Industry News

Second Annual Record Store Crawl revealed

Record Store Crawl

Audiophiles, record enthusiasts, and music lovers are invited to join the second annual series of official Record Store Crawls, taking place in various U.S. cities throughout the next few months. The first of this year’s Record Store Crawls takes place in New York City on Record Store Day, April 22nd, while the remainder of the cities’ Crawls will take place from June through August.

Participants will be escorted by bus to some of each city’s best record stores, with performances from various artists along the way. Tickets range from $34.95 to $59.95, and can be purchased at recordstorecrawl.com.

Record Store Crawl participants will enjoy:

  • A seat on the Record Store Crawl bus
  • A one-of-a-kind performances
  • Food and drinks
  • A gift bag including a mystery vinyl LP and other limited edition gifts including David Bowie and Metallica slipmats
  • Discounts at participating records stores
  • Various other giveaways

Bands confirmed to perform at select Record Store Crawl dates include Savoire Adore (Nettwerk Records); Craig Brown Band (Third Man Records); Four By Fate (The End Records); The Sweeplings (Nettwerk Records), Angelica Garcia (Warner Bros. Records), Ryan Kinder (Warner Music Nashville), Steff and the Articles (independent), and more to be announced. Record Store Crawl is proudly presented in partnership with Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Record Store Crawl Schedule:

4/22 – New York, NY
6/10 – Minneapolis, MN
6/17 – Phoenix, AZ
6/24 – Chicago, IL
6/24 – Rochester, NY
7/8 – Seattle, WA
7/22 – Los Angeles, CA
7/29 – Birmingham, AL
7/29 – Washington, DC
8/6 – Austin, TX
8/12 – Portland, OR
8/26 – Nashville, TN

Third Man Records, Amoeba Records, High Fidelity, Grimey’s, Domino Records, Smash Records, Rough Trade and many more record stores are participating.

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AT&T expands Front of the Line concert ticket access

AT&T & Live Nation

AT&T Wireless customers already have had access

AT&T and Live Nation have teamed up to offer tens of millions of eligible DIRECTV, AT&T U-Verse TV and AT&T Internet customers exclusive pre-sale access to concerts. A&T is the only mobile company to have already offered Front of the Line pre-sale opportunities.

Since launch, AT&T has sent tens of thousands of postpaid wireless customers to the front of the line. Customers had access to buy priority pre-sale tickets to acts like Depeche Mode, Florida Georgia Line, OneRepublic, Thomas Rhett and many more.

“Our goal is to help create lasting memories for our customers through entertainment,” said Jay Cary, vice president, Customer Loyalty and Retention, AT&T Entertainment Group. “Our collaboration with Live Nation is dually beneficial. We get to give our customers priority access. We can also send them to exclusive venues across America, including AT&T-sponsored Live Nation venues in Atlanta, LA and Dallas.”

With exclusive concerts on AT&T AUDIENCE Network and priority pre-sale access, AT&T wants to give their customers the best in music entertainment. Besides giving access to customers’ phone, tablet, TV and at the movie theatre, they can now provide some of the best opportunities to see premier concert events around the world.

Keep Music Alive inspires with Teach Music America Week

Keep Music Alive Teach Music America Week

This year, over 500 music schools from 47 states will participate in the third annual Teach Music America Week by offering a complimentary music lesson to new students. Teach Music America Week was founded by the Keep Music Alive organization as a way to inspire musicians and music schools across the country to offer one free 30-minute lesson to new students. All interested music students (children and adults) are also encouraged to seek out a participating music school or musician.

Teach Music America Week is celebrated during the third week of March to coincide with National Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM). Some of largest music school chains in the country will be participating in Teach Music America Week this year, including the Guitar Center, Music & Arts and the legendary School of Rock.

“Music education helps children develop confidence, patience, and social skills as well as improve their academics,” states Vincent James, founder of Keep Music Alive. “It has also been demonstrated to provide many benefits to adults who take up an instrument later in life. Sometimes the biggest hurdle in doing something is just getting started; with Teach Music America Week, we are hoping to give birth to a multitude of new musicians who will continue playing music long after the month of March is over.”

