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HITS Daily Double
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7/18/24
In our latest roundup, we present eight more stars of tomorrow from various parts of the biz whose dedication and effort make their superiors look good. This week's entrants will also find their faces in our latest mag. Thankfully, they can lament this mortifying experience from the comfort of their air-conditioned spaces. Emmy LovellGlobal Head of Music, SoundCloud For Lovell, nothing tops being part of the little things that make the big things happen, such as soundchecks and rehearsals in empty rooms, stadiums and arenas around the world. Presently, she’s focused on finding, building and breaking the household names of tomorrow, including IIXL/SoundCloud’s latest signing,17-year-old Brooklynite Laila!, whose debut single, “Like That,” increased its global streaming consumption 16X from February to April, reaching 1.6m weekly streams. Lovell is named after Emmylou Harris. We’re fortunate our given name isn’t loser. Peter MadanaA&R/Manager of Digital Rights, Create Music Group Celebrating his birthday with Tory Lanez in the studio previewing Daystar (110m+ Spotify streams) was a standout moment for Madana. He’s now spearheading NE-YO’s debut independent release, “2 Million Secrets,” which is trending on Instagram Reels and has surpassed 1m YouTube views. He also managed the rollout of TroyBoi’s 4 ON DA FLOOR EP, which included appearances at Coachella and EDC 2024. Madana’s been a touring DJ and producer for 15+ years, having shared stages with the likes of Smiley, Jay Sean and Ludacris. Most people would like us lower in the mix. Anna CageVP, Radio, Warner Music Nashville Cage savors surreal career moments like Dan + Shay’s heartfelt stage acknowledgment in her hometown, intimate wine-tasting with Cole Swindell, singing with Zach Bryan at Red Rocks before a snowy backdrop and being part of the project that gave Randy Travis his voice back. Now, she’s driving radio success for artists like Kenny Chesney, who recently secured his 33rd #1, and Bailey Zimmerman, who achieved a record-setting run of hits. Cage once flirted with a fencing career, even attracting an Olympic coach’s attention. Too bad she’s been foiled by us. Jazmin CovarrubiasSenior Director, Commercial Partnerships, AWAL From fulfilling her teenage dream of working with the Jonas Brothers at Radio Disney to launching Kim Petras’ annual Halloween takeover on Apple Music 1 at AWAL, Covarrubias’ career is nothing short of exciting. She’s now boosting the streaming success of Djo’s “End of Beginning” (790m+ streams), prepping for Moses Sumney’s summer EP and Laufey’s sold-out Hollywood Bowl show on 8/7, while supporting emerging acts like hemlocke springs and The Beaches. Covarrubias’s dog Leo, @loco4leo, will be featured in an Amazon product ad. We still haven’t had all our shots. Shauni CaballeroSenior Director, Creative, Sony Music Publishing Caballero is still riding the high from Central Cee & Dave’s “Sprinter” topping the U.K. charts for 10 weeks and achieving gold status in the U.S. Now based in NYC, she’s focusing on creating international opportunities for U.K. acts like Central Cee, Nemzzz and Nippa, leveraging SMP’s global network. She notes that Central Cee’s recent collaboration with Lil Baby on “BAND4BAND” exemplifies the narrowing gap between the U.K. and U.S. rap scenes. A big fan of The Walking Dead, Caballero dreams of starring in a zombie film. She should experience our editorial meetings. Priscilla FeltenGeneral Manager, Immersive Music Having worked on Reneé Rapp’s breakout in tandem with Adam Mersel, Felten is proud to have steered the release of Snow Angel—2023’s biggest female pop album debut. She also helped manage Rapp’s SNL and Coachella appearances and her sold-out international tour, and she’ll play a role in upcoming festival gigs including headlining All Things Go. She’s now producing Ben Platt’s Broadway residency at the renovated Palace Theatre and his U.S. tour. Felten once raced Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky in a high school swim meet. Just reading those words makes us reach for our inhaler. Bo MartinovichSenior Director, Promotion, Sony Music Nashville Martinovich will never forget bowling with The (then-Dixie) Chicks in 1999, fresh off their success with Wide Open Spaces and Fly. That moment, a year after graduating from MTSU, solidified his passion for music promotion. He’s since worked with iconic artists like Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Megan Moroney. Now, he’s promoting Graham Barham’s new song, “Whiskey Whiskey,” while reveling in the joy of watching artists rise to stardom. Martinovich says his phone autocorrects “Bo” into words. That must be Bo annoying. Abhi KanakadandilaCo-Founder & CEO, D36 Kanakadandila saw the release of the remix “tu hai kahan” by Pakistani band AUR f/Zayn Malik earn 25m+ streams and 1b+ social impressions in its first month, serving as a glimpse of what D36—a new JV with Sony—aims to achieve globally. Blending music with cinema, he was chuffed for the release of Abdullah Siddiqui’s score from Joyland and looks forward to an in-house film capturing a pivotal Indian movement. Kanakadandila once explained rocket science to Takashi Murakami via a translator outside SpaceX. Too bad he can’t explain this feature.
