Borman Entertainment Adds Donna Hughes To Team, Promotes Two

Donna Hughes

Industry veteran Donna Hughes has joined Borman Entertainment as VP of Touring/Communications. Reporting to SVP of Tour Marketing & Radio Donna Jean Kisshauer, Hughes will work on numerous aspects of tour marketing as well as radio outreach.

Prior to joining Borman Entertainment, Hughes spent 13 years at UMG Nashville, most recently serving as National Director/Radio Marketing.

“When the opportunity to join Borman Entertainment arose, I decided this was the perfect place to utilize my experience in new and innovative ways. Borman Entertainment will afford me the chance to grow and learn in ways I never thought possible,” she shares. “To be able to continue to work with Keith Urban and Tyler Hubbard, the Borman team and my friends at UMG Nashville—in a different capacity—is a dream come true.”

“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add Donna’s experience and perspective. The depth of her knowledge and passion will provide great value and creativity to every facet of what we do,” says Borman Entertainment CEO/Owner Gary Borman.

At UMG, Hughes worked with syndicated radio, gathered and coordinated artist content and was involved in marketing campaigns and expanding the reach of artists such as Borman Entertainment acts Urban and Hubbard as well as Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and more.

She previously served as Executive Producer of the nationally syndicated radio program GAC Nights: Live From Nashville; Senior Producer for Premiere Radio Networks; morning show talent for Nashville’s Rockin’ Country 102.9 and Talent Coordinator for TNN’s Crook & Chase and Music City Tonight. In 2006, Hughes received the prestigious CMA Media Achievement Award.

In addition to Hughes’ appointment, Borman Entertainment has also promoted Nikki Abbamont to Sr. Marketing Manager and Katie Mangan to Management & Marketing Coordinator. Both have been with the company for two years and work with all the artists on the roster.

Hughes can be reached at donna.hughes@bormantn.com, Abbamont at nikki.abbamont@bormantn.com and Mangan at katie.mangan@borman.com.

Dr. Richard James Burgess To Step Down As A2IM President & CEO In 2026

Dr. Richard James Burgess. Photo: Dan Bassini

Dr. Richard James Burgess plans to step down as President & CEO of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) in January 2026 after a decade of service. He shared the news during the Annual General Meeting that closed out A2IM Indie Week 2024.

“As A2IM approaches its 20th anniversary in 2025, I am filled with immense pride for our collective achievements and honored to have been the longest-serving head of A2IM to date,” said Burgess. “Leading this exceptional organization has been an extraordinary experience. I am profoundly grateful for the support and dedication of our Board members, the invaluable work of our founding members and prior presidents who set up the organization to succeed, and the unwavering commitment of our many members. Our success is a testament to the hard work and passion of the many team members I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside.

“Thank you for entrusting me with the well-being of your organization for all these years. I am confident that the future holds great promise for our independent community, and I look forward to celebrating our continued growth and accomplishments a decade from now.”

Dr. Burgess has been instrumental in advancing the interests of independent music. Throughout his tenure, he has overseen a period of significant growth and innovation for A2IM. His leadership is considered to be characterized by a deep commitment to championing the rights and interests of independent music creators and fostering an inclusive community while navigating the evolving music landscape.

The organization’s Board of Directors has initiated a search for his successor.

Post Malone & Morgan Wallen Top MusicRow Radio Chart With ‘I Had Some Help’

Post Malone’s track “I Had Some Help” featuring Morgan Wallen takes the No. 1 spot on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart this week, jumping from No. 5 to No. 1 in just five weeks.

The song comes from Post’s upcoming country album and was written by Post, Wallen, Ernest, Louis Bell, Ashley Gorely, Hoskins, Charlie Handsome and Chandler Paul Walters.

After making two appearances at CMA Fest last week, Post is set to take to the stage again this weekend at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee.

“I Had Some Help” currently sits at No. 3 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and No. 4 on the Mediabase chart.

Click here to view the latest edition of the MusicRow Weekly containing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart.

