Friday 21 November 2014

Country Billboard Chart News November 20, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News November 20, 2014

Billboard, Changing the Album Charts:  Will Count Streaming Services
Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan, the agency that supplies its data, will start adding streams and downloads of tracks to the formula behind the Billboard 200, which, since 1956 has functioned as the music world’s weekly scorecard.
It is the biggest change since 1991, when the magazine began using hard sales data from SoundScan, a revolutionary change in a music industry that had long based its charts on highly fudgeable surveys of record stores.

The new chart, covering sales and listening from Monday to Nov. 30, will be revealed on Billboard’s website on Dec. 4 and published in print in its Dec 13, 2014 issue.
Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s director of charts, said that by looking at streams as well as sales, the new chart will more accurately reflect how people listen to music these days.
“We were always limited to the initial impulse, when somebody purchased an album,” Mr. Pietroluongo said in an interview. “Now we have the ability to look at that engagement and gauge the popularity of an album over time.”
One expected result is that albums by big pop stars — which tend to open high on the chart and then plunge after just a few weeks — should linger longer in the upper rungs. Ariana Grande’s “My Everything,” for example, which opened at No.1 in September, was No.36 on last week’s chart, with 10,000 sales. Under the new formula, it would have been No.9.
SoundScan and Billboard will count 1,500 song streams from services like Spotify, Beats Music, Rdio, Rhapsody and Google Play as equivalent to an album sale.
For the first time, they will also count “track equivalent albums” — a common industry yardstick of 10 downloads of individual tracks — as part of the formula for album rankings on the Billboard 200.
“Album sales have become a smaller and smaller part of the industry,” said David Bakula, a senior analyst at Nielsen. “To just look at album sales and say this is how we measure success is really leaving out that half of the business that is coming from streams and song sales.”
"Including streaming information is the next step in the evolution of the industry's accurate measurement of music consumption," said Jim Urie, president/CEO of Universal Music Distribution. "Streaming is the fastest growing configuration we now have and having it included in Billboard's chart is a welcome improvement."

Taylor Swift’s “1989,” the biggest hit album of the year, was withheld from Spotify and other streaming outlets, and two weeks ago, it still opened at No.1 with nearly 1.3 million sales, the biggest weekly total for any album in 12 years. On the latest chart, released by Billboard on Wednesday, “1989” holds at No. 1 for a third week, with 312,000.
“No amount of streaming in the world,” Mr. Bakula said, “could keep Taylor from No. 1.”
While the Billboard 200 will be taking on a whole new look, Billboard will continue to publish a pure album sales chart, called Top Album Sales, that will maintain the traditional Billboard 200 methodology, comprising Nielsen's sales data exclusively. Existing genre album charts (Country, R&B/Hip-Hop, etc.) will also remain sale-based for the time being.
Source: Billboard 200 Makeover: Album Chart to Incorporate Streams & Track Sales

  • Taking into account streaming for singles seemed OK but using it to determine the album chart sounds messy?
  • Older people don't stream/ consume music as much as teenagers as they are not obsessed with mobile phones and apps and don't get glued to computers streaming everything 24/7.
  • The music industry seem more interested in how people consume music rather than buying it and flag up the trendy mainstream artists with high streaming figures.
  • The music industry is not going to gross as much money than with hard retail CD sales. Are they trying to hide the fact that albums sales have dropped significantly in 2014 (Country music album sales have been as low as 25% and now recovering to a 17% deficit compared to 2013).
  • Just how hard will it be to see the pure raw genre album sales to actually see how many were sold at retail? This new  Billboard 200 chart will no longer be a chart that exclusively looks at weekly album sales  which it has been since 1955.
  • Is it the start of a slippery slope to abolish CDs?
  • Just how will the system be applied to RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (RIAA) Gold & Silver album certifications? We’ve already seen singles in 2014 granted Platinum status even though they are some 175,000 short at retail to actually selling a million because of streaming data included. Example: The Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood duet "Somethin' Bad" was recently officially certified as a PLATINUM Digital Single by the RIAA. "Somethin' Bad" was certified for hitting the one million mark for combined downloads and online streams. It had actually sold 826,619 downloads at retail not 1 million!
  • Another nail in music retail coffin?

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (1 week) “Man Against Machine” Garth Brooks
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “Something In The Water” Carrie Underwood
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** "Sunshine & Whiskey" Frankie Ballard
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 ** (2 weeks) ** “Something In The Water” Carrie Underwood

In this easy-to-use format discover where your favourite acts songs and album are charting across the four Billboard Country charts. It is prioritized by the first column showing the Hot Country Songs chart frame standings for the week of November 29, 2014.
There are also separate rows highlighting Women of Country music.

Scroll down for further details on each of the individual charts.

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News
Taylor Swift with her 1989 POP album spent a third consecutive week at No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart (BB200), making it only the second album to spend three
weeks atop the list in 2014. Only the Frozen soundtrack, which racked 13 nonconsecutive weeks at No.1, spent longer at the top.
1989 sold 312,000 copies (*) in the week ending Nov.16, down 22% in its third frame compared to the previous week haul of 401,599 according to Nielsen SoundScan.
* The SoundScan chart was re-run after they found errors in it. A previous figure for Taylor of 305,791 (3 week total of 1,994,151) was earlier published and other sales and chart postions were later upgraded.
It's the first album to sell more than 300,000 copies in its first three weeks since Beyonce's self-titled effort in December 2013. Beyonce debuted at No. 1 with 617,000 (from only three days of sales), then spent a second (374,000) and third week (310,000) at No. 1.
After 3 weeks 1989's total sales now stand at 2,000,000. It continues to rank as 2014's second-largest-selling album, behind the Frozen soundtrack (3.25 million). They are the only two albums to sell a million copies in 2014.

Comparison to her last album RED’s first 5 weeks sales
1 Week 1,208,290
2 Week 344,249 (-72%)
3 Week 196,225 (-43%)
4 Week 144,534 (-26%)
5 Week 185,391 (+28%) ------- Total 2,078,997 

In total, Swift has spent 27 cumulative weeks at No.1 with her four chart-topping albums. That puts her ahead of Barbra Streisand on the list of women with the most weeks at No. 1. Among leading ladies, Whitney Houston has the most (46 weeks), followed by Mariah Carey (30), Swift (27) and Streisand (26).
It's unlikely that Taylor will hold onto the No.1 next week as UK boy band One Direction's album Four arrives predicted to shift  over 420,000 in the week ending Nov. 23, according to industry forecasters.
Taylor Swift also made history on the Billboard Hot 100, where her single "Blank Space" blasted from No.13 to No.1 (19.2 million US streams). As the song dethroned her prior smash, "Shake It Off," after four weeks atop the chart, Swift becomes the first woman in the Hot 100's 56-year history to succeed herself at the top spot and is the only artist with two Hot 100 No.1s in 2014.
 "Space," released on Big Machine Records and promoted to radio by Republic Records, takes over at No. 1 following the Nov. 10 release of its official video. With her coronation, Swift tallied her third Hot 100 No.1, following "Shake" (which falls to No. 3) and 2012's three-week leader "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

Of note: Pink Floyd collected its 10th top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as its new release, THE ENDLESS RIVER, sailed in at No.3. It sold 168,373 copies and also debuted at No.2 on Top Rock Albums. The album is the band's first collection of new studio recordings since 1994's The Division Bell, which debuted at No.1 (with 465,000 sales). The new set was assembled from music that originated during the Division Bell sessions and is advertised as a tribute to the band's Richard Wright, who died in 2008.

