearheaded by Nashville’s GrassRoots Promotion, the scholarship was established to honor the legacy of longtime WTHO producer Steve Ferguson, who passed away in 2019.

“Jess Blais brings a passion for country music that truly embodies the spirit of the Scholarship,” says GrassRoots managing partner Nancy Tunick. “Steve Ferguson was such a positive force for the country format and the selection committee saw those same qualities in Jess.”


Reel Muzik Werks Signs Songwriter & Author Thornton Cline

Pictured L-R): Thornton Cline and Reel Muzik Werks’ Teri Nelson Carpenter

Reel Muzik Werks, helmed by creator advocate Teri Nelson Carpenter, has signed award-winning songwriter and author Thornton Cline.

Throughout his career, Cline’s music has received awards and nominations from the Recording Academy and the Gospel Music Association in the pop, classical, and kids’ music categories. Cline is also celebrating the recent release of his 34th traditionally-published book, Cheers From Heaven, with Tuscany Bay Books.

“Thornton is a great talent as a songwriter and an author. We are thrilled to welcome him into our Reel Muzik Werks family,” shares Carpenter.

“I am honored to sign with Teri Nelson Carpenter and Reel Muzik Werks,” Thornton adds. “I feel confident that Reel Muzik Werks will do what they say; by collecting royalties due for my songs all over the globe as well as licensing my songs in TV and film. They have offices all over the world and have an excellent track record as compared to other companies. I look forward to great things happening in our four-year business partnership.”


Stone Senate Signs With Conway Entertainment For Booking

Stone Senate

Nashville-based Conway Entertainment Group has signed southern rock band Stone Senate for booking service. They join a roster that includes Randy Travis, The SteelDrivers, Jake Hoot, and Monte Montgomery.

With influences like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band, Stone Senate is made of lead vocalist/guitarist Clint Woolsey, guitarists James Edwards and Ted Hennington, bass player/vocalist Paul Zettler, and drummer/vocalist David Zettler. Having been together since 2012, the band has built their audience through relentless touring year round.

Stone Senate is signed to Rollin’ the Dice Records, a label imprint under longtime Nashville manager Erv Woolsey.

“We are very excited about our future with Stone Senate. The music speaks for itself, and the men are the best kind of people anyone could hope to work with,” shares Cody Payne of Conway Entertainment. “I had been hearing about the group for the last couple years and jumped on the opportunity to work with a band that already has such a great reputation thus far in their career.”

“I’ve known and respected Tony Conway for many years and had the opportunity to work with him on multiple occasions. I’m grateful to have him and his team at Conway Ent on board to help us grow Stone Senate’s touring!” adds Erv Woolsey, CEO and founder of Rollin’ the Dice Records.

Stone Senate and Conway Entertainment will wrap the year on Dec. 4 at The Basement in Nashville. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

MLC Seeks Music Publisher Representative For Operations Advisory Committee

The Mechanical Licensing Collective is seeking suggestions for a music publisher representative to fill an open seat on its Operations Advisory Committee.

As described in the Music Modernization Act (MMA), the Operations Advisory Committee “makes recommendations to the Board concerning the operations of the Collective, including the efficient investment in and deployment of information technology and data resources.”

Under the MMA, certain governance positions at The MLC are reserved for publisher representatives. These positions include ten members of The MLC’s Board of Directors, six members of the Operations Advisory Committee, five members of the Dispute Resolution Committee, and five members of the Unclaimed Royalties Oversight Committee.

MLC committees meet regularly. All meetings allow for virtual participation so travel is not generally required.

Suggestions should be made no later than Monday, Dec. 13. To suggest a candidate, click here.

‘Whiskey Myers Is A Comin’ Tour’ Set for Early 2022, New Album In The Works

Whiskey Myers. Photo: Khris Poage

Whiskey Myers has announced plans for their “Whiskey Myers Is A Comin’ Tour.” Along the way, Drake White and Read Southall Band will support the group on select dates.

Spanning across 21 cities, the run will start on Feb. 16 at The Filmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, criss-crossing the country before wrapping up in Shreveport, Louisiana, on April 21. Tickets to all dates will go on sale to the general public beginning this Friday, Nov. 19 via WhiskeyMyers.com.

Their 2019 Whiskey Myers debut album earned the band the top spot on both the country and Americana album charts and 41,000 first-week album sales. Now, two years since their self-titled, self-produced album, the band also teases their newest project slated for release in early 2022.

The group recently announced that their Firewater Music Festival will return for its second year, taking place Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 just outside Kansas City. For more information, click here.

