April 8, 2019

Shane McAnally Is 2019’s ACM Songwriter of the Year

It’s official: 2019’s ACM Songwriter of the Year is Shane McAnally. The trophy was handed out on Friday night (April 5), during the ACM Party for a Cause Stories, Songs & Stars event in Las Vegas, Nev.

McAnally’s helped pen a number of country mega-hits in recent years. He’s one of country music’s most well-known and -loved current songwriters — but he last won the ACM Songwriter of the Year trophy in 2014.

McAnally’s been nominated for ACM Songwriter of the Year six times: in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. This year, he’s also nominated for Song of the Year as a producer, for his work on Kacey Musgraves’ “Space Cowboy.” McAnally’s other ACM Awards win to date came in the Album of the Year category, for his work as a producer on Musgraves’ debut disc, Same Trailer Different Park.

The 2019 ACM Awards will take place on Sunday, April 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The show will air live on CBS beginning at 8PM ET.

March 7, 2019

Matthew West Signs With Provident Label Group/Sony Music, Launches New Imprint

Provident Label Group/Sony Music have signed Matthew West to their roster. In conjunction with their new partnership is the newly-created imprint Story House Music, which mirrors West’s management company, Story House Collective. With support from Provident, West will develop and launch young artists’ careers through the new imprint.

“I am beyond excited for the opportunity to partner with my friends at Provident,” West said. “I’ve admired from afar the work they have done on behalf of so many artists, and I am humbled by their belief in the music I make and the vision I have to help champion the storytellers of the future. Much of my career could be boiled down to one word, ‘story.’ I’m passionate about the power of story and how music can impact the stories of peoples’ lives on a deep level. In many ways, this new season with a new team marks a new chapter in my own story, and I can’t wait to dive in.”

Terry Hemmings, President/CEO of Provident Label Group/Sony Music, said, “For years we have observed Matthew’s amazing career. He’s such a wildly talented artist and performer whose talent is evident in various forums as a musician and entertainer. He connects with audiences because he knows how to clearly and passionately share a story through song. We could not be more pleased to have Matthew join our PLG family and are anxious to forge ahead and see what stories unfold.”

Since releasing his first album 16 years ago, West has earned four Grammy nominations, a Dove Award, Billboard Music Award, and an American Music Award, as well as several ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year honors. He has notched 15 No. 1 songs, including the RAA Gold single “Hello, My Name Is,” and the RIAA Platinum single “The Motions.” As a songwriter, West has had more than 130 published writing cuts for artists including Rascal Flatts, Scotty McCreery, Casting Crowns, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Mandisa and more.

February 20, 2019

Keller Turner Andrews & Ghanem congratulates Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite, High Valley, Scott Hendricks, Reid Shippen, Smack Songs and BBR Music Group on their combined 12 ACM Nominations

Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, and Kacey Musgraves lead the nominees for the upcoming 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, to be held Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas.

Reigning Male Artist of the Year, Chris Stapleton received six nominations in four categories, including his second nod for Entertainer of the Year. Stapleton is also nominated twice, as both artist and producer, for his album From A Room: Volume 2 in the Album of the Year category, which he won last year for From A Room: Volume 1. Additionally, he is nominated for Song of the Year twice, as both artist and songwriter, for “Broken Halos.” Lastly, Stapleton is nominated for Male Artist of the Year.

Dan + Shay earned six nominations, including their sixth nod for Duo of the Year. They received nominations in the Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year categories for “Tequila.” Dan + Shay are also nominated for Album of the Year for Dan + Shay, and Music Event of the Year for “Keeping Score” (featuring Kelly Clarkson). Additionally, Dan Smyers received 3 individual nominations as a producer in the Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Music Event of the Year categories. He also received an individual nomination as a writer in the Song of the Year category for “Tequila.”

Kacey Musgraves earned five nominations in three categories, including a nod for Female Artist of the Year. Additionally, she is nominated in the Album of the Year Category twice, as both artist and producer, for Golden Hour, as well as in the Song of the Year category twice, as both artist and songwriter, for “Space Cowboy.” Musgraves most recently won in 2016 in the Video of the Year category for “Forever Country” and previously won in the Album of the Year category in 2013 for Same Trailer Different Park.

Earning four nominations each are Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha.

Ian Fitchuk, a first-time nominee this year, picked up six nominations including a nod for Album of the Year with Kacey Musgraves as a producer for Golden Hour. Fitchuk also received five nominations across Studio Recording Award categories, including Bass Player of the Year, Drummer of the Year, Piano/Keyboards Player of the Year, Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year and Producer of the Year.

February 7, 2019

Live Nation cements deal for Williamson County venue

The concert promoter and venue operator Live Nation will run a forthcoming amphitheater in Williamson County, to be built at the base of an old limestone quarry.