TobyMac Surprised With Several Plaques Marking Career Milestones

Pictured (L–R): CCMG’s Emily Dashiell, SiriusXM/Pandora’s Al Skop, TobyMac, CCMG’s Amanda Gore, SiriusXM/Pandora’s Victoria Alfonso and CCMG’s Steven Cervenka. Photo: Dan Russo for Wander Creative

Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG) and Pandora surprised TobyMac with several plaques marking his recent career milestones on Monday (June 11).

Pictured (L–R): CCMG’s David Sylvester, Emily Dashiell, Kenny Rogers, Brad O’Donnell, TobyMac, CCMG’s Josh Bailey, Hudson Plachy, Tiffany Thompson and Steven Cervenka. Photo: Dan Russo for Wander Creative

SiriusXM/Pandora’s Senior Director, Music Programming Al Skop presented the Grammy-winning artist with a Billionaires Plaque to commemorate his collection of over a billion streams the platform.

Hosted by CCMG in their new Nashville office, the label took the opportunity to celebrate the success of his Life After Death album, honoring its five No. 1 radio singles, and presented him with plaques celebrating his Gold-certified song “Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” as well as Platinum-certified tunes “Speak Life” and “City On Our Knees.”

“We are thrilled to honor TobyMac and his unprecedented success. From being awarded Pandora’s Billionaires Plaque to numerous awards for his catalog and current album Life After Death, there is so much to celebrate,” expressed Brad O’Donnell, CCMG Co-President. “We are extremely grateful to be involved with such a special artist like Toby.”

“I am just so grateful,” shared TobyMac. “I look out at all of you and see a team—some people I’ve worked with for decades, some for months, but a team that has championed my songs and helped me spread how deep and wide God’s never-ending love is, and for that I am so thankful. I love experiencing God breathing life into a song, allowing people to make that song their own and experience God’s faithfulness in their own lives – it’s why I will keep doing it ’til someone tells me I can’t anymore.”

He also recently released “Nothin’ Sweeter,” the first single from his forthcoming project, and took home Song of the Year for “Faithfully” at the K-Love Fan Awards.

Dallas Smith Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut

Dallas Smith during his Grand Ole Opry debut. Photo: Jessica Hood

Dallas Smith stepped into the historic Grand Ole Opry circle for the first time last night (June 12), and played a few songs from his 2023 self-titled album to the sold-out crowd.

The Big Loud artist started his career as the frontman of Platinum-selling rock band Default before going solo. Starting his solo journey in his home country of Canada, Smith notched three consecutive CCMA Entertainer of the Year awards. Now in the U.S., he has amassed over 520 million global streams and over two million album equivalents. Smith has also gone on to earn 18 Gold-certified singles, seven Platinum-certified singles and four Gold-certified albums.

Additionally, he is set to take his music to several festivals this year, including Headwaters Country Jam, Country Thunder Florida, Country Thunder Alberta and more.

Gretchen Wilson Returns With New Single, Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of ‘Redneck Woman’

Gretchen Wilson performing at Nissan Stadium at CMA Fest 2024. Photo: Josh Brasted

Gretchen Wilson is gearing up for the release of her first single since 2018, “Little Miss Runner Up,” out tomorrow (June 14).

The song is the follow-up to her 2005 track “Homewrecker,” and she reunited with “Homewrecker” co-writers Rivers Rutherford and George Teren on the new single.

“’Little Miss Runner Up’ follows the same girl we all know… and love to roll our eyes at! Can’t wait to see how this song looks in a country music video!” says Wilson.

At last week’s CMA Fest in Nashville, Wilson celebrated the 2oth anniversary of her multi-week No. 1 single “Redneck Woman” and multi-Platinum Here For The Party album with two performances. Ashley McBryde introduced Wilson during her CMA Fest set Thursday night at Nissan Stadium, and the two launched into a rousing version of “Redneck Woman.” The following day Uncle Kracker interviewed her at the CMA Close Up stage about her 20-year career. Friday night, Wilson kicked off the Nissan Stadium show with her own set with “Here For The Party,” “Homewrecker,” “Work Hard, Play Harder” and “Redneck Woman.”

Drew Parker To Drop Debut Full-Length Project In July

Drew Parker plans to deliver his debut full-length project, Camouflage Cowboy, on July 12 via Warner Music Nashville.

