Industry Ink: BMI, Grayscale Marketing, Gilda’s Club

BMI Stage Makes Return To Austin City Limits Music Festival

2021 Austin City Limits Festival takes place at Zilker Park with Tenille Arts on October 3, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Erika Goldring

BMI made its return to the Austin City Limits Music Festival for back-to-back weekends of live music on Oct. 1-3 & 8-10 with its own BMI stage.

The lineup of BMI affiliates showcased acts from a variety of genres, including country, rock, Latin, R&B, hip-hop, indie, and more. Throughout the festival, many Nashville-based artists took the stage, including Hardy, Tenille Arts, Katie Pruitt, and Leah Blevins.

For nearly two decades, the Austin City Limits’ BMI stage has helped launch many staple artists, including Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Jon Pardi, and Maren Morris, among others


Grayscale Marketing Elevates Matt Alese to Operations Coordinator

Matt Alese

Grayscale Marketing has promoted Matt Alese to Operations Coordinator from his previous title of Lead Project Manager where he oversaw the agency’s day-to-day brand & entertainment projects.

In his new role, Alese will be responsible for working with department leads across the agency for all client projects. He will oversee delivering reports to department heads, management teams and boards of directors to provide insight into the overall efficiency of the organization while coordinating with leadership and executives to set and track departmental and organization-wide goals.

Tim Gray, Grayscale Marketing CEO, states: “Matt began at the agency as an intern and has worked his way up the ladder consistently taking on more responsibility, developing as a leader, and sharpening skill sets. I’m excited to see how he uses his experience thus far to help us with a variety of resource management needs and leverage his strategic planning strengths. I can’t imagine a better fit for this newly created role.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with Tim and the rest of our talented staff over the last 5 years,” Alese adds. “Looking forward to helping our clients bring the finest entertainment experiences to millions more across the globe.”


Gilda’s Club Red Door Bash Raises Over $230,000 For Cancer Support

Dave Brainard and Jenny Tolman. Photo: Chip Sprague Photography

The Red Door Bash, benefiting Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, was held Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

The virtual event included a silent auction with more than 100 items, an awards program, and performances by Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard.

This year’s Red Door Bash raised more than $230,000 for Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee’s cancer support program.

Country Music Hall Of Fame Highlights Free Online Exhibit On Country Music Fashion

Pictured (L-R): Moderator Brenda Colladay with panelists Holly George-Warren, Jerry Lee Atwood and Chris Scruggs at the panel discussion for Suiting the Sound: The Rodeo Tailors Who Made Country Stars Shine Brighter. Photo: Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in partnership with Nashville Fashion Week, hosted a program last night (Oct. 12) highlighting the museum’s free-to-access online exhibition Suiting the Sound: The Rodeo Tailors Who Made Country Stars Shine Brighter.

The online exhibit draws from the museum’s galleries and collection of stage costumes and archival materials to present the dazzling artistry of Western-wear designers whose work helped to create an indelible image for country music. The program examined the emergence of the unique “rhinestone cowboy” look in the 1940s and 1950s, largely from the tailor shops of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and explored how the style has inspired fashion far beyond the stages of barn dances and honky-tonks.

Photo: Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The panel was moderated by Brenda Colladay, vice president of museum services at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and included acclaimed author, historian and filmmaker Holly George-Warren (How the West Was Worn, Public Cowboy #1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry, Janis: Her Life and Music); modern-day “rodeo tailor” Jerry Lee Atwood, whose bespoke designs for his Union Western label have been featured in Vogue and commissioned by performers such as Nikki Lane, Post Malone and Lil Nas X; and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Scruggs, who currently plays bass in Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives band and fronts his own group, the Stone Fox Five. The panel is available to watch now on the museum’s website.

As part of the partnership, the museum and Nashville Fashion Week offered Middle Tennessee designers and creators an opportunity to participate in a design competition by submitting their personal interpretation of country music stage wear inspired by the museum’s online exhibition. The public was invited to vote for their favorite designs based on quality, creativity and originality from the eight finalists selected by Nashville Fashion Week. The three designs with the most votes were displayed during the program.