Strictly back to country matters superstar Garth Brooks made a debut at No.4 on the Billboard 200 to land No.1 on Billboard Top Country Albums selling 130,000 physical copies (* 118,370 previously published) of MAN AGAINST MACHINE, his first studio album in 13 years.
It’s Brooks’ and his fourth consecutive #1 album debut and his 14th leader on Top Country Albums. His last new studio album was 2001's SCARECROW (released on Nov 13, 2001), debuted at No.1 on both charts with 466,000 sales (Last noted total 2,946,000).
"People Loving People" was released as Man Against Machine's lead single on September 3, 2014 which peaked at #19 on Billboard Country Airplay chart (His last a top 10 airplay hit was 2007’s No. 1 “More Than a Memory”).
In the UK on the Official 100 Album chart Garth’s new set registered with a debut at No.23 (7,608 sales)
“Man Against Machine” was notably unavailable through digital retailers (such as iTunes and Amazon). The whole album had be bought digitally via Brooks' own GhostTunes website, which did not report sales of the album to SoundScan.
The new album earned Brooks his softest start for a studio set in the SoundScan era. He logged his previous low when Ropin’ the Wind bowed at No.1 with 300,000 in 1991. (If “In … the Life of Chris Gaines” is included as a studio project that shifted 262,000 in 1999)

Last year on the chart frame Dec 14, 2013 Garth made a bow at No.3 on the BB200 with Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences (sales 163,604) and was held off the No.1 by One Direction's MIDNIGHT MEMORIES. He land on Top Country Albums at #1 when he displaced The Robertsons' Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. That his 13th #1 album was released on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 28). It was a massive, eight-disk set, a Walmart exclusive, consists of six CDs and two DVDs.
“Blame It All On My Roots” went on to sell 1-million copies. It’s first seven Billboard postions/sales were:
#3 (163,604), #1 (146,267), #2 (171,508), #2 (199,168), #6 (90,000), #14 (25,000) and #18 (12,000)

Currently on his world tour with Trisha Yearwood, Garth continues to shatter records- recently breaking his North American ticket sales record for a single city with 203,235 tickets sold from eleven shows at the Target Center in Minneapolis, the most tickets he has ever sold for a single city in North America.
Garth’s new single off Man Against Machine, the moving tribute “Mom,” debuted on Good Morning America earlier this month and has since set off a chain reaction on social media from fans hoping to hear “Mom” on Country Radio. “Mom” will impact country radio on November 24th.

Critical reception for Garth Brooks “Man Against Machine:
* ONLY available as a FULL Album download on

Entertainment Weekly (Rating: B+) ...Thirteen years after his last LP, the country superstar returns with Man Against Machine, an album brimming with arena-size anthems, glossy production, and intimate storytelling. His sound hasn't changed much, but somehow Man doesn't feel dated. In fact, the likes of ''Wrong About You'' and ''All-American Kid'' are just what bro-soaked country radio's been missing.

Allmusic (Rating: 3.5 Stars) ..his first record in 13 years. Brooks never denies the passing years anywhere on Man Against Machine -- he never attempts to pour himself into skinny jeans so he can strut to an electronic beat, he never seems like a grinning bro next door as he embraces his middle age -- but he doesn't necessarily take pains to fit into the times,
either. From its beefy arena rock arrangements to its preponderance of power ballads, this is an album constructed from remnants of the
golden age of the diamond album, a cross-demographical blockbuster that's now a bit of accidental narrowcasting. This is for audiences who wish they made country records like they used to -- not when Hank, Willie, or Waylon were on the radio, but when arena country meant something to millions...There are no surprises, but that's what's welcome about Man Against Machine. Brooks doesn't try to do anything differently; he just picks up where he left off and the time away has only made it clearer how he's different from all that came before and all that came since.

Billboard (Rating: 3.5 STARS)....The resulting 14-track LP, released Tuesday on his website, is not overtly commercial -- first single "People Loving People" peaked at No. 19 on the Country Airplay chart -- but is full of substantive songs that resonate. Once accused of diluting country by infusing his live show (and later his music) with rock elements, he has made one of the most country-sounding albums of the year: See the fiddle-led ballad "All American Kid" about a returning soldier, as well as "Mom," a gentle heart-tugger......Brooks doesn't do half measures, as evident on the title track, screeching guitar-rock in which he rails against technology by referencing folklore hero John Henry, who died in a steam drill competition against a machine. But it's the dramatic tunes about love gone bad that stand out. On the flinty "Cold Like That," Brooks, whose vocals are stellar throughout the LP, wishes he could adopt the iciness of his ex-lover. The emotional weight of "Midnight Train," a chugging ballad about an inescapable lost love, rivals closer "Tacoma," an organ-drenched tune about trying to outrun a memory. A rowdy, vintage-Brooks-style slam-dunk like "Friends in Low Places" or "Fever" is missing here, but that's a small complaint for such a solid return.

Rollingstone (Rating: 3.5 STARS) ...Y'all counted out Chris Gaines, but after 13 years, Garth Brooks returns with one of the year's best accidental rock albums. There's no Auto-Tune to smooth his rusty voice, so it's more weathered and honest than the man who left the spotlight. The lyrics play like a sly spin on classic Garth: On "She's Tired of Boys," he's on the other side of the May-December romance from 1992's "That Summer," and the woman doesn't lose her man to the "Rodeo" – she herself rides. With ripping guitar solos, Aerosmith-style strings and gospel-tinged background vocals, this is a record that could take Eric to Church.

New York Daily News (Rating: 2 STARS)  Garth Brooks waited 13 years to release “Man Against Machine.” He should have waited longer.... Brooks does includes a zippy nod to
Western swing in “Romeo & Juliet,” plus a few soggy ballads, but most of the music suggests Journey gone Nashville. The lyrics also circle the wagons, settling on eye-glazing tales of football heroes gone to war, men who realize it’s more fulfilling to fish than to climb the corporate ladder, and piercing realizations like “the answer lies in people loving people.” The album reaches a gag-me peak with “Mom,” a song sung from the point of view of a
baby reluctant to leave the womb — until God himself talks the kid into taking the plunge. I am not making this up. There’s one clever, fresh and catchy piece, “She’s Tired of Boys.” Here, a young girl kicks her far older lover to the curb for being too immature. A song like this proves Brooks actually can think and write. If he would only do it more often.

George Strait with THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY moved 60-11 on the BB200 (#16-#2 Country) selling 30,000 copies (up 309%) as fans waited patiently to get their hands on the Deluxe release of the CD with a DVD of the special which aired on CMT earlier this year. This deluxe edition is only available at Walmart stores.

Zac Brown Band with GREATEST HITS SO FAR made a debut at No.20 on the BB200 (#5 Country) with 19,974 copies sold for  the 14 song collection of nothing but hit singles (11 of them #1 singles). The album is the band’s final for Atlantic Records. Their next album will be issued through Universal Republic/Big Machine Label Group’s Dot Records.

Critical reception for Zac Brown Band - Greatest Hits: So Far:
14 Tracks/ Time: 54:19 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music -  

Allmusic (Rating: 4.5 Stars) rounds up the 14 singles the Zac Brown Band released between 2008 and 2013, presenting them in chronological order and containing no bonus material. There are a lot of hits here -- "Chicken Fried," "Toes," "Highway 20 Ride," "Free,"
"As She's Walking Away," "Colder Weather," "Knee Deep," and "Keep Me in Mind" all hit number one on Billboard's country charts, and most of the rest made it into the Top 10 -- and when they're combined in a collection, the overall effect is to push ZBB away from their (deserved) jam band associations and into the realm of sturdy craftsmen. Brown and his chief co-writer Wyatt Durette have a knack for full-blooded yet sensitive melodies reminiscent of the golden age of singer/songwriters, with many of the best songs ("Colder Weather," "As She's Walking Away") bearing an uncanny (and possibly unintended) similarity to the terrific and obscure songsmith B.W.Stevenson, along with James Taylor. This means Greatest Hits So Far underscores the band's timeless qualities: in addition to being a great live band, they're a hell of a singles band, too, creating songs that withstand hundreds of plays.

Darius Rucker with HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS continues to picked up sales with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon.
He moved to 39-31 on the BB200 and jumped up to No.7 Country. Sales were up 10% selling 10,900 copies for a new 3-week total of 29,743. It could be 2014s Country Christmas album of the season with a challenge coming soon from Sara Evans (AT CHRISTMAS out Nov 17) but seemingly untroubled by the cappella country act Home Free at (#49) whose album FULL OF CHEER opened with 6,108 copies (#14 Country) before slipping down the chart, The ABC Nashville cast holiday set CHRISTMAS WITH NASHVILLE (7,529 sold in 2 weeks) and LeAnn Rimes whose album has flopped after making a lowly debut 2 weeks ago at #47 Country selling just 1,000 copies of One Christmas: Chapter One.