Keep Music Alive is an organization dedicated to promoting the value of music in our world: educationally, therapeutically and overall making us a happier society. To help spread this message it has founded Kids Music Day, celebrated the first Friday in October and Teach Music America Week in March. It has also published the book 88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life, featuring over 150 inspirational music stories from musicians, music teachers and music fans from around the world including a number of celebrities. Fifty percent of the proceeds from 88+ Ways Music are donated to organizations that provide instruments and music instruction to schools and communities in need. Current beneficiaries include Guitars in the Classroom, Spirit of Harmony and Mr. Hollands Opus Foundation.

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T Bone Burnett calls for DMCA reform with new video

T Bone Burnett

Content Creators Coalition’s Advisory Board Member T Bone Burnett, an award-winning singer, songwriter and producer, submitted the following video calling for reforms to the DMCA notice-and-takedown process to the U.S. Copyright Office’s Section 512 Study.

Burnett, whose numerous recognitions include 13 Grammy Awards, an Oscar and a Golden Globe, utilized his distinct creative talents to help illustrate how the current broken system is hurting music creators, filmmakers, and other creative industries through his unique video submission as part of the proceedings.

“Everyone with a stake in the Internet’s success and the health of our creative democracy must work together to make this right,” Burnett says in the video. “It’s time for Congress to close the loopholes in section 512 of the DMCA. Our culture is at stake.”

In addition to being formally submitted to the Copyright Office, c3 will use Burnett’s video to educate the public about how the current DMCA notice-and-takedown process is broken and build grassroots support for reform. A shorter version of Burnett’s video will be used as part of c3’s digital ad campaign on this issue.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

In its early days, the Internet was hailed a panacea. A global community – unshackled from corporate, military, or government control ready to equalize and connect the world.

One of its early false prophets named it a “Culture of the Mind” that “all may enter without privilege or prejudice”.

But that’s not what we got.

Instead of opening up minds, it has closed them down – becoming a restrictive, abusive place where women, people of color, and anyone marked different are shunned, attacked, and shouted down.

2016 laid bare how cyberspace hasn’t rationalized dialog. It’s become a megaphone for propaganda and fake news where it’s easier to demagogue and divide than ever.

Dreams of a stronger democracy have given way to foreign hackers and corporate manipulation – a shriveled politics indistinguishable from reality TV.

And for artists and creators, instead of amplifying our voices to lead the fight for change, it undermines and silences us.

The Internet – with all its promise and beauty – threatens to destroy what it was supposed to save.

We can’t let that happen.

This proceeding is focused on the legal safe harbors in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – the law that was supposed to balance the Internet’s openness with creators’ ability to earn a living wage from their work.

Those safe harbors have failed.

The problems are familiar – they are well described in the record of these proceedings from the broken Sisyphus climb of “notice and takedown” to the gunpoint negotiations and pittance wages forced upon creators by the Google monopoly.

The Big Tech ITOPIANS can track us across dozens of networks, devices, and profiles to bombard us with micro targeted ads, but they can’t even identify unauthorized copies of our work and keep them off their own servers and systems.

Or they won’t.

The problem here isn’t technology – creators welcome the digital revolution and its power to connect, amplify, and inspire. A modern recording studio looks more like a cockpit than a honky tonk, and that’s just fine.

The problem is business models – designed to scrape away value rather than fuel new creation, focused on taking rather than making.

To restore technology’s place as the rightful partner of tomorrow’s creators, we need change.

The safe harbors must be restored – so only responsible actors earn their protection, not those who actively profit from the abuse and exploitation of creators’ work.

Technology must be enlisted to make the system work better, not to roadblock progress in a pointless arms race of whack a mole and digital deception.

Creators must be given meaningful tools to earn a living from their art.

