Alabama played a back-to-back set of shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena over the July 4th weekend, both kicking off a new stretch of shows on their 50th anniversary tour and also celebrating the venue’s reopening following COVID-19 shutdowns.
In addition to marking those two important milestones, the group’s Saturday night show (July 3) was special for another reason, too: Tim McGraw joined Alabama onstage to sing “Lady Down on Love,” the group’s hit story-song about the pitfalls and heartache that come along with divorce.
Originally released in 1983, “Lady Down on Love” was Alabama’s third and final single from their The Closer You Get… album. Written by frontman Randy Owen, the song was a No. 1 hit for the band both in the U.S. and Canada, and it proved to be as popular as ever during Alabama’s Music City show on Saturday, both with an enthusiastic crowd and with the superstar special guest.
To make the moment even more unforgettable McGraw took to social media to share why appearing onstage with the group was particularly meaningful to him. Not only was it his first time as a surprise guest onstage with the group, he explained — it was his first time ever attending an Alabama show, despite the fact that he’s a huge fan.
“It’s been 482 days since [there’s been] a show at Bridgestone Arena, and it’s Alabama. And I’m here,” McGraw said. “I’ve never seen Alabama live. I know every song off of every album. I could probably do the whole show. I’m getting to go onstage with them tonight. This is the first time I’ve ever seen them in concert and I get to go onstage.”
In the caption of his post, McGraw also shed some light on why he chose that particular song for such a momentous occasion. “I remember this song going #1 when I was in high school,” he reflected, describing the experience of getting onstage to sing “Lady Down on Love” as a “full circle moment I’ll never forget.”
According to the Tennesseean, Alabama’s shows this weekend were the first arena shows they’ve played in Nashville in almost two decades. COVID-19 shutdowns halted their planned anniversary tour in 2020, but the group had already been forced to reschedule some dates prior to that, too, due in part to Owen’s ongoing health issues.
The band are scheduled to hit the road this summer, though. A run of new 50th anniversary tour dates will run until February 2022; opening acts for various stops include Travis Tritt, Martina McBride and many others.
There’s a lot to consider when making a list of the hottest tours of summer 2021, including star power, opening acts, venues and set lists. Add to that concerns and cautions as the country begins to emerge from a pandemic and that no one has seen live music in 14 months. It’s quite likely you’re craving live music like a drug that’s just out of reach … or you’re scared shirtless to surround yourself with 10,000 fans indoors.
All the emotions about reengaging with the live country music community are valid. While at first it seemed September would be start-up month, several tours on this Hot List begin in July and August at outdoor venues across America. The No. 3 tour and No. 1 tour on our list are mostly indoors, but both are banking on increased safety that comes from a majority of the population having the COVID-19 vaccine.
Once those lights go down, all of these worries will be carried away by the buzz in the air (and maybe, from your cup). Find five total professionals on this list of Hot Summer Tours, each bringing a total stage show, plus several in-demand opening acts with a proven track record of live entertainment at the highest level. There’s no fat on any of these country tours — if you stick to the tailgate through an opener’s set, you’ll truly be missing something special.
GRAMMY Award nominee Cory Asbury releases live Studio Sessions video “Only Jesus For My Pain”
Multi-platinum selling and GRAMMY Award nominee Cory Asbury releases the live Studio Sessions video for “Only Jesus For My Pain.” The track is from his highly-anticipated fifth studio album, Pioneer, via BEC Recordings, which dropped last week (Sept 15).
“ Pioneer is my most personal record to date,” shares Cory. “Every song comes from a deep place and carries a part of my story, from childhood to today. Vulnerable, honest and from the heart– every song speaks to what it means to be human– the highs, lows and everything in between. I hope this album meets you where you’re at today.”
On September 27th, Asbury will perform a very special record release show at City National Grove of Anaheim. Following that performance, Asbury will embark on the Texas Takeover Tour with special guest Brennley Brown. The nine-city headline tour will kick off in Houston on November 2nd and make its way across Texas before wrapping in Kilgore on November 12th. Tickets for Asbury’s record release show and the Texas Takeover Tour are now on sale HERE
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Adele’s Agent Lucy Dickins Receives Prestigious U.K.’s Music Industry Trusts Award ~ 20 years after her Uncle Rob Dickins
WME’s global head of contemporary music and touring will take home the same award that her uncle, Rob Dickins, received 20 years ago.
Lucy Dickins, the highly respected agent of Adele, Mumford & Sons and Olivia Rodrigo who serves as global head of contemporary music and touring at William Morris Endeavor (WME), has been named this year’s recipient of the U.K.’s Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS).
Dickins — whose clients also include Stormzy, Rex Orange County, SAULT, Little Simz, James Blake, Jamie T, Hot Chip, Bryan Ferry, Mabel and Laura Marling — will receive the award on Nov. 6 at a gala ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. The event will benefit U.K. charities the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins.
“I’m truly humbled by this recognition and honoured by the many colleagues and clients I’ve gotten to work with throughout my career and at WME,” Dickins said in a statement.
MITS Award committee co-chair Toby Leighton-Pope said Dickins’ “impact on the industry is undeniable and her contributions continue to shape the industry landscape.”