Produced by Jacob Rice, Camouflage Cowboy aims to authentically introduce Parker as an artist. As a songwriter, Parker puts an emphasis on hard-hitting country lyricism. He seeks to depict his life as father, a husband and a storyteller with the album, collaborating with hitmakers such as Jon Nite, Lindsay Rimes, Chris Destefano and Lee Thomas Miller, among others.

The 14-track collection includes singles “The Truck” and “Love The Leavin'” as well as “Better On A Boat,” a summer tune the artist wrote alongside Rice and Dan Isbell that is set for release tomorrow (June 14).

“I am so excited about this record,” says Parker. “[Camouflage Cowboy] is all about my family, my friends, my faith, my struggles and the way I grew up. I hope that you can connect to the songs and the stories, and it helps you along your journey in this life.”

Additionally, he will join Luke Combs on his “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old Tour” and hit the road for his own headlining dates this year.

Camouflage Cowboy Track Listing:
1. “The Truck” (Drew Parker, James McNair, Lindsay Rimes, Dylan Marlowe)
2. “Fishin’ On A River” (Drew Parker, Cole Taylor, David Fanning)
3. “Tomorrow” (Drew Parker, Harley Parker, Jon Nite, Lindsay Rimes)
4. “Whiskey Proof” (Drew Parker, Jon Nite, Andrew DeRoberts)
5. “Love The Leavin’” (Drew Parker, Matt Rogers, Lindsay Rimes)
6. “Better On A Boat” (Drew Parker, Dan Isbell, Jacob Rice)
7. “Luck Don’t Live Around Here” (Neil Thrasher, Kelley Lovelace, Chris DeStefano)
8. “The Time We Had” (Drew Parker, Billy Dawson, Lee Thomas Miller)
9. “Camouflage Cowboy” (Drew Parker)
10. “Hillbilly Billionaires” (Drew Parker, Jacob Rice, Jordan Walker)
11. “Clearly Confused” (John Morgan, Jeb Gipson)
12. “Hill I’m Climbing” (Drew Parker, Lindsay Rimes, Cary Barlowe)
13. “Running On The Wild Side” (Drew Parker, Casey Beathard, Phil O’Donnell)
14. “What A Day That Will Be (feat. The Isaacs)” (Traditional Hymn)

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Warren Zeiders Kicks Off Summer With ‘Infectious Banger’

Warren Zeiders. Photo: Austin Screws

You can set your clock to it: every year, the CMA Music Fest ushers in 90 degree weather in Music City.

With summer upon us, the country stars are doing their bit with sunshine songs. Just lend your ears to Mickey Guyton, Thomas Rhett, Denitia, Uncle Kracker and Sylvia.

This same vibe is also true of this week’s award winners. The Disc of the Day prize goes to Warren Zeiders. His lyric might be about a relationship, but the rocking sound is summer all the way. The DISCovery Award goes to Tucker Wetmore, who is also selling a tempo tune.

SYLVIA / “Knockin’ Around”
Writer: Gary Burr; Producers: Don Potter/Brent Maher; Label: RCA/Legacy
– There’s good news this week from the Sylvia camp. All of her hit RCA albums from the ‘80s are being reissued—Drifter (1981), the Gold-selling Just Sylvia (1982, including her pop-crossover “Nobody”), Snapshot (1983), Surprise (1984) and One Step Closer (1985). The newly released music in this batch of releases are the 11 tracks of her previously unissued 1986 collection. The title tune, “Knockin’ Around,” has very cool retro vibe. A driving ‘80s-percussion beat, chiming synth keyboards and a groovy sax solo underscore a sprightly vocal performance. All of the new/old tracks remind me of how much real melody is missing from today’s country songwriting. Highly recommended ear therapy.

AVERY ANNA / “Breakup Over Breakfast”
Writers: Andy Sheridan/Avery Anna/Ben Williams/David Fanning; Producer: David Fanning; Label: Warner Music Nashville
– Rocking, snarky and feisty. The title tune for this woman’s forthcoming debut album is a breakup song with wit and spice. I sense big things in this gal’s future.

