Monday 23 May 2016

Country Billboard Chart News May 9, 2016

Country Billboard Chart News May 9, 2016

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of May 21, 2016)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (20 non-consecutive weeks) TRAVELLER Chris Stapleton
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (1 week) ** H.O.L.Y.  Florida Georgia Line
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** "Somewhere On A Beach” Dierks Bentley
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (1 week) ** H.O.L.Y.  Florida Georgia Line

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of May 21, 2016)

The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric album consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Pop music icon Drake with his VIEWS album made a debuts at No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart (BB200) with an explosive first week. The set earned 1.04 million equivalent album units in the week ending May 5 in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. Traditional album sales comprised 851,675 copies.  Views was initially released exclusively for sale through the iTunes Store and to stream via Apple Music on April 29 by Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records. On May 6, the album became available for purchase through other digital retailers and its physical CD was also released.
Views is Drake’s sixth straight No. 1 album, and follows the chart topping bows of What a Time To Be Alive (with Future, in 2015), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015), Nothing Was the Same (2013), Take Care (2012) and Thank Me Later (2010). His only charting album to miss the top was his debut EP, So Far Gone, which peaked at No. 6 in 2009.
Drake Smashes Sales, Streaming Records
Exclusivity pays -- even in the record business. That's what APPLE head of content Larry Jackson believed after DRAKE sold more than one million copies of his new album, “Views,” in less than five days when it was available only on APPLE’s iTUNES download store and its subscription streaming service, Apple Music, the Wall Street Journal reported. The album sold 632,000 copies in the first 24 hours!
JACKSON asserts that DRAKE used the company’s streaming service to market the album and corral his fans into one place, which precipitated record-setting sales. "Over the past year DRAKE has hosted 20 episodes of his radio show, OVO Sound, on APPLE MUSIC’s free Beats 1 radio station, using the show to announce the album release details and to debut several songs, including his hit “Hotline Bling,'" WSJ reported. "APPLE also advertised the album on the iTUNES home page and is running TV ads for the album during NBA playoff games."

Chris Stapleton’s TRAVELLER the former BB200 No.1 album rose 9-8 (31,000 units; down 3%),

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of May 21, 2016)

Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER (Mercury Nashville | UMGN) held at No.1 on Billboard Top Country Albums with sales of 24,868 copies in his 53rd week (Total sales 1,278,000).

Martina McBride with RECKLESS (Nash Icon/Big Machine Label Group) made a debut at No.31 on the Billboard 200, No.11 Top 200 Album Sales and No.2 Country with sales of 15,574 copies. She scores her 11th top 10 and first since EVERLASTING debuted as her fifth No.1 in April 2014. 
Martina became the only woman in the chart’s 50-year history to debut at No.1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart with an independently released and distributed album, when EVERLASTING (Vinyl Recordings) arrived on the BB200 at No.7, her highest debut in seven years, selling 20,880 copies. The title also opened at No.2 on Billboard Independent Albums.
"Everlasting" was McBride's highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 since 2007's WAKING UP LAUGHING debuted and peaked at No.4.
Martina’s previous Albums (Chart Debuts and sales)
Her seventh studio album MARTINA (RCA Nashville) released on Sept 30, 2003 peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 and was a #1Country album. It opened with sales of 123,000 units.
Her eighth studio album TIMELESS (RCA Nashville) released October 18, 2005 peaked at #3 on the BB200 and #1 Country (third consecutive No.1) with debut sales of 185,000 copies.
Her ninth studio album WAKING UP LAUGHING (RCA Nashville) released April 3, 2007 peaked at #4 on the BB200 and #2 Country (chart week April 21, 2007). It opened with sales of 138,666 copies.
Her 10th studio album SHINE (RCA Nashville), released March 24, 2009 (RCA Nashville) peaked at #10 on the BB200 and #1 Country (chart week April 11, 2009) and opened with sales of 41,457 copies
ELEVEN (Republic Nashville) her eleventh studio, released October 11, 2011 peaked at #4 on the BB200 and #4 Country (chart week Oct 29, 2011) and opened with sales of 40,116 copies.