Shy Carter’s Debut EP ‘The Rest Of Us’ Set For October 29

Shy Carter

Multi-talent Shy Carter is gearing up for the release of his debut EP, The Rest Of Us, due out Oct. 29.

The eight song project showcases his soul-infused country, and includes the rowdy anthem, “Beer With My Friends” featuring Cole Swindell and David Lee Murphy. The track was penned by Carter, Murphy, and Bryan Simpson, and is currently impacting country radio. The project also includes his 2020 breakout single “Good Love.”

“I am so excited to announce this project,” Carter shares. “The Rest Of Us has songs you can play in the club, at a barbecue, on a boat. Sexy songs, inspirational songs and songs that may make you cry–in a good way! It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also got a lot of heart.

“The title track in particular is really important to me,” Carter continues. “It’s about how some people seem to have their lives in order and everything seems to be going well for them, and then there’s the rest of us. There’s the people who struggle, who have pain, who have messed up and have made it this far only by the awesome grace of God. I am one of the rest of us, and I’m so grateful for everything I’ve been through–because now it can all be used to make this amazing music.”

With credits that span Kane Brown’s “Heaven” to Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away,” Carter is one of Nashville’s up-and-coming talents. His writing credits include Billy Currington’s “It Don’t Hurt Like it Used To,” Sugarland’s smash “Stuck Like Glue” and Rob Thomas’ single “Someday.” Carter has also worked with Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, Nelly and more.

He is currently sharing a sneak peek of The Rest Of Us at shows across the west coast on Tyler Rich’s “Two Thousand Miles Tour,” which included a recent stop in Los Angeles at the world-famous Troubadour.

The Rest Of Us Track List:
1. Beer With My Friends (feat. Cole Swindell and David Lee Murphy) (Shy Carter, Bryan Simpson, David Lee Murphy)
2. Wild (Shy Carter, David Garcia, Jessi Alexander)
3. Hurry (Shy Carter, Bryan Simpson, Tommy Cecil)
4. Lay You Down (Shy Carter, Nate Cyphert, David Garcia)
5. Hard (Shy Carter, Nathan Chapman, Bryan Simpson)
6. Good Love (Shy Carter, James Slater, Micah Carter, Carlo Colasacco)
7. The Rest Of Us (Shy Carter, Bryan Simpson, Josh Kerr)
8. Rhythm And Blue Jeans (Shy Carter, James Slater, Bobby Hamrick)

How To Watch: Country Radio Hall Of Fame Induction Dinner And Awards Tonight

The sold-out 2021 Country Radio Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Awards will be streamed live tonight (Oct. 13) for the first time ever.

Due to high demand for attendance, PickleJar, the live entertainment and cashless tipping platform, will stream the ceremony on its website, the PickleJar mobile app and PickleJar+, available on Roku TV, AppleTV+, and Amazon Fire TV. The event will also be available to watch through the Country Radio Seminar’s Facebook page starting at 7 p.m. CT.

As previously announced, the Class of 2021 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductees include Bob Call, RJ Curtis, Bill Hagy, Norm Schrutt, Heather Froglear, Buzz Jackson, Bob Pickett, and Angie Ward. Radio executive Beverlee Brannigan will also be recognized with the 2021 CRB President’s Award.

Award-winning artist Keith Urban will also be honored with the 2021 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award, however, the presentation will not be included in the livestream event.

For more information, click here.

Gary Allan’s ‘Ruthless’ To Be Released On Vinyl

Gary Allan. Photo: Eric Adkins

Gary Allan‘s latest album, Ruthless, on is being released on vinyl beginning Oct. 22. Upon its release in June, the album earned Allan his 9th Top Ten album over his 25-year career.

The 13-track project will be available in pearlized purple, peacock green, and standard black.

“I grew up listening to my dad’s vinyl records and then started my own collection. There is just something different about the sound from a vinyl LP,” said Allan. “When the album starts spinning and you drop the needle, it is an experience. I’m excited my fans will now be able to have that experience with some of my music.”