In their second week on the Country chart The Doobie Brothers with SOUTHBOUND (Arista Nashville) slipped 7-15 (6,000 sales; down 63%)
After last weeks sales boost for many who performed at the Nov 5th 48th Annual CMA Awards there was a marked reduction a further week on with Miranda Lambert’s album of the year PLATINUM (sales down 61%) typical of the corrections. 

Outside the Top 25 Country Albums
Teen duo Maddie & Tae with their Self-Titled debut 4 track EP fell 28-45 (Dot/ BMLG) and on Heatseeker Albums slipped 1-17.

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
26,853,000 (Physical sales 17,887,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 8,966,000 (down -8.4%)) which is 16.8% down at the same point in 2013 (32,294,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings
(Issue dated Chart week of November 29, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)

* The SoundScan chart was re-run after they found errors in it. A previous figure for Garth Brooks of 118,370 was earlier published and other sales (eg George Strait 27,314 was upgraded to 30,000) and chart postions were later ammended.

Billboard Catalog Albums Chart (week of November 29, 2014)

  • Garth Brooks (sales up 13%) replaced Johnny Cash’s The Legend Of Johnny Cash (1-4) atop the Country Catalog Album chart. All of the Top 10 also appeared on the Billboard 200 albums. Some of the former Christmas releases are now starting to impact the chart. 
Country Catalog Albums
#1 2 166 The Ultimate Hits - Garth Brooks (#55 Billboard 200; 6183 sales)
#2 7 24 Cheers, It's Christmas - Blake Shelton  (#63 BB 200; 5549 sales; Total 546,004) 
#3 5 108 Red - Taylor Swift  (#68 BB 200; 5728 sales;  Total 4,089,172)
#4 1 246 The Legend Of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash (#99 BB200; 3848 sales; total 3,273,134)
#5 New 14 Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas - The Robertsons (#106 BB200; 3471 sales; Total 755,718)
#6 New 86 Based On A True Story ... - Blake Shelton (#107 BB200; 3619 sales; Total 1,402,855)   
#7 13 138 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Burl Ives (#112 BB200)
#8 10 4 Merry Christmas... Love, Elvis - Elvis Presley (#127 BB200; 3184 sales) 
#9 Re-Entry 21 On This Winter's Night - Lady Antebellum (#129 BB200; 3374 sales; Total 546,139) 
#10 9 135 White Christmas - Martina McBride (#137 BB200; 2954 sales; Total 1,692,254) 

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of November 29, 2014)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS 
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

  • Carrie Underwood with “Something in the Water” (19/Arista Nashville) held onto the No.1 for a second successive week in her 8th chart frame.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

Carrie Underwood with “Something In The Water” stays Top the chart!
Sam Hunt with former No.1 “Leave The Night On” lifts 3-2 p
Keith Urban with “Somewhere In My Car” drives up three, #6 - #3 p
Tim McGraw with “Shotgun Rider” fires up four, #7 - #4 p
Little Big Town with “Day Drinking” slips one, #4 - #5 q
Maddie & Tae with “Girl In A Country Song” climbs two, #8 - #6 p
Blake Shelton with “Neon Light” is down two, #5 - #7 q
Frankie Ballard with “Sunshine & Whiskey” lifts two, #10 - #8 p
Jason Aldean with former No.1 “Burnin’ It Down” falls seven, #2 - #9 q
Florida Georgia Line with former #1“Dirt” slips one, #9 - #10 q
Brad Paisley with “Perfect Storm” holds at #11
Eric Church with “Talladega” rises two, #14 - #12 p
Big & Rich with “Look At You” is up three, #16 - #13 p
Florida Georgia Line with “Sun Daze” burns up three, #17 - #14 p
Parmalee with “Close Your Eyes” climbs three, #18 - #15 p
Lee Brice with “Drinking Class” is up three, #19 - #16 p
Kenny Chesney with “American Kids” falls four, #13 - #17 q
Luke Bryan with “Roller Coaster” falls six, #12 - #18 q
Kenny Chesney with “Til It’s Gone” is up four, #23 - #19 p
Scotty McCreery with “Feelin’ it” sticks at #20
RaeLynn with “God Made Girls” is up one, #’22 - #21 p
Lady Antebellum with “Bartender” sinks seven, #15 - #22 q
Brett Eldredge with “Mean To Me” is up one, #24 - #23 p
Darius Rucker with “Homegrown Honey” moves up one, #25 - #24 p
Thomas Rhett with “Make Me Wanna” climbs one, #26 - #25 p

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (2 weeks) **  “Something In The Water” Carrie Underwood
** Streaming Gainer ** “Talladega” Eric Church
** Digital / Airplay Gainer ** No.33 “Just Getting’ Started” Jason Aldean

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of November 29, 2014

Frankie Ballard claimed his second No.1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, as “Sunshine & Whiskey” (Warner Bros./WAR) rose 2-1 in its 33rd chart week.
It logged 47.179 million audience impressions, a gain of +2.450 million and received 7,453 radio plays (+366) during the tracking week. The song written by Jaren Johnston and Luke Laird was first released by Warner Bros. Nashville on April 14, 2014
as the second single from Ballard's second studio album, SUNSHINE & WHISKEY which debuted and peaked at No. 5 on Top Country Albums on March 1. The song has sold 525,000 downloads (through the week ending Nov. 9) reaching No.9 on Billboard’s Country Digital Songs chart.
He rang the top bell two weeks faster than in his first trip to the summit; “Helluva Life” reigned in its 35th week (March 29). Ballard becomes the first artist to score two maiden No.1s in 2014 and one of seven acts overall to score multiple No.1s on the Nielsen BDS-driven chart this year. He joins Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton (three each), Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line (two each).
Top local audience exposure for “Sunshine” during the tracking week ending Nov. 16:
WNSH New York (1.3 million impressions), WUSN Chicago, KKGO Los Angeles (1.1 million), WUBL Atlanta (1 million) and WKLB Boston (977,000).
“I’m so grateful to be here at the top again! We’re still celebrating ‘Helluva Life’ and now we’re back… I’m feeling VERY blessed! This is what you dream of and work for and I’m so grateful to Country Radio for playing my music and the fans for supporting me,” shared Ballard. Ballard will celebrate with fans nationwide on his first headlining trek – LIGHT ‘EM UP Tour – as part of the exclusive Live Nation Ones To Watch tour with Skype. The run stops in 19-cities through December with upcoming shows in Houston, TX (11/19), New Orleans, LA (11/20), and San Antonio, TX (11/21).
Ballard is basking in the success of “Sunshine & Whiskey” after making the move to Nashville in 2009 from Battle Creek, MI, to pursue music. Drawing on his working class values, he performed every chance he could and honed in his guitar and songwriting skills. He steadily built a loyal fan base and took the time to grow as an artist and an individual.
Previously opening for Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and longtime idol Bob Seger, the talented showman will amp it up even further next year on the Florida Georgia Line 2015 ANYTHING GOES Tour. (Source Sweet Talk Publicity )

  • Brad Paisley nabbed his 32nd Country Airplay top 10 with “Perfect Storm” (Arista Nashville), which sports 30.2 million impressions and improved 11-9. At 12 weeks, “Storm” marks Paisley’s quickest top 10 ascent since “Beat This Summer” rose 10-7 in its ninth frame on May 11, 2013. His quickest rise to the region: five weeks, for “Then” (May 2, 2009).
  • Luke Bryan bagged Most Increased Audience and Most Added stripes with “I See You” (Capitol Nashville) and rocketed 43-28. It logged 9.138 million audience impressions (up 239%), a gain of +6.442 million and received 1,440 radio plays (+1,068) thanks to 45 fresh radio commitments (ADDS). Jason Aldean’s “Just Gettin’ Started” (Broken Bow) also drew 45 new airplay commitments, although Bryan’s title shows first in the Most Added column, as ties are broken by the total number of stations added; Bryan’s track scored adds at 64 stations, while Aldean’s single did so at 63.
  • Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe with "Lonely Tonight" snagged the Hot Shot Debut honour making a No.38 bow. As a featured singer Ashley nearly matched her best rank on Country Airplay. It was just shy of Monroe’s best, a No.37 peak with “I Don’t Want To” (featuring Ronnie Dunn) on the Feb. 3, 2007 chart. The new song marked her best debut (in her fourth chart appearance). As one-third of Pistol Annies, Monroe ruled the June 29, 2013 chart as a featured act on Shelton’s “Boys ’Round Here.” (Shelton’s “Neon Light” dropped 1-4 after a week atop Country Airplay.)