Martina McBride Talked Reckless

A Songwriter’s Champion
Nashville singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is a co-writer on “Reckless” (along with Heather Morgan and Zach Crowell) and also sang the demo. “It’s good to see who’s really coming into their own, like Sarah Buxton right now is writing her ass off,” says McBride. “We’ve got three cuts [of Buxton’s] on the record, and the first single [“Reckless”]. It’s fun to see her blossoming. When you see people work really hard, it’s fun to see it come together.”
On Artistry and Song Choices
“What I think are the best song choices might not be the best song choices to somebody else,” says McBride. “I think that’s what makes an artist, because you are drawn to certain things. When I hear a song as an artist, it’s nothing but instinct. I hear a song and I really love what it says, I think it’s written really smart, and it has a good melody. When you listen to as many songs as we do for a record, the ones that are really great stand out. One will come along that stands above the rest.”
“Reckless” Ambition
For McBride, “Reckless” was one of those songs that stood out. In fact, McBride was so passionate about the song that she was determined to record it, even when Lady Antebellum had already put “Reckless” on hold. McBride reached out to Lady A’s Charles Kelley, who told her if she was so passionate about the song, that she should be the one to record it.
(Fun Fact: Lady A had a similar moment with their hit song “Downtown,” which was originally on hold for Miranda Lambert. Kelley reached out to Lambert, who graciously allowed them to record the song.)

On Nashville’s Songwriting Community:
“I think our songwriting community is going through a transition. I feel that, anyway when I’m out looking for songs. They are straddling that line between writing for radio and [thinking] maybe there is another way. That maybe there is something coming around the corner that is different. That’s interesting too, because I feel that. It’s exciting as an artist to feel the writing community kind of transitioning, and having the faith and heart to say, ‘I’m writing because this is what I have to write, not because this might be a hit on radio.’ It’s exciting like it used to be. I’ve been here a long time so I’ve got relationships with publishers and songwriters, and I
encouraged them to send me stuff.”
No “Issue Songs
“Someone asked me during an interview, ‘Are there any issue songs on this record?’ and I was like, ‘No,’ because I never go out looking for those kinds of songs. They just come to me. With this album, it’s more like every song has a universal appeal. It’s about life—love stories, redemption, and encouragement. I always have that thread of hope through everything I do. I feel like it’s one of those records where people are going to be able to relate their own story to every single song.”
McBride’s “Dream Team”
Mega producers Nathan Chapman and Dann Huff signed on to produce McBride’s upcoming project together. “It’s like a dream team,” said McBride. “It’s interesting how it came about. I didn’t expect it. I went to each
of them separately to do four or five cuts on the record, but let them know I was also talking to Dann or I was talking to Nathan. They both said at separate times, ‘I wish we could just do it together,’ and I was like, ‘Far be it from me to stand in your way. Your wish is coming true.’ They complement each other and are both super gifted musicians and producers. I feel like I’m in really good hands with the music.”

Critical reception for Martina McBride’s Reckless:
10 Tracks/ Time: 35:23 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Allmusic (Rating: 3 STARS) …Reckless isn't exactly an accurate title for Martina McBride's first album for Nash Icon, the classy home for old Nashville pros constructed by Big Machine's Scott Borchetta. As McBride's first full-fledged country album since 2011's Eleven, Reckless proceeds carefully, conscious of the constraints of commercial country radio and her role as a veteran. All through the album there are slight, subtle hints of the modern world -- a passing lyrical reference tempered by crisp digital production or sequenced rhythms .... the album winds up getting a little mellow, drifting down supple back ways where the only intent appears to a pleasant placidity, but this softness is salvaged by
 Martina McBride - HSN During
Big Machine Rocks Music Special
HSN 17 April 2016
how the music breathes: for as smooth as the surface is, there is a palpable human heart beating underneath the gloss. Reckless winds up feeling of a piece, a record where the individual songs don't matter as much -- they'd stand out on the radio but feel interconnected here -- as the mood itself. It's an album that showcases a Martina McBride who is embracing her middle age, who finds sustenance in her musical roots but resists succumbing to easy nostalgia. It's warm, classy, and relaxed, music designed to comfort and sustain.

Roughstock (Rating: Positive) ... There’s a maturity in these songs that suits Martina as she is 25 years into her career after all. Keith Urban shows up to supply harmony vocals on “Diamond” while alt-country king Buddy Miller guests on “The Real Thing.” The fact that McBride takes a chance on some of these rootsy-leaning story songs should be championed here as she is clearly proving that they have a place with mainstream country as they always have over the years.