THOMAS RHETT / “Gone Country”
Writers: Jacob Kasher Hindlin/Joe Reeves/John Byron/Julian Bunetta/Rocky Block/Ryan Vojtesak/Thomas Rhett; Producers: Julian Bunetta/Dann Huff/Charlie Handsome/Joe Reeves; Label: The Valory Music Co.
– Thoroughly charming. A choppy, loopy rhythm pattern burbles along as he spins his yarn of a city girl who falls in love with his backwoods life. The production is admirably spare, and he delivers with a vocal wink.

ELLA LANGLEY / “Hungover”
Writers: Chris Tompkins/Ella Langley/Josh Kear; Producer: Will Bundy; Label: SAWGOD/Columbia
– Compelling and charismatic. She delivers this heartache ballad with terrific vocal finesse—extended notes, wounded phrasing, broken passages and the like. I hung on every line.

LITTLE BIG TOWN & KELSEA BALLERINI / “Shut Up Train”
Writers: Chris Tompkins/Hillary Lindsey/Luke Laird; Producers: Little Big Town/Wayne Kirkpatrick; Label: Capitol Records Nashville
– LBT’s forthcoming Greatest Hits collection features three new collaborations. Miranda Lambert adds zest to “Little White Church.” Sugarland teams up with the quartet on the Phil Collins tune “Take Me Home.” Out this week is a new take on LBT’s 2011 ballad “Shut Up Train” featuring Kelsea Ballerini coming in on the second verse and carrying the tune into its bridge and finale choruses. Super listenable.

TUCKER WETMORE / “Wind Up Missin’ You”
Writers: Chris LaCorte/Thomas Archer/Tucker Wetmore; Producer: Chris LaCorte; Label: TW
– A contemporary, modern Nashville production contrasts nicely with his ultra-country vocal drawl. A rushing, electronic vibe carries the thing along. This newcomer’s set was a rousing crowd pleaser at CMA Fest.

MICKEY GUYTON / “Make It Me”
Writers: Corey Crowder/Mickey Guyton/Tyler Hubbard; Producer: Karen Kosowski; Label: Capitol Records Nashville
– Jaunty, youthful, bopping pop country. She’s such a good singer: I wish somebody would give her a surefire hit song.

KARLEY SCOTT COLLINS & KEITH URBAN / “Write One”
Writers: Aaron Zuckerman/Heather Morgan/Karley Scott Collins/Nathan Chapman; Producers: Karley Scott Collins/Nathan Chapman; Label: Sony Music Nashville
– Sultry and bitter. Crashing electric guitars (courtesy of Keith Urban) back her as her double-tracked vocal shoots sharp arrows into her cheating ex-boyfriend. He always wanted her to write a song about him, but I doubt he was thinking of this.

JOHNNY CASH & DAN AUERBACH / “Spotlight”
Writer: Johnny Cash; Producers: Johnny Cash/John Carter Cash/David Ferguson/Josh Matas/Mike Daniel; Label: JC
– Ruminating and moody with a steady rhythmic thump and some ghostly, echoey  guitar accompaniment from Dan Auerbach. Cash’s vocal is a marvel of understated phrasing and solid confidence. The late superstar’s upcoming Songwriter album is a masterpiece from start to finish. This is just one of its splendid attractions.

DENITIA / “Back To You”
Writers: Brad Allen Williams/Denitia Odigie; Producer: Brad Allen Williams; Label: County Road
– This Black Opry and Next Women of Country alumnus displays a loping, gentle, folkie vibe on this yearning tune. There’s a sweet innocence about it that’s quite endearing.

WARREN ZEIDERS / “Relapse”
Writers: Blake Pendergrass/Justin Ebach/Warren Zeiders; Producer: Mike Elizondo; Label: Warner Records
– This one’s an infectious banger that sounds like the perfect summer country song. The tempo is ferocious; the guitars are high and bright; he’s singing his face off. What’s not to like?

UNCLE KRACKER / “Beach Chair”
Writers: Greg Schleicher/Joe Benke/Matthew Shafer; Producer: Josh Bright; Label: Sturgeon General Records
– And speaking of summer, here’s a seaside ditty with a mellow, relaxing, beer-sipping, palm-trees-in-sunshine, good-time atmosphere. Nobody sings with a smile better than this friendly goofball.