Women of Country 2014 Watch:

There were two solo female artists on the Top 30 Country Airplay songs with Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water” at No.12 and RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls” falling 22-21. “Girl In A Country Song” by duo Maddie & Tae climbed one 6-5.
Jana Kramer #34, Kelsea Ballerini #47, Lindsay Ell #51, Sara Evans #59 and Lucy Hale #60 and were the additional five solo females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it 11.3% of the entire Top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "Sunshine & Whiskey" Frankie Ballard
** Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No. 28 "I See You" Luke Bryan
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.38 "Lonely Tonight" Blake Shelton Featuring Ashley Monroe
Debut No.55 "Take Your Time" Sam Hunt
Debut No.57 "One Hell Of An Amen" Brantley Gilbert

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of November 29, 2014

  • Carrie Underwood remained at No.1 atop the summit of the Billboard Country Digital Singles for a second week with Tim McGraw with “Shotgun Rider” again in the runner up position. On the allgenre Digital Songs Carrie fell 8-16 in her 8th week and Tim slipped back 24-28 in his fourth chart frame. That chart is headed by Taylor Swift as “Blank Space” moved 2-1 with sales of 328,000 (647,000 3-week total) as her lead off hit “Shake It Off” fell 3-5 93,000 sales (2,842,000 12-week total).
Women Of Country Watch
Carrie Underwood with “Something In The Waterat No.1 and RaeLynn (20-15) with God Made Girls” and Jessie James Decker with “Baby! It’s Christmas” represent the three solo female artists on the Top 50 placings.

Dropping off the Top 30:
21 - Off the Top 50 Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town “Smokin’ And Drinkin’”
25-31 Lee Brice “I Don’t Dance”
27-32 Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe “Lonely Tonight”
28-48 Chase Rice “Ready Set Roll”
29 - Off the Top 50 The Band Perry “Gentle On My Mind”

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published November 20, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart
Frankie Ballard moved 2-1 to land No1 on Mediabase with “Sunshine & Whiskey” (Warner Bros./WAR). The song logged 7,720 radio spins (+428) and 55.674 million audience
impressions (+2.272 million) from 149 tracking stations for the tracking week November 9 to November 16, 2014 and published chart November 17th.
Congratulations to Warner Bros./W.A.R. VP/Promotion Chris Palmer, Dir./National Tom Martens and the entire W.A.R. promo staff on scoring this week's #1 spot on the MEDIABASE Country singles chart with Frankie Ballard’s “Sunshine & Whiskey.” "The song makes for Frankie's second #1 single in a row, following "Helluva Life" which went #1 in March.
Sweet treats were due to be delivered to the WAR office (Nov 17th) to congratulate the staff on their success

Congratulations to Warner Music Nashville (WMN) SVP/Promotion Kevin Herring, VP/Promotion Kristen Williams, Dir./National Promotion Katie Bright, and the entire WMN Promo team for earning 52 MEDIABASE Country adds with Blake Shelton's "Lonely Tonight" featuring Ashley Monroe. Those adds give Shelton the "Most Added" title this week.
Bagels were due to be delivered to WMN’s office (Nov 17th) to congratulate the staff on their success.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 423 - November 17, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

Country Bites News snippets Nov 10 – Nov 16, 2014

Country Bites News snippets November 10 – November 16, 2014



For a full listing of 2014 and beyond UK Tour dates PLEASE check out our Tour Dates Page

On the BBC Radio 2 Playlist for the week commencing 15th November 2014 Dolly Parton with “Blue Smoke” was added to the “A” playlist as Garth Brooks with “People Loving People” remained on “C” List  (first added 26th October 2014).
OUT: Sheryl Crow with “Callin' Me When I'm Lonely” was withdrawn from the “C” list (first added 18th October 2014)

Rebecca Hollweg has a new album Launch Gig and Party on Sunday 23rd November 2014. Tickets will be £5 on the door, with the new album available to buy in advance of the official release date of January 2015. With each new album sold she going to give away one of her previous albums, 'June Babies' or the execellent 'Orange Roses' so fans can fill any gaps in their collection.
And there will be new free postcards and pencils!
Where: The Cavendish Arms, 128 Hartington Road, Stockwell, London SW8 2HJ
Near to Vauxhall and Stockwell tubes, off Lansdowne Way  Doors open 6.30  Music 7.30-8.30

Glasgow country/pop group Ashton Lane have a great new single titled “Primrose Hill” released Nov 1, 2014 on Redhed Records. I t was written with Lindsay and Nick Colitses and is available on UK iTunes >> Listen on
Interested in a creating a bespoke song with Ashton Lane?

Would you like Ashton Lane to gig in Your Living Room?
Details >> Watch promo video They are currently taking bookings for Living Room gigs and are touring December and January. If you enjoy Ashton Lane music, then this is a great way to get to see a gig in the comfort of your own home.

Sandi Thom (Thom-A-Thon Full Band Silver Package) played The Half Moon in Putney, London (93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 1EU) on Thurs 20th Nov 2014, 20:00 with Carolynne Poole (from X Factor 2012) supporting

Nigel Nesbitt the bass player from the now defunct The Hayley Oliver Band spilled that they have found “a very talented female singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice, great lyric's and a talented piano player as well” as well as being “beautiful”. There will be a song slated to be released on the promotional Hotdisc and a video possibly before Christmas. The band (name unknown) are currently working on the new material with her and a 4 track EP is being finished. Nigel believes “this young lady will make a BIG impact on the British Country Scene, she is modern country, writes really catchy songs” it seems the Band are back as promised !!! Dougie MacLean: BBC sidelining folk music …..Dougie MacLean, who was given the honour of closing the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer, has branded BBC Scotland “useless” and accused it of deliberately shunning anything “overtly Scottish”. Maclean, 60, said opportunities for performers to appear on BBC Scotland TV or radio programmes were being held back by a “certain cringe factor” within the organisation about showcasing home-grown talent. He said many young musicians now had to rely on Gaelic channel BBC Alba for exposure as BBC Scotland had “dumped” Scottish music there and tried to “bury” the few remaining shows in its late-night schedules.

Darius Rucker has taken his True Believers Tour overseas, where he’s making (or made) stops in Berlin, Munich, London, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin (where the trek wraps November 23rd). He loves playing in Europe, mainly due to their historic buildings, he shares: “We’ve got a lot of shows in Germany and in England. I love going over to Europe because the cultures are so different. From here, you go state to state, and there’s differences in accents and everything, and the cultures are a little different. But when you’re in Europe, you go from country to country, just like you go from state to state, and there’s different languages and totally different cultures, and I love being a part of that. The thing I really love to do is I love to go around and see old churches and museums and stuff, because we think if something was built in the 1800s, we think it’s old. Then you go over there and something was built in 39 B.C. [laughs], and it’s still up. I think that’s pretty cool.”

For a full listing of 2014 Country/Alt/ Americana albums and future releases PLEASE check out our Country Music Store Page

(6 Oct 2014) Luke Daniels - What's Here What's Gone (self release)
12 Tracks/ Time: 50:27 MP3 - UK iTunes  

(21 Oct 2014) Jacob Martin Band - Look at What You Started
6 Tracks/ Time: 19:54 MP3  

(27 Oct 2014) The Living Sisters - Harmony Is Real: Songs For A Happy Holiday
12 Tracks / Time: 35:51 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -

(28 Oct 2014) Home Free - Full Of Cheer (Import)
10 Tracks  CD - UK iTunes - 

(4 Nov 2014) The Claire Lynch Band - Holiday! (Thrill Hill Records)
10 Tracks/ Time: 37:30 MP3 - UK iTunes -

(17 Nov 2014) Nell Robinson - The Rose Of No-Man's Land (Compass)
Nell Robinson is a singer/songwriter who has been described variously as "a modern-day Patsy Cline" and one of the "freshest voices in roots music." Her crystalline vocals have been compared to early Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Hazel Dickens. On her new album, THE ROSE OF NO-MAN'S LAND, Nell reaches into her family's deep military history to create musical vignettes of her ancestors' experiences.

