After a year stacked with #1 hits across multiple music formats on both radio airplay and sales charts, Big Machine Label Group further cements its title as the top independently-owned record label in the world. During the month of December alone, global superstar Taylor Swift’s 1989 finished its seventh week at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart, while her single “Blank Space” currently sits at #1 on both the Pop and Hot AC radio charts. Tim McGraw’s “Shotgun Rider” led the country radio airplay chart at #1 for four consecutive weeks (Mediabase). Hot new duo Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song” also landed at #1 on both the Billboard and Mediabase charts, becoming only the third duo to do so in 71 years, while RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls” shot to #1 on the iTunes Country Singles Chart.
Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group, said “2014 was another historic and remarkable year for the Big Machine Label Group. Every artist and every staff member boldly stepped up to continue to find ways to win in this increasingly challenging environment. At the end of the day we can’t forget about what’s most important – our artists and the music they make that continues to engage and excite their fans. Without that, this is all for not. Music First… and Music Has Value. The dragon known as 2015 is right in front of us… gotta go, there’s a dragon to slay…”
In 2015, Borchetta will join American Idol in its fourteenth season as a mentor to the contestants. The powerhouse label head will work alongside the show’s superstar judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. Borchetta will begin appearing in the show in late February every Wednesday and Thursday. In May, he will receive the 2015 Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement from the Music Business Association.
Topline year-end achievements from BMLG artists included:
Taylor Swift’s 1989 pop album release became the biggest selling album of the 2014. The album launched with a historic debut—the largest in over a decade– selling over 1.2 million copies in its first week, making Taylor the ONLY artist to ever secure three million-selling opening weeks. The album’s lead single, “Shake It Off,” has sold over five million downloads to date and has earned three GRAMMY nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Pop Solo Performance. Taylor set new records at Pop radio as well, becoming the first woman in the history of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart to succeed herself at #1 when “Blank Space” took over the top spot from “Shake It Off.” “Blank Space” currently remains the #1 song on the Pop and Hot AC radio charts.
With the release of his second album on Big Machine Records, Sundown Heaven Town, McGraw found himself back at the top of the sales and radio charts, earning several awards and nominations along the way including a #1 debut on Billboard’s Top Country Chart. His critically-acclaimed hit single “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” featuring wife Faith Hill recently garnered two GRAMMY nominations in the categories of Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance. His most recent single, “Shotgun Rider,” logged a four-week run at #1 on Mediabase, with three consecutive weeks at the pinnacle on both Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and Billboard Country Airplay. “Shotgun Rider” signifies McGraw’s 36th career chart-topper and remains the current best-selling song on the iTunes Country Singles chart. As McGraw’s 27th #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart, he scores the most of any artist in the chart’s 25–year history.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
Florida Georgia Line is continuing the record-breaking momentum with the release of their Gold-certified sophomore album Anything Goes (Republic Nashville) soaring to a #1 debut on the all-genre Billboard 200 and Billboard Top Country Albums charts. Fueled by their hot new single “Sun Daze” and Platinum, #1 smash “Dirt,” music critics and fans alike have embraced the superstar duo’s fresh sound. FGL has skyrocketed to stardom becoming the only artist in history to join Brooks & Dunn in achieving four back-to-back, multi-week #1 singles; breaking the record for longest #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and selling nearly 20 million tracks worldwide of their 2X Platinum debut Here’s To The Good Times.
In addition to collaborating across genres with sensations like Nelly and Jason Derulo, FGL has won numerous industry awards including 2014 Billboard Touring Award for Breakthrough Artist; American Music Award for Favorite Band Duo or Group, Country, in addition to being named ACM and CMA Vocal Duo of the Year. The duo will take their signature show worldwide next year on the headline Anything Goes Tour 2015.
Dominating with the Gold-certified Just As I Am (The Valory Music Co.), Brantley Gilbert notched his first #1 Billboard Country Albums debut and holds the third-highest Country debut of 2014 as well as a Top 10 spot on this year’s Top Albums chart (Soundscan). The album recently took home theAmerican Music Award for Favorite Country Album and produced his latest single “One Hell of an Amen;” the Platinum-certified #1 hit “Bottoms Up” and the Top 10, GOLD-certified “Small Town Throwdown,” featuring labelmates Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett.
The Georgia native has racked up five #1 singles, impressive album sales, multiple award show nominations from the CMA, ACM, ACA, ACC and CMT Music Awards. Brantley recently wrapped the second leg of his Let It Ride Tour and will join Kenny Chesney in 2015 for The Big Revival Tour. He rang in 2015 with a performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
MADDIE & TAE
Hot new duo Maddie & Tae took the country music world by storm with their #1 debut single “Girl In A Country”— dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the most talked about country song of 2014.” The “Girl In A Country Song” video – casting average dudes as video honeys – has garnered over 16,000,000 views.The single has been certified Gold, and their self-titled EP debuted at #1. More startling, their song about being more than cut-offs and a bikini top sparked massive coverage by Atlantic Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, multiple features in The Washington Post and NPR, as well as appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, TODAY and Entertainment Tonight.
RaeLynn has seen her empowering lead track “God Made Girls” rise into the Top 20 at Country radio while the music video has garnered over 6.5 million views. The tune also hit #1 on the iTunes Country chart. With the highest charting debut single by a solo female artist in 2014, RaeLynn was chosen as the first female iHeart Media On the Verge Artist, which showcases artists that have the potential to break out of the pack with a great song and was also selected as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country. She will embark on fellow Texan Miranda Lambert’s Certified Platinum Tour in 2015. Just like her musical hero Dolly Parton, RaeLynn embraced her Country roots with a Grand Ole Opry debut. RaeLynn will release ME, a five-song EP she penned, on January 13 just before embarking on fellow Texan Miranda Lambert’s Certified Platinum Tour.
BMLG, in partnership with Cumulus, launched NASH Icon Records in 2014 signing Reba as its flagship artist. The multi-media entertainer released her first single, “Going Out Like That,” on the new much-talked-about-town label and it quickly ascend to #1 on iTunes Country Top Songs chart. She was named the first-ever NASH Icon Award recipient in December.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.