The Black Opry Launches Label & Signs Jett Holden

Black Opry Records, Jett Holden. Photo: Kai Lendzion

Artist collective the Black Opry, started by industry veteran and advocate Holly G, has launched a record label in partnership with Thirty Tigers. The first artist signed to Black Opry Records is Jett Holden, who will deliver his debut album The Phoenix in October.

The Black Opry is an organization and touring collective focused on celebrating and supporting Black roots and country artists. When Founder Holly G first heard Holden’s music online, he had just given up pursuing an artist career.

“I found the first verse and chorus for ‘Taxidermy’ and asked if he planned on finishing the song,” she says. “He told me he wasn’t sure, so I got him a grant to finish and record it.” Holly G reached out to Rissi Palmer, Founder of the Color Me Country Artist Fund, who was so moved by Holden’s songwriting that she awarded him the funds to complete the track, setting him off on what has now become a full-circle journey.

As such, The Phoenix opens with the song that started it all. “Taxidermy” is a powerful anthem written in response to police brutality. Its vulnerability fits in well with the collection of songs that reflect on Holden’s experience as a Black, queer man growing up in the rural south.

“The title The Phoenix represents the resurrection of my career,” he says. “When Holly found me, when the Black Opry found me, I had quit music. I was done. This whole process pulled me back into music. Everything feels possible now.”

To celebrate the signing announcement, Holden has released the album’s debut single, “Backwood Proclamation.” The song was co-written with his friend and fellow queer singer-songwriter Roger Dale Locklear and features Charlie Worsham and John Osborne on electric guitar.

YouTube video

“We were playing a line of Mother’s Day shows in North Carolina. One morning, he’d gone out to the dollar store and I got the idea for a song about loving someone who feels like home whenever they’re around,” Holden recalls of writing the song with Locklear.

Recorded at Cartoon Moon Recording Studio in east Nashville, The Phoenix was produced by CMA and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Will Hoge, who asked Holden to collaborate on the record after the Black Opry opened for him at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley.

“From the first time you hear Jett you realize how genuine he is,” Hoge says. “You feel the honesty. That comes through in the songs he writes. It comes through in the way he sings them. He’s a special artist and it’s exciting to get to watch the world discover it.”

The Phoenix Track Listing:
1. Taxidermy
2. Necromancer
3. Karma (feat. Cassadee Pope)
4. Perfect Storm
5. Scarecrow
6. When I’m Gone (feat. Emily Scott Robinson)
7. Better Off
8. 65611
9. West Virginia Sky
10. Backwood Proclamation (feat. Charlie Worsham, John Osborne)

Darius Rucker Joins As One Cru Wines

Darius Rucker for As One Cru. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Darius Rucker has partnered with Layer Cake and Hundred Acre Wines Founder Chris Radomski to join As One Cru, a wine brand created to bring people together and create memorable experiences.

As One Cru currently offers Napa Valley and Oregon pinot noirs as well as a Napa cabernet, with more varietals to be released this summer. For more information, click here.

“I’ve been a big fan of wine since my buddy Dan Marino shared some amazing bottles with me in the early Hootie & the Blowfish days,” reflects Rucker. “To me, a great wine is about the moments you create with the people you love. I’ve had the same musical family—the same crew—for almost 30 years, so the spirit of As One Cru is something I’ve been living for a long time. And it really doesn’t hurt that the wine is absolutely delicious!”

“I’ve always felt music, art, food and wine are interconnected, they’re all ways to collaborate and soak up time with your friends & family—your crew,” shares Radomski. “Whether you’re celebrating a milestone or simply enjoying the company of your loved ones, there’s nothing like coming together over a glass of great wine. I’ve been a fan of Darius from the ‘90s up through the amazing stuff he’s doing right now in country music, and we’re really thrilled to welcome him to the Cru. He brings an authentic, laid-back charm that represents what this wine is all about.”

Additionally, Rucker recently re-released his single “Never Been Over” as a duet with Sugarland vocalist Jennifer Nettles. He also shared his new memoir, Life’s Too Short: A Memoir by Darius Rucker, last month via Dey Street Books.