(17 Nov 2014) Trisha Yearwood - Prizefighter: Hit After Hit
CD - Smart Choice Music -  16 tracks (5 NEW tracks 2 of which are covers + re-recorded hits), the twelfth studio album from the Country great and her first in seven years.

(17 Nov 2014) Reba McEntire - Just A Little Love / My Kind Of Country (Hux Records) (2 On 1 CD) 20 tracks CD - Smart Choice Music

(17 Nov 2014) Sara Evans - At Christmas
10 Tracks/ Time: 38:53 
Sara Evans keeps it in the family with her brand new and first-ever holiday album. The multiplatinum-selling singer welcomed two very special guests on her latest project — her daughters Olivia, 12, and Audrey, 10. The cuties popped into the studio to provide backup vocals on the track, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It also features classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Silent Night,” to name a few.

(17 Nov 2014) The Henningsens - Our Family Christmas (Arista Nashville)
10 Tracks/ Time: 32:49 MP3 - UK iTunes - 

(17 Nov 2014) Kenny Chesney - Christmas in Blue Chair Bay (Single) (Blue Chair Records, BNA Records) Time: 4:28 MP3 - UK iTunes -

(17 Nov 2014) Jerrod Niemann - Holly Jolly Christmas (Single)

(18 Nov 2014) The Roys - Bluegrass Kinda Christmas (Rural Rhythm Records)
10 Tracks/ Time: 30:09 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - 


Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart (Week Ending November 22, 2014)

Avicii spent three weeks atop the chart for in July/August 2013 with "Wake Me Up" and now debuts at No.1 with the version credited to Gareth Malone's All Star Choir, and benefitting the BBC's Children In Need charity. It sold 120,312 copies.

13 unlucky for Tay!: Thanks to the new promotional video for Taylor Swift'sBlank Space”  it had an immediate effect on the track, which catapulted 109-11 (23,045 sales) pushing ahead of her last hit “Shake It Off”, which dipped 5-12 (22,143 sales; 13-week total 569,891) bringing to an end its 12 week run in the Top 10, the longest of any Swift song.

Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending November 22, 2014)

Taylor Swift with her POP album 1989 fell 3-6 (26,038 sales; 3-week total 145,577) after it opened atop the UK chart with sales of 90,336 copies. Her previous album RED fell 66-88 its 88th week on the top 100.
Garth Brooks registered his eighth chart album with a debut at No.23 (7,608 sales) with MAN AGAINST MACHINE (RCA) 
Dolly Parton with BLUE SMOKE/THE BEST OF (Masterworks) climbed 30-24 in her 23rd week (6,000 estimated sales, 23-week total 237,400) helped by her recent BBC 4 documentary.
Lady Antebellum with 747 (Decca) fell off the Top 100 from their previous week position of No.90.

Of Note
British progressive rock group Pink Floyd topped the album charts for the first time in nearly 20 years on Sunday with "The Endless River". The newly-released album, which the band says will be their last, became the third fastest-selling by a single group or artist this year after shifting 139,351 copies during the last week. A tribute to the band's keyboardist Rick Wright who died in 2008, it is their sixth British number one album and their first since "Pulse" in 1995.

There were low opening sales for Cheryl Fernandez-Versini despite lots of promotion and her high profile exposure on X Factor.
Cheryl's fourth album, which bears that title, fell well short of all its predecessors, despite the fact that it is the first of the former Girls Aloud star's solo albums to generate two #1 singles.  ONLY HUMAN debut at No.7 selling just 21,839 copies last week.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending November 22, 2014)
Garth Brooks with MAN AGAINST MACHINE made a deut at No.1
Lady Antebellum with 747 slipped 1-2 in their sixth week.
Kacey Musgraves with SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK held at No.3 in its 83nd week.
Tim McGraw with SUNDOWN HEAVEN TOWN (Big Machine) lifted 6-4 in his 8th chart frame
The UK’s Ward Thomas with FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW Music) held at No.5 in their 17th week.
C2C2015 festival artists Florida Georgia Line fell 2-10 with ANYTHING GOES in their 2nd week.
Lee Ann Womack with THE WAY I'M LIVIN' (Sugar Hill) fell 9-14 in her 8th chart frame.

On the Hotdisc Chart (November 16, 2014 Chart)

Ray Price’s duet feat. Martina McBride “An Affair To Remember” remained at No.1 for a third successive week atop the chart in its 6th chart frame having been in the top 2 the whole time.
While a song written by Ray, "Pride," slipped 2-4 by British singers Ian Highland and Frank Jennings (sixth week at No.1 slot on the British & Irish Chart)
As the latest tracks from the Hotdisc #191 November 2014 promotional disc began to impact the chart saw the highest new Last week’s Hotdisc Hotshot Debut  from Merle Haggard with “That’ll Be The Day” (Buddy Holly/Norman Petty/ Jerry Allison) climbed one place 3-2.

Toby Keith improved 7-3 with new radio single “Drunken Americans

11-year old Megan Adams with her first solo single with an adaption of “Travellin’ Soldier” made a 8-5 hop (No.2 on the British & Irish Chart)
Brian Collins with “Enjoy The Ride” held firm at No.6.

James Carothers with his self penned “New Country Singers” moved up 2 places 9-7.
US act David Starr entered the Top 10 with a 13-8 junp with self penned single “Feel Like Coming Home

Outside the Top 10

USA duo Beau + Luci with their self composed “Mosaic” climbed 5 slots (16-11) as the flames flicker with last single “Fire” which dropped 17-24 (having reached a No.10 peak)
Michael Lusk with “My Best Friend” rose 14-12 as Jo De Messina with “He’s Messed Up!!!” rose five rungs (18-13) and Canada’s Gordon Jensen with his self penned title cut “Miranda In The Moonlight” lifted 20-14.
British regular Tony Clarke really is looking to “Raise The Bar” as his single advanced 19-15 (No.3 British & Irish Chart).
Norway artist Karin Wright with “Like A Fading Rose” made a six place leap 24-18.
US singer-songwriter Madeline Smith with “Stay” rounds out the Top 20 with a five place shift 25-20.
Outside the Top 20

Southbourne Dorset and local high street busker Owen Moore with fun ditty “Two Cats” clawed up a purr-fect 4 rungs (26-22).
Aussie act David Hilgenfeldt Project with self penned “Memphis Buzz” headed north climbing  seven (30-23)

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Songs (published November 15, 2014)
Something has sparked interest in Heartland’s music who head the chart with single “I Loved Her First”      
Taylor Swift posts 11 tracks in the Top 30 with “I Knew You Were Trouble” the highest at #3.

1. Heartland - I Loved Her First   
2. Heartland - I Loved Her First   
3. Taylor Swift -  I Knew You Were Trouble          
4. Taylor Swift - Love Story        
5. Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers - Islands In the Stream   

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Albums (published November 15, 2014)

Dolly Parton with her two album set Blue Smoke/  The Best Of heads the chart.
The UK’s The Shires with their newly released live The Green Note EP are at #2
With interest in Taylor Swift’s new POP album 1989 and her back catalog priced down in the shops she charts 5 album sets in the top 22 with previous album RED at #3. The news Best of compilation for Zac Brown appears at #7 with C2C 2015 headliners Lady Antebellum falling back at #13 with 747 (Deluxe) and at #453 on the overall UK Top 1500 ITunes Album chart. Fellow C2C 2015 act Florida Georgia Line with new album  ANYTHING GOES fared worse at No.27

1. Dolly Parton -  Blue Smoke - The Best Of        
2. The Shires - The Green Note EP         
3.  Taylor Swift - Red     
7. Zac Brown Band         Greatest Hits So Far...  
13. Lady Antebellum 747 (Deluxe) (#453 overall overall UK iTunes Album chart)      
27. Florida Georgia Line - Anything Goes (Deluxe Version) (#796 overall UK iTunes Album chart)     