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: LYV) has signed a deal with the husband-and-wife duo who own Graystone Quarry. Several public records recently filed with Williamson County reference a “revenue and expense sharing agreement” between the company and entities controlled by the McEacherns, who own the 133-acre property in the town of Thompson’s Station, south of Franklin.

The addition of Live Nation elevates the profile of Graystone Quarry, which opened in late 2016 as a wedding and events venue with plans for a 5,000-seat amphitheater. Last year, the town of Thompson’s Station approved a 50 percent boost to the amphitheater’s capacity, enlarging it to 7,500 seats, including a VIP area.

The concert venue is another amenity for a county that boasts among the highest median household income in the nation and a reputation for having high-quality public schools and being the region’s suburban corporate headquarters hub. Franklin’s growth has spilled south along Interstate 65, reflected both in the growth of Boyle Investment Co.’s immense Berry Farms mixed-use development and Thompson’s Station itself, whose population has doubled in the past five years to about 5,000 residents, according to town officials.

The deal accelerates Live Nation’s Nashville expansion, both in terms of venues and office personnel at the company’s local base in Edgehill Village, next to Music Row. Starting in 2014, Live Nation won bids to manage Metro’s Ascend Amphitheater on the downtown riverfront and Municipal Auditorium. The company also signed a deal to operate the amphitheater at The Woods at Fontanel, in Whites Creek. Live Nation also is now the controlling owner of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, in Manchester.

Graystone Quarry would rank as the third-largest performance venue in the region if it were open today — behind Bridgestone Arena and Municipal Auditorium, but ahead of Ascend and Fontanel.

October 9, 2018

NBC Orders Songwriter-Focused Competition “Songland”

NBC is adding another music competition to its roster with Songland, a series that will focus on songwriters and give them a change to have tracks recorded by top artists.

The show counts Voice judge and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, along with The Voice’s Audrey Morrissey, among its executive producers. Stewart, Morrissey and fellow EP Ivan Dudynsky devised the concept.

The order for Songland comes as The Voice is in the early stages of its 16th cycle on NBC; the network’s other major talent competition, America’s Got Talent, has been on for 14 years. Both shows are still among the highest-rated unscripted series on TV, but the most recent cycles of each have been down some.

Each episode of Songland will feature five songwriters performing original tracks for a panel of music producers and a different “major” recording artist each week. After discussion and critique of each song, the artist will pick three songwriters and pair them with producers to adapt and develop the tracks further in a recording studio. Each winner will have his or her song recorded and released as the artist’s next single.

The first episode will have Charlie Puth as the artist of the week and Tedder, Grammy winner Shane McAnally (Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round”) and Grammy nominee Ester Dean, who has written songs for Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Rihanna and many others, as judges.

“Songwriters shape the anthems and tell the stories of each generation, and now we’re pulling back the curtain on the collaborative process and opening the door for new talent to emerge,” said Meredith Ahr, president, Universal Television Alternative Studio. “While filming our first episode, the excitement was palpable as we witnessed the creative direction of our panelists transform and elevate the music right before our eyes. Without a doubt, Songland will inspire music lovers and give us all a greater appreciation for the songs we love.”

Songland is produced by Live Animals in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, Dave Stewart Entertainment and Levine’s 222 Productions. There’s no word yet on a premiere date.

Via The Hollywood Reporter

October 4, 2018

Get It Done Music Inks Worldwide Deal with Kobalt

Kobalt has signed a worldwide administration agreement with publishing, management and development company, Get It Done Entertainment. The agreement includes all future writers and works under the Get It Done umbrella, including their first two signings, singer/songwritersAbbey Cone andSam Williams.

Get It Done Music Entertainment is a newly-formed joint venture company with Borman Entertainment, started by Gary Borman and Missi Gallimore, focusing on artist development, management and music publishing. Borman, who currently manages Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, expressed an interest in forming Get It Done after working with Gallimore on A&R for Urban on his last two records. She also handles A&R for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, as well as runs the publishing companies, XOMG and Amped 11.

Following in the footsteps of his legendary family, Sam Williams, the son of Hank Williams Jr., is the spitting image of his grandfather, Hank Williams. Since beginning his musical journey in 2015, Williams has collaborated with writers Lori McKenna, Shawn Camp, Dan Tyminski, and Mary Gauthier, among others.

Abbey Cone is a 20 year-old Fort Worth, Texas native who has written with some of Nashville’s most talented songwriters for the last four years. Though songwriting is a passion, her greatest dream is to one day be able to perform and share her own music with the world.

“We’re excited to partner with Gary and Missi on their new venture,” said Jesse Willoughby, General Manager at Kobalt. “As two people who have continually found amazing talent over the years, we’re thrilled to be partnering with them on Abbey and Sam, two artists that have an incredible future ahead of them.”

