HITS Daily Double
Music City

Order another round of Fireballs for Teams Goldenvoice and AEG, because the 2024 edition of their Stagecoach festival just enjoyed the biggest on-sale of its 16-year history.

Passes and lodging are both said to be running low, and organizers are stunned by the response to the event, which is due to gallop through Empire Polo Field in Indio, Ca., from 4/26-28. 

Stagecoach’s 2024 lineup is led by Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Morgan Wallen, plus a country covers set from Post Malone and perfs from such wildly diverse acts as Jelly Roll, Willie Nelson and Leon Bridges, Nickelback, Diplo and Wiz Khalifa. And whatever Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse continues to be? That'll be happening too.

Also new next year will be expanded viewing areas from the sides of the reserved Corral seating and an expanded Rhinestone Saloon. 

Luke Bryan, Kane Brown and Chris Stapleton topped the Stagecoach lineup in April, but that was only the tip of the cactus, as ZZ Top, Luke Grimes, Bryan Adams and Melissa Etheridge also dropped by amid the triple-digit temperatures.

Goldenvoice shifted nearly one million tickets for Stagecoach and Coachella this year. Don't forget the sunscreen.


BMLG and Hard 8 Working Group’s The Hard Working Record Company has inked Lillian Hepler.

The L.A.-based artist is the second to join the new joint venture, which launched in May as a Nashville-based, pop-focused imprint. 'Call Me Yours,' Hepler’s debut single on the label, is due on 10/20 and can be pre-ordered here.

“Simply stated, Lillian has all the right stuff,' said BMLG President/CEO/Founder, Scott Borchetta. 'She’s an incredibly talented singer and songwriter with a massive online following who uniquely connects with her peer group.” 

'Lillian is an absolutely gifted songwriter, singer, and performer,' added H8WG's Co-CEO/Co-Founder, Dirk Hemsath. 'I’m honored to be expanding our relationship, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what she’s been creating.'

“I’m so grateful to Scott and Big Machine for giving me the opportunity to work alongside them in building this next chapter of my career,' Hepler states. 'I’m super excited to be with a team that shares my anticipation of what the future holds and supports me and my vision.”

Hailing from Utah, 22-year-old Hepler first began uploading covers at the age of 13 and penning original songs by 15. She’s since amassed millions of streams across singles like 'Nightmare' and 'Easy,” as well as garnered 2m+ TikTok followers.

Pictured above wondering if we're ever working hard or always hardly working are (l-r) back row—H8WG's Aimee Beren and Mike Bachta, The Hard Working Record Company’s LJ Stoll, BMLG's Andrew Kautz; front row—H8WG’s Dirk Hemsath, Hepler, BMLG’s Borchetta and H8WG’s Rich Egan.


MacKenzie Porter is the newest ambassador for the American Cancer Society. To mark the occasion, the Big Loud artist is hosting her inaugural benefit concert, MacKenzie Porter + Friends Present: Country vs. Cancer, on 11/20. The event takes place at Nashville's Brooklyn Bowl with support from  Dustin Lynch, Nate Smith, Walker Hayes and Lily Rose, among others.

“This really means a lot to me,” Porter remarked. “Several members of my family have been affected by cancer, so I know first-hand how important the American Cancer Society's work is. I want to be a part of supporting ACS every chance I get, and I'm excited to have my friends joining me for such a special night! We've got a really fun show ready for y'all, don't miss it!”

Fans can purchase tickets here starting this Friday (9/29) at 10am CT. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. 


Big Machine Music has upped Michelle Attardi to senior director, publishing, effective immediately.

Since joining BMM seven years ago, Attardi has been part of the creative team representing BMM’s roster and catalog, which has grown to 14,000+ songs and more than 50 #1’s across radio formats.

She’s also been key in signing acts like Daniel Ross, Matt Roy, Troy Cartwright and Geoff Warburton, and has secured cuts with the likes of Jon Pardi, Lady A, Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Mitchell Tenpenny, among others.

“Michelle has great ears and a passion for her songwriters. I’m happy to see her take this hard-earned next step in her career at Big Machine Music,” said BMM President, Mike Molinar.