Taste Of Country (Rating: Positive) Few albums released in 2016 will have the lyrical integrity of Reckless, Martina McBride's first album on Nash Icon Records. Each of the 10 songs hits like red wine on an empty stomach, with the buzz growing stronger the more you sip. “Reckless” is an outlier sonically, but representative of a very personal album from McBride. The song tells her and husband John’s story. “Just Around the Corner” is a ballad of inspiration for a woman who admittedly struggled with confidence in recent years. 
Key Tracks: “Reckless,” “The Real Thing,” “”Low All Afternoon,” “We’ll Pick Up Where We Left Off”

Country Music People (Rating: 2 STARS)…it becomes increasingly evident there is one major problem with RECKLESS as an album, the material here is very lacklustre

USA Today (Rating: Positive) …This is country music as it should be: one of the genre’s greatest female vocalists according to many of her peers, in the center of the action as she has been since her recording debut 24 years and 18 million album sales ago. McBride's latest release, Reckless, brings her back to country music following her exploration of classic R&B on Everlasting in 2014. ....McBride, 49, knows that nothing comes easy these days, particularly for female singers in a genre already saturated with eager young contenders...“It’s always been a challenge for women to get on country radio,” she says. “And I had a hard time finding songs for this record because there just isn’t a well full of songs for female artists. 

CMC Chat (Rating: Very Positive)…McBride now returns to her pop country roots with a new album Reckless, and the 49-year-old mother of three has never sounded better.....McBride has always thrived when delving into matters of the heart. Songs like
“Low All Afternoon” is full of heartache, while the jaw-dropping “We’ll Pick Up Where We Left Off” just solidifies her spot as an emotional lighthouse in modern country music...If country radio gives “Reckless“ a fighting chance, 2016 could be a very big year for Martina McBride. It already is though for fans of this timeless country singer who has returned to her heyday with a powerful and nearly flawless return to form album.

Joey + Rory with HYMNS (Farmhouse/Gaither | Capitol CMG) in its 12th week rose 47-39 BB200 holding at #3 Country (14,137 sales; up 24%; 12-week total 353,600)
Sturgill Simpson with SAILOR’S GUIDE TO EARTH (Atlantic/Atlantic Group) fell 31-55 Billboard 200 (#2-4 Country) selling 9,390 (down 30%; 3-week total 75,000)
Sam Hunt with MONTEVALLO (MCA Nashville | UMGN) rose 26-24 BB200 (#4-5 Country; 9,258 sales; 80-week total 1,127,400).
Luke Bryan with KILL THE LIGHTS (Capitol Nashville) held at #33 BB200 (#5-6 Country; 6,030 sales; 39-week total 957,700).
Thomas Rhett with TANGLED UP (Valory | BMLG) fell 29-32 BB200 (non-mover #7 Country; 6,030 sales; 32-week total 372,000)
Eric Church with MR. MISUNDERSTOOD (EMI Nashville | UMGN) fell 64-68 BB200 (#6-8 country; 5,545 sales; 27-week total 368,600)

Outside of Top 25 Country Albums
Lonestar with NEVER ENDERS made a debut at No.48 selling around 600 copies.

Critical reception for Lonestar’s Never Enders:
10 Tracks/ Time: 36:00 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

NASH Country Weekly’s Alanna Conaway proclaimed: “’Never Enders’ is an invigorating reminder of the untouchable harmonies that distinguished them from every other band in the late ‘90s, and even still to this day.”

“With smooth production to compliment McDonald’s gravelly voice and the rough edges of the guitar twang, the album is a nice blend of the grit that one associates with old-timey country with modernized, pop melodies that make the songs shine as exactly what they are – strong and honest. The album doesn’t stop, but rather forges forward with each chord and lyric to mirror the acceptance of nostalgia and a true voice style” - Nashville Country Club
One Stop Country said: “Lonestar doesn’t need any studio frills or additives of pop infusing their songs to make them work; they just simply put their strong talents on the table and it works on this album, just as it has on those that have come before it. Lonestar’s comfort zone becomes a refreshing reminder of how country songs and their lyrics can still impact a listener.”