The false prophets of the internet may have imagined an egalitarian open source creative wonderland – but what we got was a digital playground for a handful of mega corporations and web moguls living fat off the artistic, cultural, and economic value everyone else creates online. And if our democracy becomes stunted and diverse Americans are shut out, I guess these new Galtian Lords would say, “That’s business.”

But artists and creators will never bow to that. We will never accept an Internet that turns its back on the vitality, optimism, and hope from which it was born. We will never allow our democracy to become a mere series of pseudo-events designed to manipulate people into spending money.

Everyone with a stake in the Internet’s success and the health of our creative democracy must work together to make this right.

It’s time for Congress to close the loopholes in section 512 of the DMCA. Our culture is at stake.

And it’s time for musicians to join with us, the Content Creators Coalition, to make that happen. Your career depends on it.

On behalf of music creators, thank you to the Copyright Office for this proceeding and for considering these views.

Billboard adds Pandora streaming to charts

Billboard, Pandora

Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, business, lifestyle and innovations in music, and Pandora, the go-to music source for fans and artists, have announced an exclusive agreement that will add influential Pandora streaming data to the Billboard Hot 100, the world’s preeminent songs chart. The Hot 100 ranks the week’s most popular songs across all genres, determined by a formula blending track sales, radio airplay and streaming, as measured by Nielsen Music.

In addition, Pandora will also impact various streaming-based charts, and Hot 100 formula-based genre rankings such as Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, among others.

Pandora data will be incorporated into the Billboard charts and revealed on Billboard.com on Tuesday, January 31st for charts dated February 11th.

Pandora data positively impacts nearly 40 titles on the Billboard Hot 100, including nine songs that improve in rank by five or more places if compared to the chart absent of Pandora data.

Among the titles showing such marked improvement thanks to Pandora plays are Rihanna’s “Sex With Me,” Bebe Rexha’s “I Got You,” Jason Aldean’s “Any Ol’ Barstool,” and “Chill Bill” by Rob $tone featuring J. Davi$ and Spooks. The latter track is among Pandora’s top 10 most-streamed songs of the week, which helps it place more than 10 spots higher on the Hot 100 had Pandora data not been added.

In addition, two songs enter the Hot 100 thanks to Pandora’s influence; Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons,” which re-enters the list, and newcomer Callum Scott who makes his first Hot 100 appearance with “Dancing On My Own.”

“Billboard’s unrivaled charts are the definitive source for ranking music popularity. For decades, the charts have acted as a place where both artists measure success and fans discover music,” says John Amato, co-president of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group. “Close to 80 million music lovers listen to Pandora every month and we look forward to bringing our brands together to incorporate Pandora’s data into our charts.”

“We’re thrilled to bring Pandora aboard as a contributor to our songs charts,” says Silvio Pietroluongo,‎ VP of Charts & Data Development for Billboard. “The music tastes and listening habits of Pandora’s large and influential user base is something that we’ve longed to include as a measure of song popularity in the Hot 100 and various other Billboard charts.”

“Close to 80 million music lovers listen to Pandora every month and we look forward to bringing our brands together to incorporate Pandora’s data into our charts.”

Pandora Founder and CEO Tim Westergren, who along with Pandora artist advocate Questlove was featured on the January 28th cover of Billboard said, “Over the last few years, Pandora has shared more and more data with the music industry. We started with artists and managers, then direct deal label partners, and now Billboard for inclusion in the iconic Hot 100 chart. With each step along the way our partners have been shocked by the sheer size of Pandora’s audience. Pandora is now the #1 radio station in 87 U.S. markets and represents roughly 10 percent of all radio listening. With the inclusion of Pandora data, the Billboard charts that have guided listeners and been so central to the music industry for decades now reflect a truer measure of a song’s popularity today. I’m thrilled that the ‘Pandora effect’ will now be formally recognized in the industry’s gold standard for measurement.”