The album was produced by Allan along with veteran producers Mark Wright, Tony Brown, Greg Droman and Jay Joyce, and features collaborations with some of Nashville’s top songwriters including Hillary Lindsey, Busbee, Shane McAnally, Nicolle Galyon, Ross Ellis, Ryan Hurd, Jim Beavers, Blair Daly, The Warren Brothers and more.

Gary Allan is currently on “The Ruthless Tour: 25 Years The Hard Way,” through the end of 2021, with upcoming stops in Dallas, Tucson, Kansas City, Detroit, Tulsa and more.

Lee Brice Claims Ninth No. 1 With ‘Memory I Don’t Mess With’

Lee Brice celebrates his ninth No. 1 with band members and his team. Photo: Alicia McBride

Lee Brice has racked up his ninth consecutive No. 1 with his latest single, “Memory I Don’t Mess With.” The song is also in the top spot on both Billboard and Media Base charts.

“Memory I Don’t Mess With” topped the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart on July 2.

Written by Brice, Brian Davis and Billy Montana, the track inspires a look at your life with a reminder that some memories are best left in the past. The chart-topper follows Brice’s three prior No. 1s: “One of Them Girls,” “I Hope You’re Happy Now” with Carly Pearce, and “Rumor.”

The song is the latest career achievement for Brice, who has over three billion on-demand streams and is one of the most-played country artists of all time on Pandora. Brice is currently on the road with upcoming dates in San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas.

Stagecoach, Coachella Update COVID-19 Entry Protocols For 2022 Festivals

Stagecoach Festival and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will no longer solely require proof of vaccination for entry into their 2022 events, it was announced yesterday (Oct. 12).

On Aug. 12, the festivals had decided to allow patrons who had received a full vaccination to attend the events. However, as COVID-19 case numbers begin to decline through the United States, the festival organizers will now also allow ticketholders to the 2022 events to attend with proof of a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 72 hours of event entry.

“After seeing first-hand the low transmission data and successful implementation of safety protocols at our other festivals this past month, we feel confident that we can update our own health policy to allow for [either a] negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event or proof of full vaccination,” festival organizers shared on social media.

Stagecoach 2022 is scheduled for April 29 – May 1 with headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Luke Combs. Other performers slated for the three-day festival include Maren Morris, Midland, Brandi Carlile, Jordan Davis, Tanya Tucker, Brothers Osborne, Lee Brice, Mitchell Tenpenny, Cody Jinks, Ryan Hurd, Ingrid Andress, Breland, Hardy, Cody Johnson, Yola, and more.

Coachella will take palace over two consecutive weekends–April 15 – 17 and April 22 – 24–with two separate lineups of performers.

Both festivals are held at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, and organized by Goldenvoice, which operates under the AEG umbrella.

Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Star-Crossed’ Deemed Not Eligible For Country Album Category At 2022 Grammys

Kacey Musgraves. Photo: Adrienne Raquel

Last week during the Recording Academy’s annual screening committee meeting, Kacey Musgraves‘ recent album, Star-Crossed, was rejected for Country Album of the Year eligibility at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. The project will remain eligible for the all-genre Album of the Year category.

Musgraves, a six-time Grammy winner, released her fourth studio album Star-Crossed on Sept. 10 through MCA Nashville and Interscope Records. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

After the decision, President of Universal Music Group Nashville Cindy Mabe issued a letter to Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, expressing her disapproval of the decision.  She writes, “Kacey Musgraves is a beacon in a format ready to push back on the ideas that there is more than one way to succeed, there is more than one sound and perspective for what country music is and most importantly who it speaks to.”

Mabe highlights that Musgraves’ blockbuster album Golden Hour won both Album of the Year and Best Country Album, among other country honors, at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Mabe writes, “Sonically, [Star-Crossed has] more country instrumentation than Golden Hour which won Country Album of the Year in 2019.” Read Mabe’s full letter below.