“I have the privilege of working with incredible talent and I’m excited to continue fostering these exceptional songwriters and artists,” added Attardi. “I’m grateful for the support and mentorship of Scott Borchetta and Mike Molinar and look forward to contributing to the continued success of our publishing roster.” 

Attardi is also a Berklee College of Music graduate is currently on the board of Wags and Walks Nashville.


Make Wake Artists have inked a management deal with sister outfit The Castellos, who've also done a global representation deal with WME.

The country music trio, comprised of sisters Ellie (acoustic guitar), Powell (banjo) and Lily (lead vox) will be managed by Wake Make’s Chris Kappy and HB Riordan and repped by WME Nashville Office Co-Head and Partner, Joey Lee and agents Kanan Vitolo and Kevin Falck.

“Even at this stage in their career, they feel like seasoned veterans when they hit the stage,” reads a quote from Kappy. 'The sound is there, the chops are there, and we can’t wait to get their music to fans' ears and let the magic take place.”

Seen here modeling the very latest denim collection from The House of Please Don't Publish This In HITS are (l-r) Falck, Vitolo, Ellie, Lily, Powell, Riordan and Kappy.


ONErpm Nashville has launched a joint venture with Huff Co., the new production company from Dann and David Huff.

The artist development venture will be led by Dann, with creative input from David and other producers.

ONErpm will fund production, as well as oversee distribution and marketing services for artists, who will be signed directly to the jv, with ONErpm acting as a record label and co-owning the master recordings.

“We want ONErpm to be at the forefront of finding new ways to build careers,” said ONErpm Nashville Managing Director, Tim Wipperman.

“This has been something that my brother David and I have talked about for years,” added Dann. “Together with our good friend and attorney, Seth Lichtenstein, we are looking forward to partnering with ONErpm and pulling in artists who are willing to think outside ‘the box!’”

Pictured below are (l-r) Dann Huff, David Huff and Wipperman.


BMI's Mason Hunter, BMI's Clay Bradley, Troubadour Billy F Gibbons, BMI's Mike O’ Neill, BMI's Mike Steinberg
(PC Erika Goldring for BMI)

While Billy F Gibbons isn’t your classic traveling songteller, he is every bit the troubadour. Like John Prine, John Hiatt, Robert Earl Keen and Lucinda Williams, all prior recipients of BMI’s Troubadour Award, the bearded Texan has spread the gospel of the blues, funky roots, dirt roads and other sanctified Southern bits of culture.

Needless to say, it was a rocking night for the 2023 BMI presentation as the opening portal to Americana Week in Nashville. Guests—including wife Gilligan Gibbons and her mother, Country Music Hall of Famer Kix Brooks, Carlene Carter, Molly Tuttle, Oliver Anthony, producers Dave Cobb and Jon Randall, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Oates and executives ranging from the iconic Bob Merlis, Del Bryant and Fiona Whelan-Prine to Jed Hilley, BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue & Creative Officer Mike Steinberg—were treated to mingling before a seated dinner in BMI’s lobby and a triple segment of performances that expanded Gibbons’ ZZ Top legacy across gender, genre and the moment.

Hosted by BMI VP of Creative Nashville Clay Bradley with help from AVP Creative Mason Hunter, they set up video segments that included Jimmie Vaughan reminiscing about his early days with Gibbons and historian/producer Bill Bentley, Gruhn Guitars owner George Gruhn and iconic players Tom Bukovac, Van Wilks and Guthrie Trapp witnessing to his talent, vision, style and groundbreaking approach to pop culture. Context is everything, and these men brought it.

So did Alligator Records’ Grammy-winning prodigy Kingfish, who eased into a wickedly funky “Waitin’ for the Bus” with a scalding tone and a decidedly lowdown swagger. The first of many standing ovations for the 24-year-old Mississippian who’s earned praise from Bootsy Collins, Michelle Obama and Buddy Guy.

Taking the stage next, Keith Urban offered an apt “Holy shit!” to much laughter and whooping. Embracing Gibbons’ creativity, he quoted Leonardo da Vinci: “He turns not back who is bound to a star.” Rather than guitar pyrotechnics, Urban turned in a yearning reading of “Rough Boy,” tangling with Bukovac on some slower runs that twisted around one another.