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7/17/24
On 7/16, RCA’s Red Clay Strays took the stage at L.A.'s storied Troubadour for a triumphant, sold-out show during which they performed their album, Made by These Moments (due 7/26), in its entirety. After the packed, sizzling show, label promo wizards Gary Gorman and Keith Rothschild kept the roots-rock energy going, regaling the VIPs in the upstairs bar with such classics as “Hey Buddy Blues.” Seen feeling the heat are (l-r) Gorman, the band’s Brandon Coleman and Andrew Bishop, and Rothschild.
The-Bear
7/17/24
Two FX series lit up the scoreboard when the 2024 Emmy nominations were announced Wednesday morning (7/17) at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre. The Bear set a new single-year record in the comedy-series field, earning 23 noms in all—including series, lead actor (Jeremy Allen White), lead actress (Ayo Edebiri) and three supporting roles (Lionel Boyce, Liza Colón-Zayas, Ebon Moss-Bachrach). And Shōgun led on the drama side with 25 noms, including series, lead actress (Anna Sawai), lead actor (Hiroyuki Sanada) and supporting actor (Tadanobu Asano, Takehiro Hira). Only Murders in the Building snagged 21 nods in the comedy field, while Hacks picked up 16. Drama-wise, The Crown got 18 total nominations; Fallout, The Morning Show and Mr. & Mrs. Smith landed 16 apiece. A pair of moonlighting musical artists scored major noms: Selena Gomez for lead actress in a comedy series (Only Murders in the Building) and Donald Glover for lead actor in a drama series (Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Other familiar names included Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, USHER and JAY-Z. Billy Joel: The 100th–Live at Madison Square Garden picked up four noms, including outstanding variety special (pre-recorded), and Richie got one for outstanding documentary or nonfiction special as an executive producer of The Greatest Night in Pop, which also earned two other noms. The Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show Starring USHER earned three nominations, including outstanding variety special (live). USHER shares it with JAY-Z and Jesse Collins, who double-dipped in the category for executive-producing the 2024 Grammys with fellow EP Ben Winston and producer/host Trevor Noah. The nominees for music supervision are Catherine Grieves (Baby Reindeer), Trygge Toven (Fallout), Maggie Phillips (Fargo), Jen Malone (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Bruce Gilbert and Lauren Marie Mikus (Only Murders in the Building) and Susan Jacobs (True Detective: Night Country). Shockingly—especially for dad-rock connoisseurs like us—The Bear’s extremely deserving Christopher Storer and Josh Senior were snubbed in the category.
Torie Mason
7/17/24
Warner Music Nashville has promoted Torie Mason to SVP, Marketing & Analytics after three years of successfully leading the strategic marketing and analytics teams. In Mason's new role, she'll merge and rebrand the artist development team into WMN's marketing department. The WMN interactive marketing team will now be digital marketing, as well. The marketing department now encompasses artist marketing, digital marketing, analytics, brand partnerships, video strategy, and advertising strategy, who will all report to Mason."This new structure will allow us to continue to super-serve our artists and their music with more focus and urgency," WMN Co-Chair/Co-President Ben Kline said. "Torie's reputation both inside our building and in the community at large makes her one of the most respected and trusted thought leaders in our industry today. She is the right person to lead these efforts for Warner Music Nashville in an ever-changing marketing landscape." We're also told she's the right person to send HITS emails into the trash.
Morgan Wallen Knoxville
7/17/24
Morgan Wallen will play two massive hometown shows in Knoxville, Tennessee, this fall at Neyland Stadium, becoming the first artist to do multiples at the venue (home to the U of T Tennessee Volunteers). The 9/20 and 9/22 gigs, Wallen's first in Knoxville since a 2019 appearance at the Tennessee Valley Fair, are expected to draw a combined 120k fans. HARDY and Ernest will open; click here for tickets. “I’ve had the honor of playing in a lot of college, MLB and NFL stadiums the past two years, but getting to play to my hometown at Neyland Stadium... Nothing tops this for a boy from East Tennessee," said Wallen, who is newly managed by The Neal Agency's Austin Neal. The artist is donating a portion of proceeds from every ticket to his own Morgan Wallen Foundation, which recently pledged $100k to renovate baseball fields in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Fresh off headlining the biggest country show ever at London's Hyde Park on 7/4, Wallen will commence his first proper European tour 8/28 in Stockholm. We hear the pickled herring and cinnamon buns are exquisite this time of year.
Chris Stapleton
7/17/24
A 2017 single called “Either Way” by Chris Stapleton is Shazam’s Biggest Mover this week. Initially recorded by Lee Ann Womack for her 2008 album, Call Me Crazy, the track won Best Country Solo Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Stapleton’s version, co-written by Tim James and Kendell Marvel, lives on the country star’s From a Room: Volume 1 album. In the #2 spot is "Beckham" by rappers Dee Billz, Kyle Rich and Kai Swervo with special guest KJ Swervo. Following closely behind at #3 is the UEFA Euro 2024 anthem "Fire" by Meduza, OneRepublic and Leony. Victoria Monét's “Power of Two" from the film Star Wars: The Acolyte and Bossman Dlow's “PJ” f/Lil Baby round out the Top 5, respectively. Listen to Stapleton's track below—or don't. He'll hate us "either way."
Post Malone Blake Shelton
7/17/24
Post Malone and Bud Light gave Nashville a lot to celebrate last night (7/16) with a special one-off show at the 1,800-capacity Marathon Music Works featuring guest spots from Blake Shelton, HARDY, Joe Nichols and Sierra Ferrell. The bash came ahead of Posty's upcoming Republic/Mercury album F-1 Trillion, due 8/16. The artist debuted two songs from the project—"Yours" and "Hide My Gun" featuring HARDY—and also played "Pour Me a Drink," his hit collaboration with Shelton. Malone will embark on a 21-date Live Nation-promoted tour in support of F-1 Trillion on 9/8 in Salt Lake City. It will stop at a combination of stadiums and amphitheaters, including Boston's Fenway Park and Nashville's Nissan Stadium, where it will wrap 10/19. In case you were wondering, we should have our new face tattoo by then. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Bud Light
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7/17/24
This has been an outstanding year for major releases, and that's likely to be reflected in the top-tier Grammy noms. I say “likely” rather than “certainly” because nobody knows what the Academy cabal will do or what mysterious agendas will be at work in the byzantine subterranean chambers where artists and records are anointed. That is to say: Grammys gonna Grammy, y’all. Album of the Year is a particularly compelling conversation this year given the three heavyweights who are likely to be locks for noms: Beyoncé, Taylor and Billie. But of those three, who might have the edge? That Bey, who has schlepped home 32 golden gramophones and earned an incredible 88 noms over the course of her career, has never won AOTY is mind-boggling. Her albums, always meticulously crafted and inventive, are also often cultural events. This is certainly the case with COWBOY CARTER (Parkwood/Columbia), a Texas-fried manifesto about genre and identity that lassoed the zeitgeist. The album boasted a bona fide smash in “Texas Hold 'Em” and participation by legends like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Black country trailblazer Linda Martell. In addition to righting a longstanding wrong by rewarding Bey in this category, an AOTY win for her would enable Grammy to simultaneously acknowledge country’s huge profile on the current landscape and further subvert the shallow notion that it’s a “white” form. Then again, if Album of the Year should go to the biggest album of the year—not exactly a radical notion—it's undeniable that Taylor Swift’s THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT (Republic)—owns that distinction. The chart-ruling set’s staggering reign in the marketplace (it’s approaching 5m in U.S. ATD) is but one prong of Tay’s pop-cultural dominance, which recalls The Beatles in fan adulation and multimedia saturation. It’s also been available in an array of retail variations rivaling the output of the Marvel cinematic universe. As ever, the set is a showcase for Tay’s deft and literate songwriting. It is both a puzzle and a shandeh that she's never won Song of the Year. In any case, Grammy desperately wants Tay, who took home AOTY last time, on the telecast—what moves might be necessary to make that happen? Then there’s Billie, who scored SOTY last time for her world-rocking Barbie ballad. With HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, the Darkroom/Interscope star and Grammy darling reached a new creative plateau and addressed her sexuality with fearless, ferocious openness. Her musical collaboration with brother FINNEAS reached new peaks of exploration and feeling, and she's never sounded more assured as a vocalist. Cuts like the erotically ravenous “Lunch,” the soaring “Birds of a Feather” and powerhouse “The Greatest” rank among her most confident, affecting creations yet. In most other years, HIT ME would be the title to beat in this category. But this time, Billie’s caught in a clash of titans. Of course Grammy could split the difference by giving the trophy to a jazz record only 11 people have heard. Because Grammys gonna Grammy. In any case, we look forward to Harvey arriving for his speech on horseback.
Justin Bumper Reeve
7/17/24
Virgin Music Group has hired Justin Bumper Reeve as senior VP of Global Sync, paying off the work he's put in since founding his own Hidden Track Music placement and licensing firm in 2008. In the new, Los Angeles-based role, Reeve will oversee a global team placing Virgin artists in advertising, film, television, trailers and video games. His early wins have included BTS’s “Dynamite” in the film Despicable Me 4, NewJeans’ “ETA” for Gucci, bbno$’s “edamame” for Mountain Dew’s Baja Blast Super Bowl ad and David Kushner’s “Daylight” for Armani perfume Acqua de Giò. At Hidden Track, Reeve worked with artists such as Alt-J, CHVRCHES, Courtney Barnett, Oasis and Haim. “Bumper is one of the most successful and respected creative sync executives in the business,” said Virgin EVP of Global Marketing Jeremy Kramer. “He is already proving to be invaluable for our label and artists clients around the world, having already secured syncs with global blue chip brands and some of the most commercially successful films and television shows.”
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7/16/24
Songwriters of North America (SONA) will honor BMAC co-founder Willie "Prophet" Stiggers, late songwriter Andrea Martin, Thomas Scherer, RAYE and Ross Golan at its fourth annual SONA Warrior Awards gala on 10/6 at the Skirball Center in L.A. “We created the Warrior Award to honor and thank those starlit humans who use their platforms to speak up and speak out for songwriters," SONA CEO Michelle Lewis said. "We call our honorees ‘Warriors’—these incredible artists, executives, activists and of course songwriters—to echo what one of our greatest living American songwriters, Paul Williams, calls songwriter advocates: warriors for the light.” As Lewis explained, Williams became the first honoree four years ago and since then, the annual ceremony “has become known as one of the most heartfelt and inspiring events in the music industry, run by songwriters and for songwriters. She added, "We hope it is meaningful for those being honored to know that these awards are not given for charts or numbers, and that the only measure we use is gratitude for the often thankless and unseen work they’ve done." Tickets for the Warrior Awards are on sale here. Find more information on the SONA website. Our invitation will probably get lost in the mail (again).
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7/16/24
At Top 40, ICLG's Team Marella has the #1 Most Added track at T40 as Katy Perry's "Woman's World" (Capitol) pulls in 148 impact adds, while Republic Corps' Spangler & Lucas squad post 104 adds on Taylor Swift's "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart" (Republic) on impact week for the #2 spot. In addition to topping the add board with Perry, ICLG also has three other tracks in the Top 10 Most Added, pulling another 26 adds on Billie Eilish's "BIRDS OF A FEATHER" (Darkroom/Interscope), 20 more on Camila Cabello's "HOT UPTOWN" f/Drake (Geffen) and 13 more adds on Gracie Abrams' "Risk" (Interscope). Columbia's Gray and staff secure 10 early adds on Koe Wetzel & Jessie Murph's "High Road" (RECORDS Nashville). Republic Corps' second entry in the Top 10 is Sabrina Carpenter's "Please Please Please" (Island), grabbing another 10 close-out adds. And rounding out the Top 10 this week is Rothschild's RCA crew with nine more adds on LISA’s "Rockstar" (Lloud Co.). At Rhythm, meanwhile, Dixie and ICLG top this week’s add board with Ice Spice & Central Cee’s "Did It First,” which pulls in 25 stations. James White and Columbia grab 21 adds on ian’s "Magic Johnson,” as well as 14 stations on The Kid LAROI’s “GIRLS.” ICLG also closes out another 29 believers on JT’s "OKAY” and grabs nine more adds on Camila Cabello’s "HOT UPTOWN" f/Drake. And at Modern Rock, congrats to Republic’s Amanda Dobbins for claiming Most Added honors this week with Eddie Vedder’s “Save It for Later.” Big Loud’s Dave Barbis had a nice week with HARDY’s “PSYCHO” (Mercury/Republic) and Dexter and the Moonrocks’ “Sad in Carolina” (Severance/Big Loud Rock). Other winners include BeggarsRisa Matsuki with Fontaines D.C.’s with “Starburster” and BMG’s Nick Attaway with Sum 41’s “Dopamine.” Arista’s Nick Petropoulos also had a nice week on Beach Weather’s “High in Low Places,” as did RCA’s Gary Gorman with Cage the Elephant’s “Rainbow.”
jaq pepe
7/16/24
Team Virgin Music Group assembled at L.A.’s Crypto.com Arena to witness a performance by música Mexicana star Pepe Aguilar, whose back-to-back shows at the downtown venue were part of the Jaripeo Hasta Los Huesos tour and featured offspring Angela and Leonardo Aguilar. Seen just before beginning the 17-mile hike to their Ubers are (l-r) Virgin Music Group SVP Biz Affairs and Development Michael Cantor and President of North America and EVP Biz Relations Jacqueline Saturn, Aguilar and VMG President of Latin Victor Gonzalez and VP of Strategy Chi Orjiakor.
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7/16/24
With interest in women's basketball at a fever pitch, Culture Jam, ESPN and the WNBA have teamed up for a single called "Can't Get Enough" f/BIA, Lakeyah and Flau'jae. The official season anthem of the WNBA on ESPN, the song is part of the "Can't Get Enough" campaign that launched the league on the network this season. The track also highlights the 2024 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game taking place 7/20 at Phoenix's Footprint Center​. Said Culture Jam founder/CEO Eesean Bolden, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with ESPN and the WNBA for a truly one-of-a-kind moment that amplifies Culture Jam's mission to merge the larger-than-life worlds of music and sports. We’re elated by this collaboration among these extraordinary women, artists BIA, Lakeyah and Flau'jae and the best players in the world." The first release by Culture Jam this year, “Can’t Get Enough” introduces its second season. The brand was unveiled in 2021 via the Culture Jam Vol. 1 compilation album and inaugural athlete L.A. Clipper Kawhi Leonard. The single version of “Can’t Get Enough” debuted Monday (7/15) on all ESPN platforms; the full track will hit DSPs Friday (7/19) on ADA/Warner. Meanwhile, we've just been informed that all concerned have had "enough" of us.
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7/16/24
DJ-producer Deorro has signed with Prajin Parlay and Peso Pluma's Double P Records for management and label services. Bridging the gap between Latin culture and EDM, Deorro is now booked across the globe and has become a marquee name on the Las Vegas club scene. Among Prajin Parlay's management roster are Santa Fe Klan, Peso Pluma and Codigo FN. Double P's artists include Jasiel Nuñez, Tito Double P and Dareyes de los Sierra. “Deorro has made an incredible name for himself in the music industry,” said George Prajin, CEO of Prajin Parlay and co-founder of Double P Records. “For years he’s been remixing hits and DJing all over the world. He's the full package. We are really excited to welcome him into our home here at Prajin Parlay and Double P and are looking forward to being part of his continued growth and success.” Peso Pluma, co-founder of Double P, said, “I'm a fan of electronic music and have always admired what Deorro has contributed to the culture. We're excited to welcome our first electronic artist to the family.” Pictured: George Prajin, Deorro and Erick Begazo
billie eilish pca
7/16/24
Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Beyoncé got a big boost from multiple physical releases of their latest albums, driving them to the top of Luminate's 2024 midyear music report. Per the study, the Top 10 physical albums in the U.S. averaged seven vinyl variants, 13 CD versions and two cassettes. The top U.S. album so far this year is... wait for it... Swift's THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT, with 4.66m album-equivalent units. The Top 5 is rounded out by Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time, Noah Kahan’s Stick Season, Beyoncé’s COWBOY CARTER and SZA’s SOS. Measuring pure sales, TTPD is again at the front of the pack, alongside Eilish's HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, COWBOY CARTER and two other Swift albums: 2023's 1989 (Taylor’s Version) and 2019's Lover. The top streaming song so far this year is Benson Boone's "Beautiful Things," with 1.43b on-demand audio streams worldwide. Overall, global on-demand audio streams rose 15% year over year, with U.S. on-demand audio streaming slightly behind at 8.1%. In terms of genre, hip-hop and R&B make up nearly 25% of total volume, Latin music being the fastest-growing U.S. genre thanks to a 15% uptick in on-demand audio streaming. Luminate data indicates that Latin actually has more listeners (35%) than any other genre over the past 18 months. Although streaming has surely leveled the playing field for unsigned artists, 43 of the 46 acts with more than 1b U.S. on-demand streams enjoyed major distribution for their most-streamed track. Independents accounted for 62% of artists with between one and 10m streams. The robust health of the concert sector is also borne out by Luminate data, showing that 64% of all money spent by U.S. consumers on music-related purchases went to live events. What's more, Gen Z'ers spent 23% more per month on live shows than the average music listener. Maybe there's still hope for us all!
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7/16/24
The ACM Awards will return to Frisco, Texas, on 5/8/25 for a third consecutive year, streaming live from Ford Center at the StarDallas Cowboys HQ—via Prime Video. Sixteen-time ACM winner Reba McEntire will return to host the show—the 60th—marking her 18th such appearance. “We’re excited to honor and celebrate the legacy of the ACM Awards all year long surrounding the 60th anniversary show,” said ACM CEO Damon Whiteside. "Reba has hosted more ACM Awards shows than any other artist, and after her triumphant return this year for the 59th show, there is clearly no one better suited to helm this milestone show! Our 50th anniversary show in 2015 marked our debut in Texas, and we’re thrilled to return again to celebrate another major moment in ACM history. We look forward to seeing our industry, artists and fans celebrate in Frisco next May for an unforgettable week!” Added McEntire, “I’m thrilled to be coming back to host the 60th ACM Awards. It’s going to be an absolute can’t-miss show, and I can’t wait to see everybody back in Texas!” Additional ACM 2025 details will be announced in the coming months.
TAYLOR SWIFT FEAT. POST MALONE   FORTNIGHT
7/16/24
The value of U.K. music sales rose by 7.9% in H1 2024, according to figures by digital entertainment and retail association ERA. The growth significantly outpaced video and video-game sales. Music revenue in the first half of the year was £163.8m, up from £151.8m in 2023. The figure excludes streaming, for which figures aren't available, and combines vinyl, CD and downloads. Streaming volume was up 11% in the same period. The video-sales market, which also excludes streaming, grew 5.4% in the same period to £213.7m, while physical and digital video-game sales dipped 29.4% to £348.6m. Vinyl album sales rose 13.5% to £86.3m in H1. CD sales increased 3.2% to £57.9m. Taylor Swift was responsible for the period’s biggest-selling album, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT (EMI), and the top-selling physical single, “Fortnight” featuring Post Malone. ERA CEO Kim Bayley attributed a successful Record Store Day, as well as the enduring commercial appeal of Swift, as the main contributors to the numbers. “It was clear back in April the impact they have had on the vinyl sector, but they seem to have lifted the market as a whole too,” she said. Indeed, in the chart week of RSD and the release of TTPD, vinyl sales enjoyed their highest weekly total in 30 years in the U.K., with 306.8k albums and singles sold.
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7/16/24
TICKET TAPE: Taking the temperature of the live marketplace at this moment is a complicated matter. Insiders paint a generally positive picture, with overall grosses up—indeed, a recent six-month stretch afforded a $3b+ total for the first time. Even so, average attendance has dipped nearly 15% and average grosses have dropped by nearly 7%, a decline that was offset on the bottom line by higher ticket prices. The post-COVID rebound sent the live business to dizzying new heights, so it’s vital to remember that even with an inevitable climbdown, business is still largely booming. The biggest, hottest tours are still raking in eye-popping receipts, Taylor’s Eras Tour (Messina Touring Group) rampaging through Europe as of this writing the most conspicuous example. In general, female pop acts are dominating, notably in arenas (WME’s O-Rod, CAA’s Sabrina). Relative newcomers like Wasserman’s Noah Kahan and Chappell Roan, WME’s Benson Boone and Reneé Rapp, CAA’s Tate McRae and UTA’s Carín León are performing strongly. Country has gone through the roof as its audience has begun to skew younger and more active. Indeed, Stagecoach sold 89k+ tickets for its one weekend, which exceeded Coachella’s second-weekend sales of about 80k after the first weekend sold out. Coachella’s slight softening was representative of the overall festival picture (see also Bonnaroo), but there were exceptions, notably Outside Lands’ 225k overall attendance, which netted the fest $40m, a $6m or so spike from the previous year. Newer fests with niche audience appeal (such as ’80s/alternative-leaning Cruel World) have likewise fared well. With more shows this year, more tickets are sold, but the percentage of tickets sold has cooled after the feverish sellout streak of the past two years. Inflation has surely been a factor, along with an inevitable leveling off of the mad rush to venues that followed the pandemic. Meanwhile, tours that simply don’t have the heat have often taken a drubbing and been forced to cancel dates; live-sector peeps tend to agree that a pricing correction is in order to help these tours stay afloat. J. Lo and The Black Keys have been forced to cancel, while Peso Pluma has underperformed in some markets. There has also been some softness in the festival market, particularly for the mid-market confabs, exacerbated by the difficulty of securing crowd-pleasing headliners when so many acts are out on their own tours. Smaller venues, too, are feeling the pinch as audiences assess their expenditures. With all that acknowledged, though, it’s fair to say that live is still kicking, even if the delirious rebound heat has cooled somewhat. TEARS AND A SMILE: We’re mourning the death of Larry Vallon, who died yesterday. Larry’s time at Universal Amphitheatre was legendary, and that big smile was a signature part of the warm welcome he extended to all us industry weasels. He will be missed. ONE MANAGER AT A TIME: In a surprise move, Morgan Wallen has moved his management from longtime rep Seth England (to whose Big Loud label he remains signed) to booking agent Austin Neal as part of a new management company, Sticks, co-founded by Wallen and Neal, with Wallen as its sole client. It’s an unorthodox arrangement for a superstar’s booking and management to be handled by a single person. The management alone is a big job—records, publishing, touring, branding. Will Neal handle all of it? Some observers say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Wallen, whose publishing had been with Big Loud, inked a pub deal with Warner Chappell early in 2024 that included new music (not his catalog) and the ability to sign other writers. Wallen was repped for legal in the latter pact by Ken Kraus at Loeb & Loeb. The Big Loud model has been to sign management clients to record and/or pub deals, putting acts together on records and tours. Like the Motown model, it gives the company ownership of most if not all aspects of the acts’ careers. Big Loud has been valued at $1 billion, and rumor has it England and partners Joey Moi and Craig Wiseman passed on $600m and $800m offers to merge with other companies before signing a new distro deal with UMG. How might the exit of Wallen as a management client affect that valuation? MOM ROCK: Some major artists are taking a page from the Taylor playbook and involving their parents in their careers—and beginning to replace such inner-circle players as business managers, attorneys, personal managers and agents in hopes of replicating Tay’s extraordinary success. One formidable longtime business manager was fired after 25 years when the artist didn’t like the bottom-line numbers from her sizable recent tour.
1719016685369
7/15/24
WME’s music department has hired Emily Payne as partnerships manager in its Sydney office, where she'll broker strategic alliances and collaborations between brands and WME’s music and talent clients in Asia Pacific (WME is the only talent agency with a full-service music-booking operation in the region). Payne previously worked at Diageo as its events and sponsorships manager, securing exclusivity with major festivals and stadiums while contributing to events like Mardi Gras and Australia's Vivid Sydney. Her tenure at Crown Sydney and Crown Melbourne saw her orchestrate SailGP and the Burberry Pool takeover, among other happenings. We hear Payne is already looking forward to sending us to voicemail.
Eminem - The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce)
7/15/24
Based on what we know at this point, ICLG’s Eminem should take the #1 spot this week with The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce), knocking out Republic’s Taylor Swift after 12 weeks. Eminem (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope): 270-290kENHYPEN (BELIFT LAB/Geffen): 105-115kMegan Moroney (Sony Nashville/Columbia): 37-42kClairo (Virgin): 35-40k HARDY (Big Loud Rock/Mercury/Republic): 27-32k Stay tuned for further updates.