Roughstock (Rating; Positive) Iconic band returns with debut for new label Shanachie Enertainment. Lonestar’s new album starts off with a hopeful love song in the title track “Never Enders” and instantly showcases why the band has become one of Nashville’s best-known bands. While they’ve gone through their own ups and downs as a band, they’ve proven they’re never enders themselves as they move onto a new record label for the release of this record.
Featuring ten total tracks, Never Enders finds ways to update the band’s sound to keep them current with today’s audiences but thanks to solid songwriting, production and vocals, the band remains the Lonestar fans have loved for two decades now. Standouts include “I Know It Was You,” and “My Own Hometown” while “This Time,” and “I’ve Been Wrong Before” showcase the band’s ability to be a bit of a 90s revival with superior ballads and vivid lyrics. Finally, "I Want A Love" will remind fans a bit of an updated "No News" in style and sound. It’d be easy to dismiss Lonestar as a band who is past their prime but as Never Enders proves, the band has re-found their groove and because of that, Lonestar delivers an album as timeless as anything they’ve ever done.

Allmusic (Rating: 3 STARS)…From the insistent arena-country anthem of the title track to the preponderance of shiny sentimental ballads, this feels like a revival of late-'90s country, but what makes Never Enders work isn't that it succumbs to nostalgia, but rather that it relies on craft. The songs may not be grabbers, but they're sturdy, melodic constructions given a lift by an enveloping, polished production that effectively softens the rougher edges of McDonald's voice; he's hardly gravelly, but he is nicely weathered. All of these elements help turn Never Enders into an album that feels radio-radio by the rule books of 1997, but that's its appeal: it is
Lonestar celebrating who they are, from their country-pop roots to their middle age. Such warm self-acceptance turns this album into a cozy, pleasurable affair.

Year-To-Date Albums
7,991,000 (Physical sales 5,244,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 2,747,000 (down -20.1%)) which is 12.2% down at the same point in 2015 (9,106,000 sales)
Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
32,619,000 down 21.0% at the same point in 2015 (41,303,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of May 21, 2016)

H.O.L.Y.” (Republic Nashville), the new single from Florida Georgia Line (Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley), vaulted 39-1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart (dated May 21). Written by Nate Cyphert, William Larsen and busbee (aka Michael Busbee), “H.O.L.Y.” (named from the song’s “high on loving you” chorus) is the first single from FGL’s third studio full-length, Dig Your Roots, due in August.
On Country Digital Songs, “H.O.L.Y.” entered at the summit with 125,000 downloads in its first week (ending May 5), according to Nielsen Music. It also started atop Country Streaming Songs with 5.8 million first-week U.S. streams. Following its first full week of airplay, “H.O.L.Y.” bumped 26-25 on Country Airplay, up 6% to 10.7 million in audience.

The track’s 39-1 vaulted on Hot Country Songs is the third greatest in the history of the chart (which launched as an all-encompassing genre survey in October 1958) and Florida Georgia Line’s second-best. Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” scorched 42-1 in its second week (Aug. 9, 2014), leading for 14 weeks total. FGL’s “Dirt” ranks second, having leapt 40-1, also in its second week (July 26, 2014).
(Why does “H.O.L.Y.” make such a jump? It debuted on the May 14 tally due only to its first two-plus days of airplay following its April 29 arrival, as the Hot Country Songs chart’s airplay tracking week runs Monday-Sunday. Sales and streaming are measured Friday-Thursday, however, so the song soared to No.1 on Hot Country Songs with the addition of its first week of those two metrics.)
In addition, the track’s two-week trip to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs is the fastest since Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” crowned the chart in its second frame (Nov. 21, 2015).
“H.O.L.Y.” is FGL’s fifth Hot Country Songs No. 1. Its first, “Cruise,” holds the record for the lengthiest stay on top: 24 weeks (2012-13). Notably, “H.O.L.Y.” marked a maturity in the pair’s sound. “Seth England, our manager, sent us the song, and we knew it was a big one,” FGL’s Tyler Hubbard told Billboard. “We just weren’t sure it was for us. After listening a lot, we knew it was the exact direction we wanted to go. There were three instances where our wives asked us about ‘H.O.L.Y.,’ and when we said we were considering it for FGL, they said we had to cut it. We feel like the song is anointed.”
Says Big Machine Label Group executive vp/Republic Nashville president Jimmy Harnen, “As we all know, music and art are subjective; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Artists, managers and record executives have a responsibility to find music that inspires and moves people, because art that doesn’t sell is an obsession with a storage problem ... When we played ‘H.O.L.Y.’ for country radio programmers and fans in the months prior to release, it completely connected with them, evoking huge emotion and reaction.”