Dickins regularly appears on Billboard’s Women in Music, International Power Players and Power 100 lists.
Previous recipients of the annual MITS award include Lucian Grainge, Ahmet Ertegun, Simon Cowell, Michael Eavis, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey, Rob Stringer, Emma Banks, broadcaster and DJ Pete Tong and Dickins’ uncle, legendary British music executive Rob Dickins. Last year’s MITS award was given to entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, who had died earlier in the year at the age of 31. It was the first posthumous award given in the event’s 32-year history.
Dickins relocated to WME’s Beverly Hills office from London last year after being promoted to global head of contemporary music and touring at the agency, making her the first woman to lead a talent agency’s music division. Her responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the agency’s contemporary live business.
Last year, Adele played two sold-out shows at London’s BST Hyde Park Festival in front of 130,000 fans. That was followed by her delayed Las Vegas residency, which began in November and has been extended to wrap this fall. In total, WME’s music division says it booked more than 40,000 live dates in 2022.
Prior to joining WME in 2019 — initially as head of its U.K. music division — Dickins spent more than 20 years at International Booking Talent (ITB), the London-based agency that was founded in 1978 by her father Barry Dickins and his business partner Rod MacSween.
Dickins’ lineage in the music business goes back to her grandfather, Percy Dickins, who created the weekly magazine New Music Express (NME). Her uncle Rob Dickins served as chairman of Warner Music UK for 15 years, while her brother, Jonathan Dickins, is chief executive of September Management, which counts Adele, Glass Animals and producer Rick Rubin among its clients.
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2023 SESAC Latina Music Awards Big Winners Eden Muñoz, Lenny Tavárez & More . . .
Yahritza Martinez, of sibling trio Yahritza Y Su Esencia, was honored with the first-ever Breakthrough songwriter of the year.
Both were honored as songwriter of the year at the ceremony where, for the third year in a row, the top award was presented in two categories: Regional Mexican and pop/ Latin rhythm.
For a fourth year in a row, Muñoz was awarded songwriter of the year for regional Mexican thanks to a number of songs he wrote for fellow artists such as Pepe Aguilar and Christian Nodal. Muñoz’s ” ¡ Chale! “winner for regional Mexican song of the year, had scored him his first No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Airplay chart as a soloist following his departure from Calibre 50.
” I want to thank my wife and my children,” said a visibly emotional Muñoz. “This is for my children. Here’s the answer to their question of why Daddy isn’t home. Because he’s here, writing songs.”
Meanwhile, Tavárez– who’s written hits for Karol G, Blessd and Justin Quiles– was named songwriter of the year in pop/Latin rhythm for co-penning Anitta‘s global hit song “Envolver.” The reggaeton track, which won pop/Latin rhythm song of the year– peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Global Excl. US chart in April 2022. And while it may seem as an “only Anitta” track, given her signature moves around it, Tavarez performed it as part of an exciting five-track set that highlighted his versatility and beautiful voice.
” I’m saying this with a lot of respect for men, but my career changed thanks to women,” said Tavarez in picking up his award and dedicating it to his mother, wife and daughter. “And, I also dedicate it to two very special women. Karol G, you changed my life and allowed me to be part of La Bichota. The other one is Anitta. Thank you to Annite and her team for allowing me to be part of the story as a composer.”
Special awards were handed out as well. SESAC Latina’s first-ever breakthrough songwriter of the year was given to Yahritza Martinez, frontwoman of the sibling trio Yahritza Y Su Esencia. Leila Cobo, Billboard’s Chief Content Officer for Latin and Español, was on hand to deliver the award.
The 16-year-old Martinez made chart history as the youngest Latin performer to enter the Billboard Hot 100 when the group’s debut single “Soy El Único” debuted at No. 20 last year. She’s also just one of the two women (the other being Karol G) who have reached No. 1 on the Latin Songwriters chart. “This is definitely not a one-hit wonder,” said Cobo. “You have depth, craft, talent and magic.”
Producer of the year went to Federico Vindver, who’s worked with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and, most recently, Christina Aguilera for her Spanish-language album Aguilera, which was nominated for album of the year at the Latin Grammys 2022. Additionally, the award for publisher of the year in regional Mexican went to recently-launched company EMC Lyrics, and Sony Sounds was named pop/Latin rhythm’s publisher of the year for the eighth consecutive year.
” Thanks again to an amazing team,” said Jorge Mejia, president/CEO of Sony Music Publishing Latin America. “But, at the end of the day, this award isn’t ours. It belongs to all the composers who wake up every morning to write songs. You make the world turn.”
See the winners list below:
Songwriter of the Year:
Regional Mexican– Eden Muñoz
Pop/Latin Rhythm– Lenny Tavárez
Song of the Year:
Regional Mexican– ” ¡ Chale!” by Eden Muñoz
Pop/Latin Rhythm– “Envolver” by Lenny Tavárez
Publisher of the Year:
Regional Mexican– EMC Lyrics
Pop/Latin Rhythm– Sony Sounds
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year:
Producer of the Year:
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