“Next Big Sound has been a data partner of Billboard’s since 2010 with the introduction of the Social 50 chart,” said Alex White, Head of Next Big Sound at Pandora. “Based on our years of data expertise across social and streaming sources, we know the staggering volume of Pandora data that has not been counted. We project that the Pandora data will have material impact on the chart positions. I am excited that the Hot 100 will now include the enormous number of spins on Pandora.”

Pandora joins other programmed music streaming services as Billboard chart contributors, including Slacker, Google Radio, Napster and AOL Radio, among others, as well as on-demand subscription services including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon and SoundCloud, and video on-demand platforms YouTube (including Vevo on YouTube) and VidZone. Note that the latter on-demand streaming services are weighted at a higher value on weekly charts than programmed streaming services, reflecting their more active consumer interaction.

Citi announces ‘Citi Sound Vault’ with Live Nation

Citi Sound Vault

Citi, working with Live Nation, will unveil “Citi Sound Vault,” a new live music platform curated exclusively for cardmembers to access unprecedented music experiences across the U.S. From performances by major artists in intimate venues, to meet and greets and backstage access, Citi Sound Vault goes beyond ticket access to deliver extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Kicking off in Los Angeles from February 8 – 12 during one of the biggest weeks in music – traditionally only open to industry insiders – Citi and Live Nation have hand-selected Sting, Beck, The Chainsmokers, and Metallica to perform for cardmembers at the iconic Hollywood Palladium.

A full schedule of events at the Hollywood Palladium can be found below.

February 8 & 9: Sting, 16-time GRAMMY Award winner
February 10: Beck, GRAMMY Album of the Year winner, five-time GRAMMY Award winner
February 11: The Chainsmokers, three-time, 2017 GRAMMY Award nominee
February 12: Metallica, eight-time GRAMMY Award winner and 2017 GRAMMY Award nominee

Tickets go on sale January 31st at 10 am PT for Beck, The Chainsmokers, and Metallica exclusively for cardmembers using their Citi credit or debit card, at livenation.com. In addition, Citi cardmembers have the opportunity to purchase a limited number of preferred GA balcony tickets to the Sting show on February 8th.

“For nearly a decade, Citi has been providing our cardmembers with incredible access to entertainment. Now, we’re excited to take it to the next level to bring cardmembers true once-in-a-lifetime experiences with some of the world’s biggest artists,” says Jennifer Breithaupt, Managing Director, Media, Advertising and Global Entertainment for Citi. “Citi Sound Vault brings our cardmembers access they will never forget.”

“Citi Sound Vault epitomizes the work we strive to create for our partners by providing them with custom music experiences,” said Darin Wolf, EVP Live Nation Media & Sponsorship. “The driving force behind developing the concept was to put Citi cardmembers at the epicenter of the most electrifying week in music and continue to build on that unparalleled fan access throughout the year and beyond.”

Citi and Live Nation – the world’s leading live entertainment and ticketing company – have a longstanding relationship that is focused on providing fans with more access to their favorite artists and providing next-gen experiences.

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BMG acquires BBR Music Group

BMG acquires BBR Music Group

The new BMG has announced that it has acquired Nashville-based independent powerhouse BBR Music Group (BBRMG), including its associated labels Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records, Wheelhouse Records, Red Bow Records and its music publishing company Magic Mustang Music.

The agreement includes the rights to a number of major country artists including Jason Aldean, Trace Adkins, Dustin Lynch, Randy Houser, Thompson Square and many others.

BBR Music Group is BMG’s biggest single acquisition in the recordings business since its launch in 2008 as the first new international music company of the streaming age.

The deal gives BMG a significant position in the Nashville music business and promises a number of benefits to BBRMG and BMG-signed artists and songwriters. BBRMG clients will have a greatly enhanced international scope as they are plugged into BMG’s global platform and BMG recording artists will gain a significant new marketing resource.

Since its formation by entrepreneur Benny Brown in 1997, BBR Music Group (BBRMG) has become one of the most successful independent music companies in Nashville and the broader US music industry. BBRMG has scored seven multi-platinum or platinum albums, 19 multi-platinum or platinum singles and 32 number one airplay singles across eight different artists.