On a saltier, friskier note, country/punk/alt queen Elle King kicked into overdrive with a vampy performance of “Legs.” Grinding, hip-shaking and growling with a shameless enjoyment of the song’s raw carnality, the kitten-with-a-whip brazenness delighted the evening’s recipient.

Chris Isaak, Lucinda Williams, Billy F Gibbons, Robert Earl Keen, Elle King
(PC Erika Goldring for BMI)

Only Chris Isaak in a black, old-school Western suit covered in blinding rhinestones could match King’s verve. “Sharp Dressed Man” was the obvious choice, but for this night, he brought a surf rock noir delivery that prompted howls from the crowd. With pound-down drums and Farfisa pads, it was Sex Wax carny perfection. Beyond Eddie Trunk’s reminiscences of Eliminator’s ubiquity as a kid working in a record store, as well as at an AOR radio station out of high school, there was Bradley’s moment to remind everyone “BMI has paid out more money than any other PRO has collected over the last year thanks to our leadership.”

Bradley also pledged fealty to Gibbons’ ability to light up puberty for a Southern boy coming into his own, tilted Huck Finn grin on his face. Clearly a moment of personal delight, Bradley brought inaugural Troubadour Keen to the stage.

Suddenly, a true Lone Star songwriter-troubadour in the Jerry Jeff Walker/Ray Wylie Hubbard tradition confronted the vast Top catalog. Undaunted by the velocity or an airline losing his guitar, he strapped on an acoustic, let the drums rattle and brought his best “La Grange.” Proof that Gibbons’ work absolutely transcends, this red dirt kind of poet more than inhabited the song, he gave it dirtbag gravitas.

Gibbons, with a sparkle beret, a medal dangling from his chest pocket, ascended the stage after a congratulatory video played that included Eric Clapton offering, “Traveling musician I think is what it means, and you certainly are one.”

“It’s— about—the song,” he began, recognizing the role those iconic hell-raising songs played in this award. “It’s about the song.”

Recognizing the Grand Ole Opry, missing the Nashville reasonable real estate window, conversations with Townes Van Zandt about the origins of creativity, a very proper (but hip) grandmother-in-law from La Grange, Georgia, and going out to former BMI Nashville honcho Jerry Bradley’s house, an old school man whose handshake meant you had a deal, only to find out he’d bought the executive’s house, Gibbons was charming, disarming and hilarious. While always a citizen of Texas, music and the world, clearly Nashville has become part of who he is.

With copies of his Rock + Roll Gearhead for everyone on their way out, leave it to Gibbons to give everyone a present on the night he was being celebrated. Plugged in, turned on—and up, 2023’s Troubadour Award was a whole other level of intensity and fun.


Influence Media
and Warner Chappell Nashville on 9/19 announced a partnership with CMA-winning and Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer-DJ Jesse Frasure. Frasure’s longtime collaborator, WCM Nashville boss Ben Vaughn and Influence Founder/Co-Managing Partner Lylette Pizarro are credited with shepherding Frasure’s 160+-song catalog and future compositions into the fold. Seen celebrating Frasure’s birthday and album release during a party hosted by WCMN, Influence and Rhythm House at Soho House Nashville and girding themselves for the indignity of an appearance on this website are (l-r) VP Rhythm House Music Stevie Frasure, Pizarro, Vaughn, Jesse Frasure, WCM Sr. Director A&R Spencer Nohe, Influence Media Co-Founder/Partner Lynn Hazan and WCM SVP/GM Phil May.

Frasure’s credits include over 22 #1s, including Jon Pardi’s “Dirt on My Boots,” Thomas Rhett’s “What’s Your Country Song” and “One Mississippi” by Kane Brown, as well as tracks for the likes of Blake Shelton, Kacey MusgravesMarshmelloMeghan Trainor, Steve Aoki and Miranda Lambert. 

The two-time BMI Songwriter of the Year also recently nabbed the 2023 ACM Award for Song of the Year for Cole Swindell’s “She Had Me at Heads Carolina.” He released his latest album (as DJ Telemitry), Return to Calm Springs, on 9/15.