“Whiskey Myers Is A Comin’ Tour” Dates:
Feb. 16 – The Filmore | Silver Spring, Md. *
Feb. 17 – Theatre at Westbury | Westbury, N.Y. *
Feb. 18 – Main Street Armory | Rochester, N.Y. *
Feb. 19 – The Wellmont Theater | Montclair, N.J. *
Feb. 20 – Santander Performing Arts Center | Reading, Penn. *
March 9 – Five Flags Cneter | Dubuque, Iowa *
March 10 – The Armory | Minneapolis, Minn. *
March 11 – DeltaPlex Arena | Grand Rapids, Mich. *
March 12 – Eagles Ballroom Club | Milwaukee, Wisc. *
March 24 – Buddy Holly Center | Lubbock, Texas *
March 25 – Abraham Chavex Theatre | El Paso, Texas *
March 26 – Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center | Midland, Texas *
March 31 – Hobart Arena | Troy, Ohio +
April 1 – The Riviera Theatre | Chicago, Ill.
April 2 – The Sylvee | Madison, Wisc. +
April 3 – The Louisville Palace Theater | Louisville, Ky .+
April 5 – Peoria Civic Center | Peoria, Ill. +
April 7 – Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium | Chattanooga, Tenn.
April 8 – Appalachian Wireless Arena | Pikeville, Ky. +
April 9 – Township Auditorium | Columbia, S.C. +
April 21 – Shreveport Municipal Auditorium | Shreveport, La.
* support: Drake White
+ support: Read Southall Band
support for remaining dates TBA

Elle King To Launch ‘Drunk And I Don’t Wanna Go Home Tour’ In February

Elle King is diving into 2022 with her new “Drunk And I Don’t Wanna Go Home Tour,” which will visit 29 cities across the U.S. and Canada beginning in February.

The tour kicks off in San Diego, CA Feb. 15, and hits Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and more before culminating at Los Angeles’ historic The Fonda on March 28. Tickets go on sale to the general public Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. local time.

King spent the better part of the year supporting her CMA award-nominated hit “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home) with Miranda Lambert. The hit single came roaring out of the gate upon release, debuting at No. 1 in early March on both Billboard’s Rock Digital Sales Chart and the Country Digital Song Sales Chart. The song has already racked up over 150 million streams globally.

King is the first female artist in history to score four radio No. 1 singles on different formats. including Adult Pop Songs, Adult Alternative Songs, Alternative Songs and the Country Airplay charts. She recently released her version of the Christmas classic “Please Come Home For Christmas” via RCA Records/Columbia Nashville for the holidays.

“Drunk And I Don’t Wanna Go Home Tour” Dates:
Feb. 15 – San Diego, CA House of Blues
Feb. 16 – Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
Feb. 18 – Dallas, TX Factory Studio
Feb. 19 – Houston, TX Warehouse Live
Feb. 20 – Austin, TX Stubb’s
Feb. 22 – Birmingham, AL Iron City
Feb. 23 – Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
Feb. 25 – Asheville, NC Orange Peel
Feb. 26 – Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall
March 1 – Durham, NC Carolina Theater
March 3 – Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
March 4 – Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
March 5 – Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
March 6 – Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Steel
March 9 – Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
March 10 – Detroit, MI MotorCity Casino Hotel Sound Board
March 11 – Chicago, IL Metro
March 12 – Minneapolis, MN The Fillmore
March 14 – Cincinnati, OH Bogarts
March 15 – St. Louis, MO The Pageant
March 16 – Kansas City, MO The Truman
March 18 – Englewood, CO The Gothic Theatre
March 19 – Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
March 21 – Seattle, WA The Showbox
March 22 – Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
March 24 – San Francisco, CA The Warfield
March 25 – Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
March 26 – Anaheim, CA House of Blues
March 28 – Los Angeles, CA The Fonda

Tidal Launches New Artist-Focused Initiatives, Free Membership Tier

Global streaming service, Tidal, has unveiled a wave of new updates for the platform, including a free tier to their membership options, direct-to-artist royalties, and fan-centered royalties.

The free membership option offers access to Tidal’s entire music catalog as well as curated playlists, both with limited interruptions. Through this membership type, members will be able to listen to Tidal’s flagship playlists; artist deep-dives, such as Adele Essentials, Tracks & Traces: Dolly Parton, and Songwriter Mix: Drake; and customized playlists based on user listening habits.


Tidal has also announced new transparency and revenue features as part of the HiFi Plus tier. The new direct-to-artist payments will give artists access to an additional payment stream to their streaming royalties, allowing them to benefit directly from their biggest fans on the platform. Each month, a percentage of HiFi Plus subscribers’ membership fees will be directed towards their top streamed artist, which can be seen in user’s activity feed.

Additionally, starting in 2022, Tidal is taking royalties attributed to HiFi Plus subscribers and paying them based on the actual streaming activity of individual HiFi Plus subscribers as opposed to the industry accepted method of aggregating streams. This will allow fans to play a larger role in the success of their favorite artists.

“We’re building a platform that values art, artists, and culture, and for the first time opening the platform experience up to a wider group of fans with the free tier,” says Jesse Dorogusker, head of Tidal. “Tidal is also supporting artists with fairer earning terms and quicker payments, and fans are getting a better way to support their favorite artists. These offerings are the first step of many, and we’re excited to collaborate with artists to evolve our tools to help them continue to grow and create on their own terms.”

All artists must opt in to access direct artist payouts, either through Tidal’s invite-only direct registration option or through one of the platform’s distribution partners. For more information, click here.