Jason Aldean alone has sold over 14 million albums including 18 Number One Country Singles and seven platinum or multi-platinum albums, including 2016’s They Don’t Know which hit Number One on the Billboard 200, US Top Independent Albums and Country Albums charts. Aldean remains the RIAA’s #1 digital selling male country artist of all time.

BBRMG will continue to operate from its Nashville headquarters and its 48 staff will transfer to BMG. It will sit alongside BMG’s recording operations in Los Angeles, which has released US Number One albums by Janet Jackson (2015) and blink-182’s Grammy-nominated California (2016), New York – home to a roster including pop sensation Andy Grammar and Number One Christian artist Danny Gokey and Portland, Oregon, where rock label Rise Records’s roster includes PVRIS and At The Drive-In.

“BBR Music Group is a phenomenally successful operation whose philosophy and commitment to its artists fit perfectly with the new BMG,” states BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. “I have a huge respect for what Benny and his team have achieved. The combination of BBR Music Group and BMG gives artists and songwriters in Nashville and beyond a new route to the worldwide market. We will be the alternative so many artists are looking for.”

BBRMG founder Benny Brown and CFO Paul Brown will remain as consultants to the business following the deal, while all existing staff remain in their positions reporting directlyto Executive Vice President Jon Loba. Loba will report to BMG US President Repertoire & Marketing Zach Katz.

“BBR Music Group is a phenomenally successful operation whose philosophy and commitment to its artists fit perfectly with the new BMG.”

“Since 2001 I’ve been approached many times by various major labels wanting to purchase us,” Brown says. “The most important thing to me has always been my artists, my employees and my songwriters. They have always been my family and after meeting with Hartwig and Zach, I knew that I’d found the right partners to ensure my family stayed together and to also continue the BBR Music Group legacy. We were one of the very first indie labels to ever break through in Country music. Because of that we created a different culture within our walls that’s pretty simple – happy people are productive people. That’s always been important to me and that’s also the way Hartwig and Zach run BMG. I knew they shared my vision and my passion and that’s what made this the right fit.”

 

The acquisition of BBR Music Group marks the return to the Nashville record business of BMG after an eight year absence. The first incarnation of BMG acquired RCA Records, including its Nashville operation in 1986, enjoying success with artists including Clint Black, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood and numerous others. RCA became part of the Sony-BMG joint venture in 2004, before parent company Bertelsmann sold its stake in the joint venture in 2008 to launch the new BMG with an innovative artist-friendly business model which brings music publishing and recordings together under one roof.

The new BMG launched its successful Nashville-based music publishing operation in 2009. In his role overseeing Nashville operations, EVP Kos Weaver has developed a diverse roster that includes Alabama, Brett Beavers, busbee, Danny Gokey, Hillary Lindsey, Buddy Miller, and John Paul White.

“The BBR Music Group folks are not only close neighbors of BMG here in Nashville, they share a similar approach in their philosophy and relationships with their artists,” Weaver says of the move. “This is an amazing match, our potential together is enormous.”

Billboard shifts genre album charts to consumption methodology

Billboard shifts genre album charts to consumption methodology

Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, trends and innovations in music, and Nielsen Music, the industry’s leading source for music data and insights, have announced the evolution of its genre album charts to a consumption methodology, following the successful conversion of the iconic Billboard 200 to a multi-metric chart, including traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

The transformed genre charts will match the Billboard 200 formula, equating ten digital track sales from an album to one equivalent album sale (TEA), as well as 1,500 on-demand song streams from an album to one equivalent album sale (SEA).

“We’ve been thrilled with the reception to the Billboard 200 album consumption methodology and how it reflects album popularity in today’s world, where music is accessible on so many platforms,” says Silvio Pietroluongo, VP of charts and data development at Billboard. “The conversion of genre album charts to consumption reinforces how this approach has become the accepted measure of album success.”