For her top 10 performance on NBC’s The Voice on May 5, Mary Sarah chose Tammy Wynette’s 1968 No.1 country classic, offering a true-to-the-original rendition. It opened at No. 21 on Country Digital Songs, shifting 13,000 downloads and arriving at No.36 on Hot Country Songs.

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:

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (1 week)/ Streaming Gainer ** H.O.L.Y.  Florida Georgia Line
** Digital ** No.23 “Peter Pan” Kelsea Ballerini
** Hot Shot Debut ** No. 28 “Broke Down” Cole Swindell
Debut No.34 “Pick Up” Dierks Bentley
Debut No.35 “I Got A Woman” Adam Wakefield
Debut No.36 “Stand By Your Man” Mary Sarah
** Airplay Gainer ** No.38 “Castaway” Zac Brown Band
Debut No.44 “Already Ready” Dan + Shay
Debut No.48 “Roots” Parmalee
Debut No.50 “A Little More Love” Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of May 21, 2016)

BENTLEY BEACHES AT NO.1: Dierks Bentley achieved his 14th Country Airplay leader, as “Somewhere on a Beach” (Capitol Nashville) rose 2-1 (49.9 million, up 8%).
The song is the lead single from his eighth studio set, Black, due May 27.“ ’Somewhere on a Beach’ is setting up our summer just like we wanted, putting the fans in the mood to party,” said Bentley. 
It’s hard to believe that it’s my 14th No.1, and I’m blown away at the reception of the new music. I can’t wait to start peeling back more layers from the album.”

MILESTONE Kenny Chesney with “Noise” (Blue Chair/ Columbia Nashville) rose 12-10 (26.6 million, up 2%) to become his landmark 50th Country Airplay top 10. In the chart’s 26-year history (dating to its Jan. 20, 1990, launch), he trails only George Strait (61), Tim McGraw (55) and Alan Jackson (51).

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "Somewhere On A Beach” Dierks Bentley 49.903 million audience (+3.828 million) / 8,596 radio plays (+539)
** Hot Shot Debut/ Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No.34 “Middle Of A Memory” Cole Swindell 4.847 million audience gain thanks to 55 fresh radio commitments (55 ADDS) **
Debut No.39 “A Little More Love” Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice
Debut No.58 “Holdin’ Her” Chris Janson
Debut No.59 “Roots” Parmalee

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart (Chart issue week of May 21, 2016)

Florida Georgia Line (Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley) with “H.O.L.Y.” (Republic Nashville) blew in at No.1 on Billboard’s Country Digital Singles Chart and No.2 on the all genre Digital Songs Chart (dated May 21) with 125,000 download sales.

Tim McGraw with “Humble and Kind” (McGraw/Big Machine/Big Machine Label Group) slipped 1-2 (#46-26 Digital Songs)
Dierks Bentley with “Somewhere On A Beach" fell 2-3 (#60-35 Digital Songs).
Luke Bryan with "Huntin' Fishin' & Loving Every Day" rose #6-4 (#75-40 Digital Songs)
Chris Young duet with Cassadee Pope held at #5 (#74-45 Digital Songs)
Thomas Rhett with "T-Shirt" fell 4-6 in his 16th chart frame (#66-46 Digital Songs)
Maren Morris with "My Church" (Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) fell 3-7 in her 17th week
Cole Swindell with “You Should Be Here” was up 9-8 in his 21st week as new pre-order album track “Broke Down” arrived at #11
Blake Shelton with “Came Here to Forget” (Warner Bros./ WMN) fell 7-9 in his ninth frame
Adam Wakefield (The Voice contestant) with "I Got A Woman” (co-written and recorded by American R&B/soul musician Ray Charles) made a debut at #18.

Fellow Season 10 Voice contestant Mary Sarah with her cover Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” (performed Episode 21; May 2, 2016) was new at #21 after selling 13,000 downloads.

