HITS Daily Double


We were going to take a knee this week on the sidelines of the music industry until we realized some of us might not be able to get back up. (Fortunately, we have a prescription to alleviate this joint pain). Regardless of the vantage point, here is this week’s HITS High Five.

I.B. Bad notes a great many records—primarily from the hip-hop and R&B sectors—explode on streaming services, seemingly out of nowhere. Of the artists who have risen to stardom in recent years, Island’s Shawn Mendes could serve as the quintessential example of the artist-development process during the last half decade.

The Best New Artist field continues to drive the most intense discussion of all Grammy categories with candidates such as Post Malone, Julia Michaels, Khalid, James Arthur and a pickup truck full of Nashville artists.

Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar are sure things for Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, our Grammy Whisperer predicts, but after that the field is wide open.

In part one of a two-part sit-down, UMPG chief Jody Gerson tells us “I think of myself as a music person first, so I lead with music. I want my company to be defined by the music and by the writers we’ve signed.” In part two, she notes, “What I love, personally, is to sign artists we think can make a difference. That’s why I think SZA can be an important voice. … In terms of developing artists, Post Malone is another I’m super-proud of.”

With the release of the Clive Davis doc, our former J Records employee reflects on what made Clive tick.

Meanwhile, one of our agile young staffers has taught us an easy way to roll a joint on the kneecap. We still might not get up.