“Nielsen Music is committed to setting the industry standard for music measurement and reporting,” says Erin Crawford, SVP Entertainment and GM Music at Nielsen. “Music Connect recently introduced genre album consumption charts and we’re excited to work with Billboard as they further adopt this methodology. As the leading music measurement service on the market, Music Connect will continue to present all of Billboard’s consumption, streaming, sales and airplay charts.”

The first newly-formulated genre album consumption charts will premiere on billboard.com on Tuesday, January 31 (with charts dated February 11), and will reflect album sales, track sales and audio on-demand streaming data, tracked by Nielsen Music, for the week ending Thursday, January 26th.

The charts making the move to a consumption methodology are:

·       Top Country Albums

·       Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, plus:

o   Top R&B Albums

o   Top Rap Albums

·       Top Rock Albums, plus:

o   Alternative Albums

o   Hard Rock Albums

o   Americana/Folk Albums

·       Top Latin Albums, plus:

o   Latin Pop Albums

o   Regional Mexican Albums

o   Tropical Albums

o   Latin Rhythm Albums

·       Top Dance/Electronic Albums

·       Top Gospel Albums

·       Top Christian Albums, plus:

o   Christian/Gospel Albums

·       Soundtracks

·       Top Catalog Albums

·       Top Holiday Albums

**Billboard will also continue to publish pure album sales charts for the above genres, comprising Nielsen’s sales data, exclusively**

The move to a consumption methodology will ensure that the top-ranked titles each week on the above charts will align as the top titles of those genres on the Billboard 200.

On-Demand audio subscription services contributing to the Billboard 200, and the above charts under their new methodology, are Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, Slacker, Napster, Google Play, Groove Music and Medianet.

Sony Music relaunching Monument Records

Monument Records

Sony Music has announced the relaunching of their label Monument Records, with respected industry veterans Jason Owen and Shane McAnally serving as co-presidents of the label. Critically acclaimed newcomers Caitlyn Smith and Walker Hayes are Monument’s leading artists.

An imprint of Sony Music Entertainment, Monument Records will employ a staff of creative and innovative thinkers in Nashville, TN.

“It’s always an amazing opportunity to work with two people who are as talented and nice as Jason and Shane,” states Doug Morris, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment. “We’re proud to be their partners under the iconic Monument name. Jason is a highly respected label and management executive who has played an important role in the careers of some of Nashville’s biggest stars and most exciting newcomers, and Shane is an incredibly accomplished songwriter and fantastic talent developer. We think they’re a great team and a terrific addition to the Sony Music family.”

“It has always been in my nature to create new paths and identify unique opportunities for artists, especially for those who don’t necessarily fit into one particular box. I’ve been waiting to find the perfect scenario, to explore that passion and take it to the next level, and this partnership with Shane and Sony is the perfect opportunity to purposefully sign and market excellent music from unique, one-of-a-kind artists, regardless of genre boundaries. It is something that we believe is needed,” shares Owen. “Instead of focusing solely on how we think an artist might fit into our business model, we are championing their individuality and ability to create incredible music and then forging a path for each artist using Monument as the vehicle for their music to reach the masses.”

“We’re proud to be their partners under the iconic Monument name.”

“Co-heading a label with Jason Owen was the easiest decision I’ve ever made,” said McAnally. “The opportunity to work side-by-side with artists and their respective teams, to see a project from start to finish has been a dream of mine for a long time. I am always drawn to projects and artists who are met with the question of, ‘Where does this fit?’ I believe that an artist who doesn’t seem to fit anywhere, actually fits everywhere. Monument will be the place for projects of credibility that need creative and unorthodox ways of getting heard. Walker Hayes and Caitlyn Smith are both impossible to compare to anyone else; they are true originals and originality is what we intend to build Monument on.”

The label’s initial signings represent the essence of the groundbreaking co-presidents’ vision. Caitlyn Smith, from Cannon Falls, Minnesota, is best known for co-writing “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” Meghan Trainor’s duet with John Legend, but her soul-steeped take on country has also attracted Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks to her songs. On Starfire, Smith shows she is her own best interpreter: honest, real, sleek and gorgeous in all the toughest places.

