Black River Publishing, Warner Chappell Music Sign Josh Kerr

Josh Kerr has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Black River Publishing and Warner Chappell Music Nashville.

Kerr co-wrote for King & Country’s multi-week No. 1 “God Only Knows,” which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song and landed Song of the Year at the Dove Awards. Some of Kerr’s other No. 1 hits include the RIAA Platinum-certified “My Girl” by Dylan Scott, and Kelsea Ballerini‘s RIAA Platinum-certified “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs.”

Pictured (L-R, back row): Gordon Kerr, Black River; Rachael Skvorak, Black River; Katie Barolak, Black River; Chase Neely, Attorney; Spencer Nohe, WCM; (L-R, front row) Rebekah Gordon, Black River; Josh Kerr; Ben Vaughn WCM

The New York native also co-produced Keith Urban’s 2018 Graffiti U, which landed a CMA nod for Album of the Year and featured the Top 20 hit “Never Comin Down,” which Kerr co-wrote. He has worked with a variety of artists including Ben Rector, Camila Cabello, Danielle Bradbery, Devin Dawson, Dolly Parton, Hannah Kerr, Ingrid Michaelson, Jake Scott, Jordan Davis, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, and more.

A solo artist in his own right, Kerr also released 12/12, his follow-up album to How Do You Remember Me (2019) earlier this month.

Sheryl Crow To Release Special Star-Studded Live Album August 13

Sheryl Crow has announced Live from the Ryman & More, a new 27-song collection captured live in 2019, will release Aug. 13 via The Valory Music Co. The project spans Crow’s decades-long career and includes classics, covers, album gems, and special guests, including Stevie Nicks, Maren Morris, Jason Isbell, Emmylou Harris, and more.

Recorded over five nights at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Los Angeles’ Ace Theatre, and the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, the album covers the gamut from rock, pop, gospel, blues and country and features a string of friends, influences and rising stars such as Brandi Carlile, Lucius, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires.

A new track will be available every two weeks leading up to the full release with instant access to “Everyday Is A Winding Road” available now with pre-order. Crow will also be hosting “Sheryl Crow: The Songs And The Stories – A Live Solo Performance,” a one-time global livestream on June 18 at 11 a.m. CST.

Live from the Ryman & More Track List:
1. Steve McQueen
2. A Change Would Do You Good
3. All I Wanna Do
4. My Favorite Mistake
5. Tell Me When It’s Over
6. Everything Is Broken (featuring Jason Isbell)
7. Can’t Cry Anymore
8. Prove You Wrong (featuring Stevie Nicks, Maren Morris, Waddy Wachtel, Steve Jordan)
9. Run, Baby, Run (featuring Lucius)
10. Don’t (featuring Lucius)
11. Strong Enough (featuring Lucius)
12. Leaving Las Vegas
13. It Don’t Hurt
14. Still The Good Old Days
15. Cross Creek Road
16. Nobody’s Perfect (featuring Emmylou Harris)
17. Home
18. Maybe Angels
19. Real Gone
20. Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You/Na Na Song
21. Beware Of Darkness (featuring Brandi Carlile)
22. The First Cut Is The Deepest
23. Best Of Times
24. If It Makes You Happy
25. Soak Up The Sun
26. Everyday Is A Winding Road
27. I Shall Believe (featuring Lucius)

Eric Church Earns 10th Career No. 1 With ‘Hell Of A View’

Eric Church. Photo: Joe Pugliese

Eric Church has taken his 10th trip to the top of the charts with “Hell Of A View,” the ode to rebellious love featured on his new triple album Heart & Soul.

Church earned his first No. 1 on his 2012 album, Chief, breaking through with “Drink In My Hand.” He quickly followed that up with his 5x Platinum smash, “Springsteen,” and on The Outsiders, he yielded chart-topping success with“Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Talladega.” After releasing Mr. Misunderstood, Church returned to the No. 1 spot with “Record Year” and re-defined the way touring on a country album looks after releasing his sixth studio album, Desperate Man.

Fans will have the chance to see these songs live as Church returns to the road on his 55-city The Gather Again Tour in Septemberwhere he’ll perform in-the-round sets for the first time in his career at full-capacity arenas throughout the U.S. and Canada.

‘Forever After All’ Co-Writers Climb MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart

Luke Combs‘ heartfelt hit “Forever After All” has him and his co-writers Drew Parker and Robert Williford rising on the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart this week. The Platinum-certified single appears on Combs deluxe album, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get.

Ashley Gorley remains at No. 1 this week, as a co-writer on Thomas Rhett’s “Country Again” and “What’s Your Country Song,” HARDY’s “Give Heaven Some Hell,” Cole Swindell’s “Single Saturday Night,” Chris Stapleton’s “You Should Probably Leave,” and Morgan Wallen’s “Sand In My Boots” and “Warning.”