Country music’s golden girl Kasey Chambers and acclaimed singer/songwriter Luke O’Shea head up the list of finalists for Australia’s longest running music awards – The Golden Guitars - which will be presented in Tamworth on 24 January 2015.
Named as finalists in six categories each in the Country Music Awards of Australia, which were announced, Kasey Chambers (Finalist in Album of the Year, Vocal Collaboration of the Year, APRA Song of the Year, Single of the Year and Video Clip of the Year) and Luke O’Shea (Finalist in Album of the Year, Vocal Collaboration of the Year, Toyota Heritage Song of the Year, APRA Song of the Year, and Video Clip of the Year.are well represented across the 14 Awards categories including the Male and Female Artist of the Year.
Industry icon John Williamson, who is no stranger to the finalist and winners lists, is a finalist in an impressive five categories, which include Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. A song he wrote and recorded about Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital, is among his finalists nominations.
The finalists for the Country Music Awards of Australia (The Golden Guitars) were announced at an Awards event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, on November 16th hosted by multi Golden Guitar winner Catherine Britt and Morgan Evans (See Facebook Gallery Photos ) .
At the pre award announcement two Golden Guitar Awards were presented at the event:
Top Selling International Album of the Year which went to Dolly Parton for Blue Smoke
The Sanity Top Selling Australian Album of the Year which was won by The McClymonts for HERE’S TO YOU & I.
The nonimees for Sanity Top Selling Australian Album of the Year were:
My Side Of the Street (Adam Brand; Producer:  Craig Portiels)
Family Life (Adam Harvey; Producer:  Graham Thompson)
If I Want To (Jasmine Rae; Producer:  Luke Wooten)
Harder to Tame (McAlister Kemp; Producer:  Jeremy Stover)
Here's To You & I (The McClymonts; Producer:  Lindsay Rimes) WINNER

The complete list of finalists for the 2015 Country Music Awards of Australia (The Golden Guitars) is at

Congratulations to Melinda Schneider and Beccy Cole as their album "Great Women Of Country" tops the ARIA Country Albums Chart published Nov 17, 2014

Kenny Butterill album Troubadour Tales (track-by-track)

Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News

November 11, 2014: Garth Brooks (Garth Gets A Sign), Country artists reach out (Military Men), Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean (Please Come to Boston), Lady Antebellum (Take Me Downtown/ New Year's Rockin' Eve) Garth Brooks (ABC-TV's Good Morning America)
November 14, 2014: Garth Brooks (Social Study), Blake Shelton (Sure Be Cool If You Did), Carrie Underwood (Right In Time), Luke Bryan (Award Games)

November 18, 2014: Rascal Flatts (Las Vegas/The Winning Band); Garth Brooks (Two Of A Kind), Brad Paisley (State Of The Nation), Tanya Tucker (Tucker's Treasures), 20th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards

  • Brandi Carlile, the band and the Seattle Symphony will be celebrating Thanksgiving weekend together at Benaroya Hall on November 28, 29 and 30 Ring in the new year with Brandi and the band at the Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis on December 30 & 31!
  • Blake Shelton was part of the 2014 class of inductees into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Thursday night (Nov 13)
  • Universal Music Group (UMG) NASHVILLE has signed singer/songwriter Clare Dunn. Earlier this year, Dunn was featured on the cover of USA TODAY in an article about SIRIUSXM's "Fresh Female Voices". She has also spent the last year opening for acts such as Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, and Luke Bryan
  • Big Machine Records has added Seth Alley to its roster. The Sparta, Tenn., native is working with Spalding Entertainment, and has been previewing his music at radio stations across the country. He releases his four song, self-titled EP on iTunes today (Nov. 17). Alley co-wrote each track on the EP, along with songwriters including Sherrie Austin, Will Rambeaux, and Frank Maroney.
  • Maddie & Tae wrote “Girl In A Country Song” on St. Patrick’s Day, signed their record deal while recording it – and yet, just two weeks before Thanksgiving – the duo’s debut single is Top 5 at Country radio and certified GOLD by the RIAA for sales exceeding 500,000 digital downloads.
Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, The Roys and Carrie Underwood were all winners at the 2014 Inspirational Country Music Awards, held Nov. 13 at Cornerstone Nashville in Madison, Tenn. Underwood won Mainstream Country Female Artist of the Year, while Jackson took home Mainstream Country Male Artist of the Year.
Lady A won the award for Mainstream Song of the Year, for ‘Compass,’ and the Roys won Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year. See a complete winners list here.

The Country Radio Broadcasters have announced Lady Antebellum as the recipient of the CRS 2015 Artist Humanitarian Award, to be presented during the opening ceremonies of Country Radio Seminar on Feb. 25, 2014.

Garth Brooks was honored with the ASCAP Centennial Award -- a new honor created to mark the performing rights organization's 100th anniversary. Garth was recognized alongside the night's other honorees, including one of his heroes -- Billy Joel. Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder and musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim also received the Centennial Award Monday night.

Nov 12: Garth Brooks is returning to Boston for the first time in more than 17 years. Garth and Trisha Yearwood will play three shows at Boston's TD Garden January 22, 23 and 24, 2015. Tickets for these shows go on sale Friday, November 21 through
Garth also released his new album, Man Against Machine, this week. He's also joined Twitter @garthbrooks , Facebook and Instagram under his own name, Garth Brooks.

Jason Aldean's Burn It Down tour is up for Major Tour of the Year at the 26th Annual Pollstar Awards. The ceremony will take place Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Jason is nominated in that category against heavyweights including Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Jay Z and Beyoncé.Brantley Gilbert and Kacey Musgraves also scored nods in the Best New Tour Artist category. The Pollstar Awards honor artists and power players in the touring industry.

Nov 13: "Nashville" Recap: I'm Coming Home to You

Trisha Yearwood is set to perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on December 3 in support of her new album, PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit. She'll co-host The Rachael Ray Show on December 8 and perform on CBS's The Talk on December 19.


The 30th anniversary of the 1984 holiday charity classic “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is here, and the charitable folks at Band Aid decided to celebrate with an anti-Ebola edition. It’s a virtual who’s-who of big names in British and Irish music -- One Direction, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, with Bono back three decades later -- but one obvious U.K. person is nowhere to be found. Project organizer Bob Geldof -- who co-wrote the original back in 1984 -- said Adele ignored his pleas to appear on the song, accruing to a Guardian report. Billboard reached out to Adele's team for comment on this report. The singer was included in early reports amongst other confirmed collaborators. However, The Guardian says Adele’s team maintains she should have never been included on the list, and that she chose to support the cause  “with a donation.”
Geldof told The Sun, “Some people just don’t want to do it… Adele is doing nothing, she’s not answering the phone… she’s not writing. She’s not recording.
She doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone. She won’t pick up the phone to her manager. She’s bringing up a family, you know.”
Back on Oct. 9, Adele’s U.K. label XL Recordings noted that the singer’s highly anticipated third studio album will not be arriving in 2014.
Bob Geldof was kicked off a TV appearance (18.11.2014) for swearing twice.
The former Boomtown Rats frontman was being interviewed live on Sky News when he said "b******s" twice in response to questions about tax-dodging musicians. When newsreader Jayne Secker brought up the issue of Band Aid's legacy and the hypocrisy of certain celebrities taking part in the single due to their history of tax avoidance, the 63-year-old organiser retorted, "I think you're talking b******s.

Billboard Man Against Machine: Garth Brooks Calls YouTube 'the Devil' …..We knew Garth Brooks had friends in low places, but this is ridiculous. Speaking with Access Hollywood, the country music legend took the "devil," also known as the "nice people" at YouTube, to task for what he calls an unfair compensation model for artists. Brooks told Billy Bush that the video giant "claims they pay people but they're not paying anything either. People get millions and millions of views and they don't get squat, trust me."
Brooks added that despite having reservations with the Google-owned company, he doesn't think he'll pull a Prince any time soon. "You can do it but you can't get out of it," he said of removing his videos. "I had a sweet meeting with them, they were all fired up they were all like 12… so young. I said, 'how do you get out?' Silence, you don't. Thanks for our wonderful, uh, somebody judging on this one on the government. But yeah, it's totally backward now."
Bush broached the digital music topic with a question about Taylor Swift's exodus from Spotify, which Brooks wholeheartedly endorsed. "When music starts standing up for itself, it's gonna get a lot better," he said. "Guys, there's some big friends in music we need to stand up to. I mean, if iTunes is gonna tell you how to sell your stuff and it's only gonna go this way, don't forget who's creating the music." Brooks recently launched his own iTunes-like retailer, called Ghost Tunes, on the occasion of his first new album in 13 years, the fittingly titled Man Against Machine.

