HITS Daily Double


Before you flee to the airport and the orgy of eating and buying with which we celebrate the savior’s birth, here are a few parting notes. As you well know, a publisher Grammy breakdown is more complicated than a list by label, since there are so many inter-pubco co-writes. But I’m doing my level best to keep it simple. This list is by no means exhaustive.

Sony/ATV’s Taylor Swift nabs seven, including Album, Record and Song; Drake gets five, Kanye four, and Ed Sheeran three; Pharrell picks up a bunch including a co-write on Kendrick’s SOTY contender, “Alright.” We should also note a few breakout writer/performers in Marty’s stable who got category nods, Elle King (Rock Song and Performance), Leon Bridges (R&B Album) and Pentatonix (Arrangement).

UMPG is stoked to have Best New Artist/Country Album contender Sam Hunt, SOTY nominee “Girl Crush” (by Capitol Nashville’s Little Big Town) co-writer Lori McKenna; Producer of the Year hopeful Jeff Bhasker, ROTY nominee D’Angelo; Dance Recording co-writer Justin Bieber (“Where Are Ü Now”); multiple nominees Florence + the Machine and Nicki Minaj; and plenty more.

SONGS has ROTY, Album and multiple genre nominee The Weeknd, double Dance category nominee Diplo, Disclosure co-writer Lorde and Dr. Dre writer Marsha Ambrosius.

Warner/Chappell’s tunesmiths include top nomination recipient Kendrick Lamar (11 nods); his fellow SOTY nominees Liz Rose (“Girl Crush”), Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Andrew Cedar and Justin Franks (Wiz/Charlie’s “See You Again”); R&B Song co-writers Wale (Miguel’s “Coffee”), Belly (The Weeknd’s “Earned It”), Key Wane (Jazmine Sullivan’s “Let It Burn”), Warryn Campbell (Tyrese’s “Shame”) and Curtis Mayfield (interpolated in D’Angelo’s “Really Love”); Warner/Chappell Nashville claims Album and Country Album, Song and Solo Performance nominee Chris Stapleton.

Pulse has Best Country Song and Album contributor Luke Laird, who contributed mightily to Kacey Musgraves’ brilliant Mercury Nashville set, and his co-writer on the Tim McGraw monster “Diamond Rings & Old Barstools” (Big Machine), Barry Dean; Lamar writer/producer Rahki; and Dance Recording producers Bloodshy and Svidden, among others.

W/C has named Katie Vinten and Ryan Press as co-heads of A&R, reporting to CEO Jon Platt. The pub chieftain expressed his pleasure at watching the pair grow "from promising young A&R executives to leading lights of the music publishing business." Vinten joined W/C in 2012 and ascended to VP of A&R earlier this year, while Press joined in 2009 and also ascended to VP,

SONGS became the second pubco (after Sony/ATV) to cut a deal with Pandora; said pact, the parties say, will provide better royalty rates for writers and greater stability and flexibility for the streaming giant.

The breakout hit “Here” by EP Entertainment/Def Jam’s Alessia Cara—recently dubbed Spotify’s Most Viral Song of 2015—showcases the work of UMPG writer/producer Sebastian Kole, whose hands are all over Cara’s full-length, Know-It-All (as it another of the pubco’s tunesmiths, Pop Wansel).

What to look for next year: the next chapter in the Sony/ATV ownership saga, the further mushrooming of Adele’s giant 25, a possible revamping of Spotify’s policies to enable streaming only on the premium tier, as rights holders desire, more big Nashville crossovers, and plenty more annoying columns like this one. Merry Everything and Happy New Year.