Final nominees for this year’s awards will be revealed on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The 64th Annual Grammy Awards will return to Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

Dear Harvey,

I am writing as a follow up to our recent conversation about the determination to exclude Kacey Musgraves’ album Star-Crossed from the Grammy’s country albums category. I am a big believer in the Grammys as an organization and have witnessed the power of its platform to transform artists’ careers and reflect, amplify and change culture. That certainly has happened for Kacey Musgraves over the last seven years with wins in 2014 for Country Album of the Year for Same Trailer Different Park, and then again in 2019 for Golden Hour as well as overall Album of the Year. The Grammy’s have been a destination of artist discovery and for Kacey it’s a place where her musical history was written.

As a prime stakeholder in country music, I would really like to frame what’s happening in our genre right now and help you and the Grammy’s fully understand the importance of Kacey Musgraves to country music and why this decision is so much more than an entry point for an awards show. Taking her out of the country category actually does harm to a format struggling with change and inclusivity overall. For the past several years, the stories around country music have been the stories of country radio and the limitations put on women’s voices or diversity of any kind from our key artists, their perspectives or their sound. The numbers speak and are a matter of public record with women making up only 10 percent of all country airplay. This year alone country music has been mired in the controversy surrounding one of the formats biggest artists, Morgan Wallen, who used a racial slur and grew fans and audience from it. THIS IS NOT ALL THAT WE ARE. Under the surface are the artists that change it all and they are led by the example of Kacey Musgraves.

Kacey Musgraves is a beacon in a format ready to push back on the ideas that there is more than one way to succeed, there is more than one sound and perspective for what country music is and most importantly who it speaks to. While that might not sound radical, I’ll remind you that our world believes you are either on country radio or you aren’t country. Kacey Musgraves is an extreme revolution and if Kacey can create her own path, others can too. She has taken the lead role of lighting the way of success in a format that has been so restricted by rules of who’s allowed in and what they can sing about. Artists like Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne and Mickey Guyton continuously site Kacey’s career path and music as an inspiration for their own success. My own artist Mickey Guyton has struggled for 10 years to be heard. It took the example of watching Kacey create her own path by living out her own truth in country music for Mickey to see what was possible and she followed suit laying out her perspective as a Black woman in America singing country music and re-writing history on your show last year.

Universal Music Group Nashville has launched every major label album Kacey Musgraves has put out. Kacey has always forged her own path. She has stayed true to herself and has never taken a different stance on how she framed this album from the last ones. Sonically, it’s got more country instrumentation than Golden Hour which won Country Album of the Year in 2019. To compare Golden Hour to Star-Crossed, both albums were produced by Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian and Kacey Musgraves. Both albums were mixed by Shawn Everett. On Golden Hour, Ian, Daniel and Kacey wrote 7 of the 13 songs and on Star-Crossed they wrote 11 of the 15. Both albums complete each other with Golden Hour telling the story of falling in love and Star-Crossed telling the conclusion of the breakup. There is no departure in sound from these two projects. This album was consistently classified as country throughout it’s metadata and overall labeling across the DSP accounts and partners. Star-Crossed appeared on every major country playlist of every DSP. It’s being played on SXM The Highway, CMT and was covered by every country media outlet at release. This decision from the country committee to not accept Star-Crossed into the country albums category is very inconsistent and calls into question the other agendas that were part of this decision.

That takes us to the process. The idea that a handful of people including competitors, who would benefit from Kacey not being in the country category, are deciding what is country only exacerbates the problem. The system is broken and sadly not just for Kacey Musgraves but for our entire genre because of how these decisions are made for music’s biggest stage. Building roadblocks for artists who dare to fight the system is so dangerous and against everything I think the Grammy’s stand for. But that’s where we are today.

I haven’t slept all weekend because I’m really sad for our format. I’m sad for fans of our music and the ramifications of how we’ll continue to define success in country music. This short-sided, biased decision will send ripples throughout our format to continue to insure that the message is sent that country music can only be for the limited few that enjoy the same perspective.

Thank you for listening to my concerns.


Cindy Mabe

Opry Entertainment Announces Lineup For First-Ever “Opry NextStage Live In Concert”

Opry Entertainment Group has announced its first-ever “Opry NextStage Live In Concert,” taking place on Nov. 21 at the Grand Ole Opry House. Tickets are available for purchase now.