“Jesse is a mega-talent and trendsetter in the Nashville songwriting community, and we've been lucky to work alongside him for several years now,' reads a quote from Vaughn. 'He's multi-talented as a writer, publisher and producer who’s always ahead of the curve and looking for the next great musical moment. His undeniable talent and relentless work ethic have landed him some of the biggest collaborations in country music, and with the support of Influence Media and our entire WCM Nashville team, the best is yet to come. Now please stop calling me.' 

“Jesse Frasure is the ultimate multi-hyphenate–songwriter, producer, artist, DJ, tastemaker and influencer–truly a rare, gifted breed,' goes a statement issued by Pizarro. 'His work is rooted in country but has a proven track record of reaching far wider audiences. And let me add that I sincerely hope never to have to deal with those idiots at HITS again.'




The international centennial celebration of Hank Williams’ birth begins today with the release of a new digital collection and continues with tribute concerts, induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame Museum and more.

Sunday (9/17) marks the 100th anniversary of Williams’ birth and over the next year his career and legacy will be honored around the world with a host of events, new releases, and tribute shows. His grandson, Sam Williams, has released a new version of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” 

“Hank Williams was a force of nature who left an incredible catalog of songs that are still seen as the highest standard of the craft of songwriting,” said Bruce Resnikoff, president & CEO of UMe, the global catalog division of Universal Music Group. “UMe remains honored to be the stewards of his timeless songs and to help further his legacy by continuing to introduce new generations to his music.”

Mercury Nashville/UMe has released Hank Williams 100 featuring 19 of Williams’ most popular songs and greatest hits. Divided into two parts, the first half offers Williams’ upbeat fare such as “Jambalaya (On The Bayou),” “Hey, Good Lookin’,” and “Move It On Over,” with his darker, more introspective material— “Lost Highway, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart”—in the second half.

Hank’s 100th: A Concert in Celebration of Hank Williams, will be presented by Spotify in partnership with the Americana Music Association on 9/21 at Nashville’s CMA Theater during the Americana Music Festival. Performers include Delbert McClinton, Della Mae, Laura Cantrell, Rodney Crowell, Suzy Bogguss, Charlie McCoy and Connie Smith. Hilary Williams, Holly Williams and Sam Williams will pay special tribute to their grandfather at the event. Spotify has also created a 66-song Happy 100th Birthday Hank playlist.

A three-day gala concert presented by The Hank Williams Museum begins today at Troy University’s Davis Theatre in Montgomery, Ala. The event, featuring country and bluegrass acts, will conclude with a graveside memorial service at Williams’ gravesite in the Oakwood Cemetery Annex in Montgomery on Sunday. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame Museum induction ceremony will be held Sunday as well.

Saving Country Music is keeping track of all the Hank celebrations.


On Monday (9/18), the 16th Annual ACM Honors will make its return to Fox with a two-hour prime-time special. Four-time ACM-winner Carly Pearce will also return to host for a third time.

The event recognizes several special honorees, including ACM Triple Crown Award recipient Chris Stapleton, ACM Poet’s Award recipients Clint Black, Mary Chapin Carpenter and K.T. Oslin, ACM International Award recipient Kane Brown, ACM Icon Award recipient Tim McGraw and ACM Lift Every Voice Award recipient BRELAND. 

Other honorees of special awards include Charlie Cook, Charlie Daniels, Mike Dungan, Ashley Gorley, HARDY, Bill Mayne and Troy Vollhoffer.

Performances from the Ryman Auditorium will come courtesy of BRELAND f/Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Brandy Clark, Sara Evans, Chris Janson, Lady A, Nelly, Pearce & Emily Shackelton, The War and Treaty, Hailey Whitters, Brett Young and Bailey Zimmerman, among others.

Tune in 9/18 at 8/7pm CT. The show will be available to stream on Hulu the following day. 

The broadcast is produced by ACM Productions, with Damon Whiteside as EP for the Academy of Country Music and Martin Fischer EP for Opry EntertainmentEdie Lynn Hoback is producer.