“We honestly couldn’t ask for better partners for this project than the Kobalt team here in Nashville,” said Gallimore. “Their creative team is unmatched and they are on the leading edge of everything happening in music today. Gary and I are so excited to see what we can all create together.”

Via Lorie Hollabaugh

March 13, 2018

Shane McAnally’s $1.3M dispute with ASCAP heading to arbitration

Hit-making country songwriter Shane McAnally is taking to arbitration his dispute with ASCAP over approximately $1.3 million that he says the performance rights organization owes him.

McAnally decided to leave ASCAP and have Global Music Rights license his songs in 2013. But after McAnally left, ASCAP stopped paying him premiums for his top performing songs.

In simple terms, ASCAP pays out premiums — in addition to royalty payments — to hit songs that receive the most licensing revenue. The nonprofit organization touts the premiums as an incentive to retain top songwriters like McAnally.

Under the terms of its agreement, ASCAP continues to license songs even after a songwriter leaves, until its licensing contract with radio stations expires. That meant ASCAP continued to collect the royalties owed to McAnally for eight chart-topping songs even though he had a new agreement with GMR, which was founded by music industry icon Irving Azoff.

But, even though McAnally’s songs reached No. 1 on the country radio charts, he was no longer paid the same premiums that his co-writers for the same songs received.

“Despite his repeated requests for information related to his distributions, ASCAP never once explained to him, nor could they point to any of their governing documents that justified his treatment,” Azoff said in a media release.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said the member-elected board cares “deeply for all our songwriters and we act for the greatest good of all concerned, whether hugely successful or just starting out.”

“Shane was paid all of the money he was owed after he left ASCAP and went to GMR,” Williams said.

McAnally, represented by Nashville attorney Jason Turner, lost his initial protest over the premium payments, although that case was heard by a board of ASCAP members and the decision was written by an attorney paid by ASCAP.

Turner said McAnally, who owns his own music shop Smack Songs, that handles publishing, production and artist development, is pursuing the case because he wants to protect songwriters from falling into the same situation should they decide to leave ASCAP.

In a press release on Tuesday, McAnally said the situation was like a “country song cliché.”

“They lied, they cheated, they stole,” he said.

The initial ruling of McAnally’s protest came down in December and was posted on the organization’s website in recent weeks. The ruling found that ASCAP properly applied its rules for phasing out the premium payments to songwriters who withdraw their songs.

The ruling states that McAnally was treated the way any other songwriter who chose to exit the organization would have been treated, and that the rules for the premium payments were applied correctly.

“Moreover, ASCAP’s governing documents grant ASCAP discretion and flexibility to implement and apply the (premium payments),” the ruling in December states.

But Turner said McAnally is excited to have his appeal heard before arbitrators in New York. He pointed out that the arbitration hearing will be the first opportunity for experts not affiliated with ASCAP to consider the case. McAnally initially raised the issue with ASCAP in January, 2016 and filed his protest two months later.

Turner said McAnally was not told he could lose the premium payments by ASCAP executives when he informed them of his decision to leave. Turner said top executives in New York, not the Nashville office, made the decision to withhold the premium payments.

Turner said ASCAP changed the way it funded premium payments in 2015 — after McAnally left.

“Because he owns the company and has co-written with songwriters for his own company, (McAnally) was able to look at payments and see that he was not paid equitably for the same songs,” Turner said. “I can’t imagine that an unbiased person would look at this situation and say, ‘Yeah, that’s fair.’”

Williams said that McAnally was treated and compensated fairly.

“I wish him nothing but the best, but it would be unethical and unfair to all ASCAP members to disregard our good faith rules for the benefit of one, when they were meant to protect all,” Williams said.

McAnally has turned himself from a struggling singer-songwriter on the fringe of the music industry in Nashville to one of the city’s bright young songwriters and executives.

McAnally has helped launch the careers of artists like Old Dominion and Sam Hunt.

McAnally, who is also co-president of Monument Records, has co-written 36 No. 1 songs and won two Grammy awards.

ASCAP board members who heard the protest were Keith Mardak, John Bettis, Helene Blue, Stephen Culbertson, Bob Doyle and James DiPasqual.

Via Nate Rau Tennesean

February 24, 2018

Smack Songs Awarded Five CMA Triple Play Awards

This week, Nashville-based company SMACKSongs, led by writer/producer Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Michael McAnally Baum, Robin Palmer and Robert Carlton, was honored with five CMA Triple Play Awards. McAnally was honored with two trophies, which celebrate the six No. 1 songs he had a hand in writing which topped the charts in 2017. Fellow SMACKSongs writers Trevor Rosen, Josh Osborne, and Matt Ramsey were also each honored with a CMA Triple Play award, for penning three songs each that topped the country charts in 2017.