Walker Hayes, an Alabama native, has a lyric heavy, groove based and truth-infused, style that caught the ear of McAnally who immediately signed Hayes to his SMACK music house, helping him release his raw, one-man 8Tracks (Vol. 1 & 2) EP’s in 2016. The tracks have attracted kudos from syndicated radio host Bobby Bones among others. The extremely prolific Hayes is in the studio with McAnally, working fervently on a studio album.

Opening a label with a history as eclectic and rich as Monument Records was important to McAnally and Owen, two industry leaders who have been on the forefront of changing the face of the creative landscape and contemporary music. Cultivating unique ideas and approaches in their respective fields, both have re-written the possibilities for their artists and reframed what music means.

Billboard’s 2015 Hot Country Songwriter of the Year and multi-GRAMMY, CMA and ACM award-winning songwriter/producer Shane McAnally has written and/or produced more than 25 No. 1 songs. His skill as a unique song craftsman combined with his ability to tap into his co-writers’ true voices, has helped launch the careers of Kacey Musgraves, Sam Hunt, Old Dominion and Brandy Clark. An integral leader in the country music community, McAnally was also tapped to arrange and produce “Forever Country,” a three-song collaboration performed by 30 country music icons in honor of the Country Music Association’s 50th Anniversary in 2016. The song debuted atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, only the third song in history to achieve this feat. Taking his talents beyond the radio charts, McAnally recently scored music and lyrics for the off-Broadway musical, “Moonshine: The Hee Haw Musical.”

“Monument will be the place for projects of credibility that need creative and unorthodox ways of getting heard.”

Owen, named as one of “40 Under 40: Music’s Top Young Power Players” by Billboard Magazine, has spent over 15 years in various industry capacities. As President/CEO of Sandbox Entertainment, Owen manages the careers of international superstar Faith Hill, GRAMMY- and-Emmy-winning vocal group Little Big Town, critically acclaimed GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves and hit country duo Dan + Shay, among several additional cutting edge new artists. In addition to his management, Owen served as executive producer for Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman’s cooking series Kimberly’s Simply Southern and Lionel Richie’s GRAMMY-nominated, Platinum-selling Tuskegee. Prior to opening Sandbox, Owen served as SVP of Artist Development and Marketing for Universal Music Group Nashville where he was instrumental in creating successful branding, marketing and publicity campaigns for Shania Twain, George Strait, Vince Gill, Sugarland and many more. He also enjoyed a career in television and film, serving as senior director of marketing and talent relations at Columbia TriStar Television.

Rounding out Monument Records’ executive staff is Katie McCartney, who will serve as SVP Marketing & Label Operations, reporting directly to McAnally and Owen. Previously with Lyric Street, Sony and Black River Records, McCartney most recently served in UMG Nashville’s Marketing & Artist Development department where she oversaw the marketing efforts of several artists including Lauren Alaina, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Vince Gill and Shania Twain.

Kelli Porter has been tapped as Manager, Marketing & Label Operations, reporting to McCartney. Formerly with UMG, Porter first served in distribution, then in the UMG Nashville marketing department over the course of four years.

Originally founded in 1958, Monument Records built a reputation as a label that crossed genres, blending sounds and styles with the release of Monument’s first hit “Gotta Travel On” by Billy Grammer, celebrated international crossovers like with “Only The Lonely” by Roy Orbison, and breaking down stereotypes and boundaries with Too Many Chicks by Leona Douglas who was the first African American woman to release a country recording. Among the artists on Monument’s acclaimed roster are some of the most progressive artists of their respective era — including Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Connie Smith, Little Big Town and Dixie Chicks, plus many more.

Republic Records named ‘Top Label’ by Billboard

Billboard once again named Republic Records the music industry’s “Top Label” on the publication’s year-end charts. The label accomplishes the best overall performance across the Billboard 200 albums chart and Billboard Hot 100 songs chart combined.

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