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WHERE'S MIRANDA HEADED? (UPDATE)

Where will Miranda Lambert land? After the country star’s splashy social-media announcement that she would be a free agent, speculation in Nashville and elsewhere has gone into overdrive about her possible new home. One thing’s for sure: Lambert manager Marion Kraft and attorney Jess Rosen are becoming two of the busiest people in the biz.

The conventional wisdom holds that Miranda wants (a) a big check (b) to be positioned as the superstar she is and (c) to have a strong Country radio team—and money—behind her. All of which would suggest that she is looking at one of the majors.

UMG Nashville would have to be an attractive option, notably with new CEO Cindy Mabe at the helm. The label is already home to the format’s biggest female stars in Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves and Reba McEntire. Does that make UMGN more or less appealing given Miranda’s agenda?

Warner Music Nashville, meanwhile, could prove problematic due to its strong ties to Miranda’s ex, Blake Shelton. But stranger things have happened.

Big Machine should certainly be in the running as Miranda would be the reigning queen there, and the company is clearly strong at Country radio. Could Scott Borchetta get the green light from HYBE HQ for such a spend?

Another interesting scenario centers on Big Loud. Miranda just scored her first #1 as a songwriter with Morgan Wallen’s “I Thought You Should Know,” and it’s believed that the two have become close. Could their relationship tilt the scales in Seth England’s favor? The company certainly has the war chest for it at the moment.

Jon Loba's Broken Bow, which continues to score successes in the country marketplace, shouldn’t be counted out, but parent BMG is notoriously tight-walleted when it comes to signings.

Meanwhile, given the recent success of Morgan, Zach Bryan and others, could one of the East or West Coast labels swoop in with their deep pockets? Could such a development open up new career possibilities for Miranda?

Lambert’s Vegas residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood (cap. 7k) kicks off this week (3/24) and is due to run sporadically for the remainder of 2023. A highly effective touring act, Lambert averages around 8,000 per show as a headliner or co-billed artist. Her last shows were in 2022 with Little Big Town. Her prior solo headlining arena tour was in 2020.

Stay tuned and pass the hot chicken.

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