“The whole concept of the Triple Play is a really cool way to acknowledge songwriters,” Shane McAnally tells MusicRow. “It’s so hard to get a No. 1 song. It takes so many years, and so many relationships, so much has to fall in your favor, and then for that to happen three times in a year… lot more goes wrong for songwriters than right. People think that every time we write a song, it gets cut, and every time it gets cut, it’s a single and it must go to No. 1. There are so many other songs that don’t get there.

With five Triple Play awards for four writers, SMACKSongs leads the independent publishing community with the most awarded songs and writers for the 2017 CMA Triple Play Awards.

McAnally was honored for “Different For Girls” (Dierks Bentley), “I Met A Girl” (William Michael Morgan), “Body Like A Back Road” (Sam Hunt), “If I Told You” (Darius Rucker), “Drinkin’ Problem” (Midland) and “Unforgettable” (Thomas Rhett).

Osborne was honored for “Setting The World On Fire” (Kenny Chesney/Pink), “Body Like A Back Road,” and “Make You Miss Me” (both recorded by Sam Hunt).

Rosen was honored for two of his Old Dominion hits including “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart,” “Song For Another Time,” as well as Morgan’s “I Met A Girl,” while his Old Dominion bandmate and fellow songwriter Matt Ramsey was feted for “Song For Another Time,” “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart,” and “Make You Miss Me.”

The Triple Play honors cap off an admirable past five years for SMACKSongs. In that time, the company has earned 39 total No. 1 songs. That number does not double-count songs written by more than one SMACKSongs writer.

“The four of us are great friends. We are family,” McAnally says of his fellow SMACKSongs writers. “We were working together in several capacities. Trevor was the first writer I ever signed [to SMACKSongs]. Josh has only been here a couple of years and we had a lot of success with him even before he joined. We wrote together and it seemed like a natural fit. Same with Matt Ramsey.

“I think the timing was just right for all of us. It may not be forever. I would love to think that it is, but I’m also realistic enough to know that I would rather have them as friends than us stay too long in a business partnership. As artists grow up and as Old Dominion becomes such a viable machine of making hits, those guys may see other reasons to develop their own thing but for now it’s been a great relationship.”

It’s not lost on McAnally the irony that two of his Triple Play honors come from songs that reside at opposite ends of the country-pop spectrum, with William Michael Morgan’s “I Met A Girl,” and Sam Hunt’s smash “Body Like A Back Road.” He says country music’s current landscape mirrors where the country is politically.

“What seems to be happening is the great divide,” he says. “Things are going, which is honestly sort of reflective of what is going on politically. There’s not a lot of middle and I think that anything that is safe or in the middle right now, you might have a radio hit, I don’t know that it’s building careers, though. What is building careers are people that are far to the left and far to the right. The more pop we get, the countrier we get. I think that’s just what happens when one side gets real extreme, the other side does, too. People say, ‘Oh, it’s getting traditional again.’ It is, but with that come the answer another way.”

Though the spectrum of production choices in country music continues to broaden, McAnally says it is the stories behind the songs that keeps the music unified. He offers “I Met A Girl,” which he co-wrote with Rosen and Sam Hunt, as an example.

“We had been trying to write for Sam’s first record. During the process of making Sam’s first record, writing that song felt like a pivotal moment. When we did the demo for ‘I Met A girl,’ we really started to find a sound. We thought that song was an integral part of that, but what happened was it kicked down the door to go on to songs like ‘Take Your Time.’ It became a different part of Sam’s repertoire. It didn’t really work for Montevallo, and what’s funny about that song is that in this conversation of pop vs. country, everyone sees Sam as far left, so it’s funny that William Michael Morgan, who is the extreme opposite of that, would be the one to have a hit on it. It just tells you that the soul of all these songs is the story. The production is different, but the songs are the same. ‘I Met A Girl,’ with the right production, would have fit on Montevallo, too.”

February 4, 2018

SoundHouse Acquires Assets Of InPop Records

Soundhouse LLC, with offices in Nashville, Boston and New York has recently purchased the assets of InPop Records, an independent contemporary Christian record label based in Nashville, Tennessee. INPOP is Sound House’s third acquisition in the contemporary Christian genre.

Soundhouse LLC, founded by CEO Michael Rosenblatt in 2016, is focused on the acquisition of streaming revenue from artists/producers/labels using win/win deal structures. InPop is the 15th acquisition for SoundHouse and brings its catalogue to over 3500 recordings. SoundHouse’s financial partners are Spark Capital, Columbia Capital and Pinnacle Bank.

“We are delighted to continue to inject growth capital into all genres of the music business,” said Rosenblatt. “We look forward to working with others in the contemporary Christian community.”

InPop was originally launched in 1999 by Australians Peter Furler, Dale Bray and Wes Campbell. InPop was later purchased in 2008 by Ron Starr and managed by Mark Lusk.

Via Jessica Nicholson at Music Row

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