The weekly MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart uses algorithms based upon song activity according to airplay, digital download track sales and streams. This unique and exclusive addition to the MusicRow portfolio is the only songwriter chart of its kind.

Click here to view the full MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart.

Weekly Register: Luke Combs Claims Top Country Streaming Song

Luke Combs. Photo: Zack Massey

This week, Luke Combs gains the No. 1 spot on the country streaming songs chart with “Forever After All” at 11 million total streams and 223 million RTD, according to Nielsen.

Gabby Barrett‘s “The Good Ones” drops to second at 7.9 million this week. Sam Hunt jumps to No. 3 with “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90’s” at 6.8 million, while Eric Church‘s “Hell of a View” follows closely behind in fourth with 6.6 million. Cracking the top five is Nelly and Florida Georgia Line‘s “Lil Bit” at 6.1 million streams.

Meanwhile, on the country album charts, Morgan Wallen holds steady at the top spot with Dangerous: The Double Album with 53K streams, according to Nielsen. Alan Jackson busts his way up to second with Where Have You Gone at 32K, while Combs takes up the third and fourth spots with What You See Is What You Get at 29K and This One’s For You at 18K. Taylor Swift holds on to the fifth slot at 17K streams for Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

NMPA To Honor Taylor Swift, Sarah Trahern, More At Virtual Annual Meeting

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has announced the honorees and speakers for its upcoming Annual Meeting, including Taylor Swift, Bill Simmons, Sarah Trahern, and Jerrold Nadler.

Following the record-breaking release of her three award-winning albums in a single year, NMPA will honor Swift with its Songwriter Icon Award. With 11 Grammy awards, one of only four artists in history to win three Grammy Album of the Year awards and the only female to do so, and 76 NMPA Songwriting Gold & Platinum awards, Swift is known for her advocacy on behalf of music creators and is one of today’s most influential singer-songwriters.

“Taylor Swift has had an unprecedented year of success. She gave the world incredible songwriting when they needed it most and she continues to rewrite the rulebook when it comes to her career. She has always identified as a songwriter first, and in doing so inspired and elevated countless other creators,” says NMPA President and CEO David Israelite. “Her advocacy has lifted the entire creative community, and she has done it at great cost and risk to her own career. The risks paid off, not just for her but for our entire industry, and there is no one more deserving of our Icon award.”

Country Music Association CEO Trahern will be presented with this year’s NMPA Industry Legacy Award for her leadership during this unprecedented period. Finding innovative ways to meet the moment, Trahern continues to modernize the genre and grow its global popularity and inclusiveness. In a press release, Israelite says of Trahern, “She is a true supporter of country music, and she has made it bigger and better.”

Congressman Nadler (D-NY) will receive this year’s NMPA President’s Award for his work to protect songwriters and music publishers. From his leadership in shepherding the Music Modernization Act through the House of Representatives, to his efforts to grow the music community in his home district, he has supported the industry for decades and continues to be on the forefront of progress as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Media stalwart Simmons will sit down for a keynote Q&A to discuss his upcoming music documentary series. The Ringer founder will talk with Israelite about where he sees entertainment—particularly podcasts—going in the post-pandemic era, and the many intersections of sports and music.

This year’s meeting will also feature special tributes from Luke Bryan and Sara Bareilles as well as up-and-coming talent Priscilla Block. The annual State of the Industry speech will examine new publishing industry data from the past year and offer a roadmap for the future.

“This is our most exciting Annual Meeting yet, and we are happy that though we cannot be in-person this year, the virtual program will allow the show to be more widely available. We look forward to ‘seeing’ you there,” Israelite adds.

This year’s Annual Meeting will be held virtually on June 9. For more information, visit or email Kartraice Hooper at [email protected].

ACM Lifting Lives Reopens COVID-19 Response Fund

ACM Lifting Lives has reopened the COVID-19 Response Fund applications for financial assistance.

The fund was created to help alleviate the financial burden that many music industry professionals including crew members, musicians, songwriters, and developing artists have faced during the pandemic. To date, ACM Lifting Lives has distributed $3.5 million directly to those in the country community experiencing financial hardship.

The ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund has been made possible thanks to contributions from ACM Lifting Lives and donations from music labels, brand partners, financial institutions, artists and industry members, and individual fans and donors. Industry members can learn more and apply for assistance at

Danny Gokey Slates New Album, ‘Stand In Faith,’ For August

Three-time Grammy nominee, three-time KLOVE Male Vocalist of the Year and Dove Award winner Danny Gokey is releasing a new full-length studio project, Stand In Faith, on Aug. 20.

The new album was inspired by the challenges faced over the past year during the pandemic and Gokey created it as an encouragement and reminder of what faith means to each person and how to stand strong in what you believe. Many of the songs on the new album were birthed from what Gokey learned himself over the last year, and how to press on forward with these lessons learned.