Barry Walsh keyboard player and husband of Gretchen Peters has a new 12 track New Age/Contemporary/ Instrumental album out. For his third album, SILENCIO, Walsh spent two years looking for the space between the notes composingd and arranging this work with that goal in mind. Recorded at his home on a Yamaha C-7 grand piano, touches of accordion, glockenspiel, guitar and bass were added. Available on CD BABY

Kenny Chesney is helping fans put a little bit of the island life in their holiday season with his new single, "Christmas in Blue Chair Bay." The song is described as "slightly Calypso" and "wholly acoustic."
Kenny hopes the track can help fans relax a little bit with their friends and families this season. He says, "I do know that my family really loves Christmas -- and I was in the mood, especially with the time I’ve been spending in Barbados with my rum, to try and distill how slow and sweet the holidays in the islands are when we can get there.” Of course, Kenny's referring to his Blue Chair Bay rum, which has also turned out to be a big seller for Kenny. "Christmas in Blue Chair Bay" is now at country radio


  • The Roys bring the holidays home with their newest CD, BLUEGRASS KINDA CHRISTMAS (Rural Rhythm Records), available in stores November 18.
  • Trinity River Band releases New Christmas Album – “On A Morning Like This” first released Digitally (Oct 9, 2014)
  • Jim Ed Brown, a Country paragon, celebrates his 51st anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry with a new CD, IN STYLE AGAIN (first solo studio album in almost three decades), due in stores on January 20, 2015. The disc's first single, "When The Sun Says Hello To The Mountain," features Jim Ed and sister Bonnie Brown, and is available to Country radio today.
  • Cover Art 
  • On Nov 11, 2014, country singer Jeff Bates honored his idol when he released his tribute to the late Conway Twitty, titled Me And Conway.  
  • Kenny Rogers, will return Down Under in January and February for his Farewell Down Under Tour, which will include his final concerts in Australia and New Zealand ever.
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will explore the career of superstar Tanya Tucker with the exhibition Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, opening November 14, 2014, and running through May 2015.
  • Rising Country group Sweetwater Rain garnered nominations for both Country Song of the Year and Mainstream Country Duo or Group of the Year for the 2014 ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards (held on November 13, 2014 at Cornerstone Nashville). The Curb recording group is also slated to perform on the show their nominated song, >> “Pray For Me,” that went No. 1 on the Power Source music charts in February of 2014.
  • Newton & Thomas  proudly announced the new single release, “Great American Heroes,” that recently made its radio debut on Nashville’s WSM Radio 650 AM Coffee, Country and Cody show
  • Jason Aldean on the heels of a No.1 album debut, is releasing “Just Gettin’ Started” as the latest single off his sixth studio album OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT. The track officially went for adds with 70 stations already on board. Aldean now marks 10 Million in Career album sales.
  • Native Run webisode Series premiered On Taste Of Country and will join Sam Hunt on “LIPSTICK GRAFFITI TOUR” dates in 2015.
  • Buddy Lee Attractions, Inc. (BLA) continues to substantiate its knack to seek and sign superb talent to attract audiences of all genres. Owner/CEO Donna Lee announced the agency’s most recent additions to the BLA roster: Kristen Kelly, country group Lower 40 and the extraordinary Bluegrass performers Ralph Stanley II and Judge Talford.
  • CMA Songwriters Series wraps its milestone 10th anniversary year with strongest season yet 2014 not only marked the 10th anniversary of the CMA Songwriters Series, but also marked new heights in the growth of the popular series.
  • Luke Bryan, Big & Rich, Brett Eldredge, Dustin Lynch & More to join Headliner Blake Shelton for Country Thunder 2015 (Florence, Ariz., April 9-12, 2015.)!
  • The Roys win 4th Consecutive Inspirational Country Music's Bluegrass Artist of the Year Award
  • Brian Collins to debut on SiriusXM The Highway’s “On The Horizon”
  • Bucky Covington joined the Las Vegas line-up of country performances during Wrangler's annual National Finals Rodeo for a special one-night engagement in the iconic Plaza Hotel and Casino showroom Saturday, December 13, 2014
  • Chris Young caps New York City run with sold-out headlining show at Best Buy Theater
  • The Kicker Country Stampede 2015 line-up just got “A Little Bit Stronger” with the addition of Country superstar Sara Evans, chart-topper Jerrod Niemann, Country music’s fastest rising star Thomas Rhett, one of Rolling Stone’s ‘10 New Artists You Need to Know’ Old Dominion, Country rock band Blackjack Billy and British Country singer/songwriter Sasha McVeigh.
  • Jason Crabb joined Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Amy Grant, Dolly Parton and More on New 2-CD Collection: Top 25 Country Songs of Faith
  • Hit Songwriter, top vocalist & veteran musician Cody Shuler releases his first Solo Album.
  • Kenny Chesney announces new Holiday single "Christmas In Blue Chair Bay". Released on Nov 17, 2014 ( and produced with Buddy Cannon, this is Chesney’s first Christmas music since 2003’s nearly-Platinum All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan.
  • Whistling, hand claps, funk-strumming guitar, and a boppin’ bass line lay the sonic stage for Natalie Brown’s luminous vocals on “Wish Upon a Star”, the first track of the self-released EP “This Christmas“ (UK iTunes).
  • Seventeen year-old Emily Vance is keeping it real and sharing her heart on her debut EP Finding My Way – comprised of four infectious tracks that showcase her emotional power as a vocalist and her development as a songwriter. All the songs were cowritten with the teen's mentor and manager Nina Baldridge who discovered Emily at The Gwinnett School of Music at the age of 14.

  • Billboard Ghost Tunes, Garth Brooks' iTunes Alternative, Launches in Full
  • Billboard Bandcamp, the e-commerce platform that makes it easy for bands to sell their music directly to fans, is now poised to offer a new feature: personalized subscription services. Ahead of an announcement at this week's SF MusicTech Summit conference, Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond told the Guardian that artists will be able to set their own price for the service, with music reaching premium subscribers first
  • Billboard Country Stars on Taylor Going Pop: 'Taylor Swift Can Do What Taylor Swift Wants to Do'
  • Shania Twain reigns for the third consecutive year as Country Weekly’s most Beautiful Woman, as voted by the readers.
  • American Songwriter First Aid Kit Live: Presented by Martin Guitar
  • music.einnews Darius Rucker realises his childhood country dreams (by Rob Adams Folk & Jazz critic Herald Scotland) ...Darius Rucker had two childhood dreams. He wanted to make a country record and he wanted to sing on stage at the Grand Ole Opry like the people he listened to on the radio every Saturday night....Darius Rucker plays the 02 ABC, Glasgow, on November 22.

For The Country Record Dustin Lynch - Hell of A Night (Single Review)
For The Country Record Justin Moore ‘This Kind of Town’ – Single Review


  • Billboard 5 Part Interview: Maddie & Tae on the Real-Life Mean Girl That Inspired 'Sierra'
  • For The Country Record (By Andy Macbride) The Shires on The ‘Homegrown’ Tour, Nashville And Country Music In The UK
  • Focusonthe615 Ray Scott Talks About His New Album And Being “The Other White Meat” In Country Music....Ray Scott, who I would describe as humble and authentic to the core, just released his new 11-track album produced by Dave Brainard from deciBel Nashville.  Production began just over a year ago on this project as he compiled the songs together and started recording. With his deep baritone voice, Scott is reminiscent of such musical greats as Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings
  • Jessica Campbell had an interview with The Huffington Post talking about her music career and her new album III released Oct 7, 2014."We spent three whole weeks, 10-hour days, working on these six songs," said Campbell, who successfully conducted a 20-day Kickstarter campaign to cover the remaining expenses. She's a sweet Carolina native with a voice as luscious and refreshing as a glass of iced tea on a sweltering summer day. But don't let that sunny disposition and alluring Southern accent fool you.When Jessica Campbell gets down to music, she means business. And the rest of us should be all ears. JessicaCampbell-III-CoverCampbell, whose breezy third album, III, has Roman numerals written all over it, is an exhilarating breath of pop-purified air in a world polluted by Auto-Tune, electronica and other slick-trick gadgetry.....
Taylor Swift looks nearly unrecognizable (but still gorgeous!) on the cover of Wonderland magazine's newest issue, which hit newstands Thursday (Nov. 13). With slicked-back hair and heavy brows, fans get a glimpse of a whole new side to the songstress. Of course, the biggest shock may be the absence of her signature red lipstick. The whole look is rather fearless, wouldn't you say?