The lineup includes 2021 NextStage artists Parker McCollum, Niko Moon, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson, and November’s featured artist Priscilla Block, with special performances by NextStage alumni Travis Denning and host Tenille Townes.

“It is an honor to be a part of the Opry NextStage family, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to host and play at this event!” says Townes. “Feeling the support and belief from the Grand Ole Opry in the beginning of going after this dream is a pretty incredible thing. Stepping into that circle to play, you can’t help but feel inspired by all the footsteps who have come before and feeling the continuation of that legacy with everybody playing this show is a really cool thing to be a part of.”

Throughout the year, Opry Entertainment works closely with Opry NextStage artists by investing in career development and providing opportunities for live performances, strategic marketing support, and short-form documentary-style storytelling.

“We’ve been able to showcase incredible talent through Opry NextStage so far this year,” says Opry’s Director of Artist Relations & Programming Strategy Jordan Pettit. “Opry NextStage was created with the goal to invest in the next generation of Opry performers by sharing their music, stories and personalities with fans across our family of brands. We look forward to welcoming many of them back to the Opry stage to celebrate another successful year.”

The 2021 NextStage class also features Grammy-nominated vocalist Yola who was the featured artist for October. The final member of the 2021 class will be revealed during “Opry NextStage Live In Concert.”

Trace Adkins Announces “The Way I Wanna Go Tour” With Stop At Historic Ryman Auditorium

Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins has announced his upcoming headlining tour, “The Way I Wanna Go Tour.” The tour will include a special stop at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on April 8, marking his first show at the venue since his 2012 “Songs And Stories Tour.”

“The Ryman. Only two words, but I say them with such reverence,” shares Adkins. “It is my honor to be performing on this hallowed stage, at the Mother Church of Country music. It is such a special place, and I look forward to visiting again with great anticipation.”

“The Way I Wanna Go Tour” will kick off Dec. 1 in Tampa, and will run through much of 2022. Other shows on the coast-to-coast run include stops in Bristol, Tenn.; Flint, Mich.; and Sioux Falls, S.D., with more to be announced soon. Pre-sale tickets for the Ryman Auditorium show are available beginning today with public onsale at 10 a.m. CT on Oct. 15.

Adkins recently released his expansive The Way I Wanna Go album, which celebrates his 25-year country career with 25 all new tracks. He is also part of a new drama series on Fox called Monarch, which is set to air in January 2022.

“The Way I Wanna Go Tour” Dates:
12/01/2021 – Hard Rock Event Center – Tampa FL
12/02/2021 – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – St. Augustine, FL
12/03/2021 – Seminole Casino Hotel – Immokalee, FL
12/04/2021 – Orlando Amphitheater – Orlando, FL
12/18/2021 – Paramount Bristol – Bristol, TN
1/08/2022 – Hollywood Casino – Charles Town, WV
1/09/2022 – Clay Center – Charleston, WV
1/29/2022 – French Lick Resort Casino – French Lick, IN
4/08/2022 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
4/19/2022 – Wilson Center – Wilmington, NC
4/21/2022 – American Music Theatre – Lancaster, PA
4/22/2022 – Penn’s Peak – Jim Thorpe, PA
4/23/2022 – Midland Theatre – Newark, OH
4/24/2022 – Ritz Theatre – Tiffin, OH
4/25/2022 – Packard Music Hall – Warren, OH
4/28/2022 – Riverpark Center – Owensboro, KY
4/29/2022 – Effingham Performance Center – Effingham, IL
5/04/2022 – Capitol Theatre – Wheeling, WV
5/05/2022 – Capitol Theatre – Flint, MI
5/06/2022 – Del Lago Resort & Casino – Waterloo, NY
5/13/2022 – Graton Resort & Casino – Rohnert Park, CA
6/05/2022 – Indian Ranch Amphitheatre – Webster, MA
6/14/2022 – Sioux Falls Alliance Center – Sioux Falls, SD
6/18/2022 – Morgan County Fairgrounds – Martinsville, IN
7/02/2022 – ABATE Freedom Park – Algona, IA
7/30/2022 – Oregon Jamboree – Sweet Home, OR