He is giving fans a taste of the upcoming album with the release of brand new single, “Stand In Faith.”

“I wrote this song to be an anthem that people can sing over their lives to encourage their faith for the miracles and breakthroughs they’re believing God for,” says Gokey of his new single. “Faith brings our hopes into reality!! It’s the confidence and trust in God that’s needed to acquire the things we long for but don’t yet see. Faith invites God in to work on our behalf. More now than ever before, faith should be our bedrock and our foundation. I pray this song revives the hearts of many who listen to it and gives them the needed fuel to persevere in any difficult situation.”

The new album follows Gokey’s 2019 release Haven’t Seen It Yet, which produced the newly-certified RIAA Gold Single, “Haven’t Seen It Yet.” The track marks his second Gold career single, and was No. 1 at Christian radio for seven weeks—making it his fifth No. 1 radio single. Gokey is also nominated for the fifth time for Male Artist of the Year at the upcoming KLOVE Fan Awards. He is the reigning Male Artist of the Year from 2019, and has won the category three times in the award show’s history. He will also be performing the Spanglish version of his No.1 hit, “Love God Love People” during the pre-taped broadcast, which airs on TBN on June 4.

Garth Brooks Honored At 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors

Pictured (L-R, back row): Joan Baez, Garth Brooks; (L-R, front row) Debbie Allen, Dick Van Dyke, Midori

Garth Brooks was celebrated at the 43rd annual Kennedy Center Honors over the weekend in a series of events in the nation’s capital. Fellow Kennedy Center Honorees along with Brooks included actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen, folk singer and activist Joan Baez, violin virtuoso Midori, and beloved acting icon Dick Van Dyke.

After being delayed a year due to COVID-19, the group’s Washington, D.C. itinerary included a Thursday meeting with the President and First Lady, a Thursday evening event featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, Friday’s Medallion Ceremony in the Kennedy Center’s Opera House which was hosted by prior recipient Gloria Estefan, and a Saturday performance event on an outdoor plaza at the cultural center for the arts.

Brooks was elated at receiving the honor. “Just getting to be among this level of ‘character’…I feel very lucky,” he noted at the Medallion Ceremony Friday evening. “An award is only as good as the names that are on it,” he explained. “When you walk in that door…and you see the list of names…and then you sit in this group…and get to be a part of this…for the first time in my life, I don’t mind being the weak link in the chain. I’m in the chain – that’s it.”

Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood

On Saturday, Brooks added more thanks, posting on his socials, “To loosely quote Maya Angelou, I stand here as one but I stand here for the people who have carried me to this point.”

Brooks is also celebrating selling out the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, where 80,000 tickets were sold in less than an hour. He will likely recap the weekend of celebrations on Inside Studio G on Facebook today (May 24).

Gabby Barrett, Morgan Wallen Both Win Three At Billboard Music Awards

Gabby Barrett poses backstage for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on May 23, 2021 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Rich Fury

Last night (May 23) Nick Jonas hosted the 2021 Billboard Music Awards airing live on NBC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Amidst an array of performances and special honors, country breakout artist Gabby Barrett walked away last night with three awards including Top Country Female Artist, Top Collaboration for the remix of her hit single “I Hope” with Charlie Puth, and Top Country Song with her 2019 debut single, “I Hope.” Barrett was nominated for a whopping nine categories this year including Top Country Artist, Top New Artist, Top Country Album, and Top Radio Song, to name a few.

“Thank you so much!,” Barrett exclaimed from the Billboard Music Awards stage. “Oh my gosh. I’m going to try to keep it together as best as I can. This is a really big deal. This means so much to me. Thank you so much to my team. I’ve been performing for 10 years really hard. My dad and my sister are here, and we’ve worked so hard to get here. Thank you to the Lord Jesus above for everything. Thank you to my husband, my sweet daughter who’s back at home watching.”

Despite being barred from the event due to the incident in which Morgan Wallen was filmed using the N-word outside his Nashville home, Wallen won three awards out of his six nominations, including Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, and Top Country Album for Dangerous: The Double Album. Because the Billboard Music Award winners are determined by performance on the Billboard charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization, Wallen was able to receive nominations.

Florida Georgia Line won the award for Top Country Duo/Group, and Carrie Underwood walked away with Top Christian Album for My Gift. Taylor Swift was awarded Top Artist and Top Female Artist of the night, while Pop Smoke took home Top New Artist, and The Weeknd won Top Male Artist.

Although there weren’t any country performances on the broadcast, Kelsea Ballerini helped close out the show by announcing the Jonas Brothers who were the final performance of the night. Ballerini will be hitting the road with the trio this summer on the Remember This tour.

For a full list of winners and nominees from this year’s show, click here.