Song Premiere: Gretchen Peters, >> “When All You Got Is A Hammer
The Song: “When All You Got Is A Hammer,” a track off Peters’ upcoming album Blackbirds, out February 10. Songwriter Says: “There’s a saying among people who work with vets who suffer from PTSD – ‘don’t leave them behind – they’re not home yet.’ We ask so much of these men and women, and then too often forget about them when they come home. If you don’t give someone the tools for coping emotionally with something as horrific as war, you’re basically consigning them to prison. The challenge of writing a character-driven song like this is to try to get inside the character’s head and speak authentically with his voice, not your own. I was so gratified and humbled when, after playing the song live, a veteran of the 1st Iraq war came up to me and told me “you got it right.””

[LISTEN] [LYRICS] ‘This Side Of Heaven’ — Swon Brothers (feat. Carrie Underwood)_

Billboard Jason Aldean, who pulled his new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, from Spotify. As seen on the Country Airplay chart Aldean's single "Burnin' It Down" had an audience of 36.9 million last week, according to Nielsen BDS (good for #7 on Country Airplay chart). Since it received 5,764 radio plays, the average audience size for each spin was 6,395. Now, keep in mind that "Burnin' It Down" has been on the chart for 16 weeks (it was previously at #5), so its aggregate audience is much larger than 36.9 million. Streaming royalties might seem low, but that's because a streaming audience isn't all that big. To put a one-week audience of 36.9 million into perspective, consider that Aldean's entire album set a Spotify record for first-week streams by a country album with "more than 3 million," according to the AP. Put another way, a single song's radio audience was more than 12 times greater than the full album's Spotify audience. The Good and the Bad of Spotify Founder Daniel Ek's Streaming Defense…..The Taylor Swift vs. Spotify saga continued Wednesday (Nov. 12) with revelations about royalties the singer generated at the streaming company. Scott Borchetta, head of Swift's record label, Big Machine, told Time magazine that Swift's catalog earned $496,044 to be exact. Swift has employed a windowing tactic in the past, holding back new albums from streaming services to goose album sales. Although Spotify has argued against this practice, Swift doesn't appear to have been harmed….

Rollingstone Spotify Loses Streaming Rights to New Albums by Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore
Days after Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Spotify's archives, more country stars are following her lead. Jason Aldean was the first in line, choosing to quietly remove his most recent album — the record-breaking Old Boots, New Dirt, which was streamed more than 3 million times during its first week — rather than his full discography. Now, two new artists have also decided to shake it off: Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert. Like Swift, Moore and Gilbert are both signed to Big Machine Label Group, a company that's always been wary of streaming services like Spotify. When Gilbert's Just As I Am hit stores in mid-May, Big Machine kept it away from Spotify for 60 days. Although it's impossible to measure the effectiveness of that move, Just As I Am wound up selling more than 500,000 copies during those first two months….Read more
Spotify and Uber have announced a partnership pairing on-demand rides with on-demand music to deliver the ultimate personalized soundtrack for your ride.  Starting Friday (Nov. 21), Spotify Premium users will have the ability to connect their account via the Uber app, request a ride, and when you get matched with a Spotify-enabled Uber, select the music, and your tunes of choice will be playing when your Uber arrives. The partnership is rolling out in 10 launch cities including Nashville, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto, and will continue to spread globally over the coming weeks. To kick off the launch, Spotify and Uber are giving fans a chance to connect with artists including Jake Owen


Tim McGraw’s live performance of ‘Shotgun Rider,’ directed by Bennett Miller, from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

New music video from Taylor Swift "Blank Space" on
The BEST Moments from Taylor's 'Blank Space' Video Read more at

Cledus T. Judd featuring Colt Ford "Luke Bryan" – UK iTunes 
Luke Bryan is the latest Country Super Star to join an elite list of those parodied by singer/songwriter, Cledus T. Judd. The hilarious new song, “Luke Bryan,” is a comical portrayal of one of country’s hottest stars was released on Thursday 6th November on iTunes a day ater the CMA Awards.  “This is one of the few songs I’ve written where we couldn’t stop laughing out loud while we wrote it,” Cledus says. "I don’t think I’ve done that since “Did I Shave My Back For This?” Every line makes you laugh."   
Known for his clever parodies of some of Country music’s biggest stars, with the release of “Luke Bryan,” Cledus T. Judd is at it again starting a new phase of his remarkable career. Often called the “Weird Al” Yankovic of Country, Cledus’ quick-witted parody about superstar Luke Bryan has fans laughing. 

Music video for Nancy Laberge's first single, "Holy Moly Christmas" from her Trilogy Records debut album, Write From The Heart (released Sep 14, 2014). – UK iTunes

Katie Armiger has teamed up with Yahoo! for the premiere of her new video, “One Night Between Friends” Watch on
The companion video for her new single, “One Night Between Friends,” was shot in Los Angeles and directed by Justin Baldoni. Baldoni, one of the stars of the new CW show, “Jane the Virgin,”  also helmed the video for Katie’s breakout single “Safe,” which shot to No. 1 on the Top 20 Country Countdown Chart.


Carrie Underwood was wearing an Alice + Olivia Carth puff shoulder flare coat - Image
Where:  The Concert For Valor, Washington DC


  • Trisha Yearwood’s spilled one of her hubby’s secrets: Garth Brooks loves tortellini and no matter what dish she makes he always wants her to add tortellini to it.
  • Toby Keith was offered $325,000 to do one show in Vegas at The Axis in Planet Hollywood but didn't follow through and declined.
  • Drinking On A Whiskey Row: Dierks Bentley’s restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona; Whiskey Row will expand next year to two new locations; one in Tempe, Arizona and one in Chicago. Whiskey Row has a 360 degree stage, a 24 foot TV, several iPhone and USB charging stations and all beer (OF COURSE) is self-serve!
  • Luke Bryan got death threats after posting a photo of a deer he killed bow hunting in Illinois. No word if he’s taking these threats seriously or not.
  • Dierks Bentley got his pilots license in 1997 and he flies himself to most of his shows in a small plane and says, “you basically get an extra 12 hours with family which is a long time when you've got three kids.” Dierks calls his plane ‘The Time Machine’ because it buys him more family time.
  • The winner of People's annual Sexiest Man Alive content was announced last night with country crooner Blake Shelton managed to earn a spot on the list.The magazine writes: "After all the jokes he made to 2013's Sexiest Man Alive Adam Levine, it seems fitting that Shelton, 38, has a spot on this year's A-list, so his Voice pal can get back at him. (We'll be watching.)"
Dierks Bentley hit the recording studio with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley this week. He posted a photograph of the session on Twitter with the caption, "Still processing. got to sing a ralph stanley song with...ralph stanley! look him up kids. #firstgenerationbluegrass.

Frography (by Flex) Darius Rucker @ O2 Empire, London - 18 Nov 14 Facebook Gallery
The Shires - Homegrown Tour - London Facebook Gallery
Miranda Lambert Interview with Bob Harris -  Facebook Gallery

November 17: Gene Clark (1941), Gordon Lightfoot (1938), Laura Lynch (ex Dixie Chicks) (1958) Reid Perry (The Band Perry)
November 18: Jessi Alexander 1972)
November 19: Billy Currington (1973) 
November 20: Sarah Jory (1969), Joe Walsh (Eagles) (1947), Jim Brickman (1961), Dierks Bentley (1975), Josh Turner (1977)
November 21: Jean Shepard (1933), Teresa McCarter & Lisa (McCarter Sisters) (1966), Kelsi Osborne (SheDaisy) (1974) 
November 22: John Jennings (1953)
November 23: Shel Silverstein (1932)