“One Of Them Girls” Makes History, Sweeps PRO Country Song Of The Year Honors

Lee Brice

Curb Records’ Lee Brice has made history this year as his smash hit “One Of Them Girls” won the award for Country Song Of The Year at the BMI Awards, the SESAC Awards, and the ASCAP Awards. This is the first time that the same song has taken Country Song of the Year from all three PROs in the same year.

Brice, a SESAC writer, penned the double-Platinum certified song alongside ASCAP’s Ashley Gorley, and BMI’s Ben Johnson and Dallas Davidson. “One Of Them Girls” spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart and has remained in the top 10 each recurrent week. The Ben Glover and Kyle Jacobs-produced track, which has garnered over 390 million on-demand streams, also reached No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart on July 30, 2020.

Pictured (L-R): SESAC’s Lydia Schultz, Lee Brice, SESAC’s Shannan Hatch

“We are elated to honor our songwriter, artist, friend, family, Lee Brice with this monumental SESAC Song of The Year award for ‘One of Them Girls,’” shares Shannan Hatch, SESAC VP, Creative Services Nashville. “Congratulations to him and his co-writers on the award and writing an incredible song! Big love to Lee, the writers, and the Curb | Word team!”

Clay Bradley, VP of Creative at BMI Nashville says: “The most performed song of the year is one of the crown jewels of BMI. We are thrilled to represent Dallas Davidson and Ben Johnson in this monumental achievement!”

ASCAP CEO, Beth Matthews, also adds: “For a song to win Song Of The Year honors at multiple award shows is an extraordinary achievement and a testament to the musical gifts of the songwriters and to the artistry of Lee Brice. ASCAP is so thrilled for our member Ashley Gorley on his ASCAP Song of the Year win and we congratulate all of his co-writers and Lee on theirs, and on a great song and a great recording that won the hearts of country music fans everywhere.”

“What an exciting moment for Lee Brice, Ashley Gorley, Dallas Davidson, Ben Johnson, Ben Glover and Kyle Jacobs,” Curb Records Chairman, Mike Curb offers. “‘One Of Them Girls’ has proven to be a hit song because of this great talent behind it, and it is wonderful for it to be recognized in such a big way.”

Pictured (L-R): Curb Records’ John Clore; Curb Records’ RJ Meacham; Red Light Management’s Anthony DeVincenzo; Curb Records’ Blair McDermott; Curb Records’ Benson Curb; Lee Brice; Curb Records’ Jeff Tuerff; Curb | Word Music Publishing’s Ciara Shortridge; Curb Records’ John Chapman; Red Light Management’s Enzo DeVincenzo

Brice also recently received various RIAA certifications, with his No. 1 hit “Memory I Don’t Mess With” being certified Gold, “Hard To Love” going 4x Platinum, Hey World going Gold, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” with Carly Pearce being certified 2x Platinum, and “One Of Them Girls” being certified 2x Platinum.

“What an incredible and unexpected honor!” says Brice. “It’s hard to tell when a song is going to resonate with folks the way this one has–I know I speak for myself, Ashley, Dallas and Ben when I say thank you to everyone who listened to and requested our song at country radio and streamed it online. You all gave it a bigger life than we could have ever thought!”

Justin Moore’s ‘Greatest Hits’ Gets Exclusive Red Vinyl Release

Justin Moore and Walmart are teaming up for an exclusive, red vinyl release of his Greatest Hits album, due out Feb. 25 via The Valory Music Co.

The 13-track project features 10 chart-toppers from Moore’s career, including “Small Town USA” and the poignant “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” along with fan favorites like “Bait A Hook” and “Backwoods.”

Moore recently released “With A Woman You Love,” which is currently climbing the charts and serves as the first track from his latest album, due out in 2022. Wrapping his extensive headlining tour this past weekend, the Arkansas native hit the stage in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, to play his final shows of the year.

Greatest Hits Track List:
1. “Small Town USA” | Justin Moore, Brian Dean Maher, Jeremy Stover
2. “Why We Drink” | Justin Moore, Casey Beathard, David Lee Murphy, Jeremy Stover
3. “Til My Last Day” | Justin Moore, Brian Dean Maher, Jeremy Stover
4. “Lettin’ The Night Roll” | Justin Moore, Rodney Clawson, Jeremy Stover
5. “Bait A Hook” | Justin Moore, Rhett Akins, Jeremy Stover
6. “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” | Dallas Davidson, Rob Hatch, Brett Jones
7. “Somebody Else Will” | Kelly Archer, Adam Hambrick, Tebey Ottoh
8. “Point At You” | Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ben Hayslip
9. “You Look Like I Need A Drink” | Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, Natalie Hemby
10. “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home” | Justin Moore, Paul DiGiovanni, Chase McGill, Jeremy Stover
11. “Backwoods” | Justin Moore, Jamie Paulin, Jeremy Stover
12. “We Didn’t Have Much” | Paul DiGiovanni, Randy Montana, Jeremy Stover
13. “Home Sweet Home” feat. Vince Neil | Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx