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ON THE BMM COVER:
RICO WADE
ATL legend (6/17a)
NEAR TRUTHS: THE HITS KEEP COMING (PART TWO)
Born in 1986 by mad scientists; still lurking. (6/17a)
HITS LIST GOES COUNTRY
Pairs well with grits and gravy. (6/14a)
SUMMERTIME ROLLS: FESTIVAL SEASON IS UPON US
The latest tidbits from the bustling live sector. (6/17a)
IS MCK ABOUT TO
MAKE A BIG MOVE?
This would be a great get. (6/17a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
Music City
STATE OF THE STATE: BMLG
7/9/21

Scott Borchetta’s fast-revving company marked a number of milestones for both new and established acts over the past year, while the company continued to make fascinating moves—and even drove assistance to first responders.

Thomas Rhett scored ACM Entertainer of the Year in 2020 (in an unprecedented tie with Carrie Underwood), while Carly Pearce earned her first ACM and CMA trophies (not to mention a nom for Female Vocalist of the Year). Breakout Riley Green took Best New Male Artist at the ACMs. Lady A scored a Grammy nom for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Ocean.” Big Machine Music was named 2021 Publisher of the Year at the AIMP Nashville Awards.

BMLG celebrated country #1s for superstar Tim McGraw (“I Called Mama” and album HERE ON EARTH), and Lady A (“What If I Never Get Over You” and “Champagne Night”) and rock #1s for newcomer Ayron Jones (who spent multiple weeks atop the Active and Mainstream Rock charts and was chosen for Fender’s Class of 2021 Next list).

McGraw and Tyler Hubbard performed “Undivided” at the Celebrating America inauguration concert, helping mark the beginning of a new era in the U.S. Hubbard had his own “Hail to the Chief” moment when Florida Georgia Line became the first country act to earn two RIAA Diamond Single Awards.

Avenue Beat, meanwhile, became a TikTok sensation during the lockdown with their zeitgesty “F2020,” amassing 7m views within 48 hours of release.

The label group, which became part of publicly traded South Korean company (and BTS home) HYBE through the sale of Ithaca Holdings, pursued multiple initiatives that cemented its importance to the larger community. In honor of Big Machine’s 15th anniversary, Scott and Sandi Borchetta gave 15 $10k scholarships. In the midst of the pandemic, Big Machine Distillery (maker of bespoke vodka) converted its facilities to produce hand sanitizer that was donated to local first responders. In partnership with CreatiVets, BMLG helped connect veterans with Nashville songwriters, who helped them tell their stories through music. And Team Borchetta got hearts racing thanks to its partnership with Music City Grand Prix for title sponsorship, helping fuel a unique festival combining entertainment and racing in Nashville. Commemorating its internal dynamics, BMLG was certified by A Great Place to Work, a “global authority on workplace culture.”

The company also announced several high-profile promotions, notably Heather Luke to GM of Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, Allison Jones to EVP A&R and Sandi Borchetta to EVP Creative.

As Scott remarked about the early days in his career in a New York Times interview, “I found if I put forth five pounds of effort during the day, I’d get a 10-pound return.” Pound for pound, nobody’s putting in a greater effort—or seeing more wide-ranging results.