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

9 May April 2016

Congrats to Dierks Bentley, Royce Risser, Shane Allen, David Friedman and the Capitol promo team on scoring this week’s No. 1 with “Somewhere On A Beach.” The song is the first single from Bentley’s new album BLACK.
The song logged 8,979 radio spins (+475) and 62.765 million audience impressions (+3.365) with 29029 Total Points from 158 tracking stations for the tracking week May 1 to May 7, 2016 and published chart May 9th 2016.

"Somewhere On A Beach" is Bentley's 14th career #1 and is the first single from his forthcoming album, "Black," which streets Friday May 27th.
The infectious track has also earned GOLD status by the RIAA ahead of the album’s release and spends its second week atop the Canadian radio charts. The fastest rising single of Bentley’s career, “Somewhere On A Beach” continues to resonate with fans for the fourth week on the all-encompassing Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
“‘Somewhere On A Beach’ is setting up our summer just like we wanted and putting fans in the mood to party out on the tour,” shares Bentley. “It’s hard to believe your 14th No. one hit could be your fastest rising. I’m blown away at the reception of the new music, and I can’t wait to start peeling back more layers of the album with the other songs.”
Bentley continues to exceed expectations with the “autobiographical” (The Tennessean) and “ambitious material” (USA Today) found on BLACK, as he explores breakups, hookups, mess-ups and everything in between. Bentley embarked on the 40-city 2016 SOMEWHERE ON A BEACH TOUR with Randy Houser, Cam and Tucker Beathard on Thursday (May 12) in Holmdel, NJ.

Kudos to Kristen Williams and the WMN crew on landing 53 adds for Cole Swindell’s Middle Of A Memory,” topping the week’s "Most Added" board.
Cole Swindell Performs First-Ever Concert At World Trade Center
WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE artist COLE SWINDELL performed the first-ever concert at Four World Trade Center on the morning of May 10, 2016 on FOX-TV's "FOX & Friends." SWINDELL performed his #1 hit single, "You Should Be Here," in the shadow of the FREEDOM TOWER for the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. Watch at

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 498 - May 9, 2016 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

Billboard Boxscores (Selective Country concerts)

Rank Artist: #7
Event Venue City/State: Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch UNI-Dome Cedar Falls, Iowa
Dates: Feb. 20, 2016 Gross Sales: $1,025,207 Attend: 19,157/ 19,608
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/0 Prices: $71.75, $36.75 Promoters: Live Nation
Rank Artist: #9
Event Venue City/State: Carrie Underwood, Easton Corbin, The Swon Brothers BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla
Dates: April 27, 2016 Gross Sales: $915,842 Attend: 14,627/ 14,627
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $76, $46  Promoters: AEG Live

Rank Artist: #11
Event Venue City/State: Carrie Underwood, Easton Corbin, The Swon Brothers Kohl Center Madison, Wis.
Dates: May 3, 2016 Gross Sales: $773,376 Attend: 11,886/ 11,886
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $76, $46 Promoters: AEG Live

Rank Artist: #38
Event Venue City/State: Brantley Gilbert, Michael Ray, Canaan Smith Pinnacle Bank Arena Lincoln, Neb.
Dates: April 30, 2016 Gross Sales: $254,192 Attend: 6,692 / 6,692
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $39.75, $34.75
Promoters: Frank Productions/NS2/CMoore Live

Rank Artist: #44
Event Venue City/State: ABC's Nashville in Concert Rosemont Theatre Rosemont, Ill.
Dates: April 30, 2016 Gross Sales: $167,745 Attend: 2,526 / 3,000
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/0 Prices: $77.50, $57.50, $37.50 Promoters: Jam Productions/Steve Litman Presents

Saturday 21 May 2016

New Country trio Post Monroe announces release of debut EP

(Nashville, Tenn. May 13, 2016)
Sony ATV singer-songwriters Ashlee Hewitt and Shelby McLeod have joined forces with Given Entertainment’s Whitney Duncan to emerge as the latest country trio, Post Monroe with a self-titled debut EP to be released for digital download on May 13.  
Post Monroe (EP Cover Art)
Left to Right: Ashlee Hewitt, Whitney Duncan & Shelby McLeod

“We are so excited to get the first taste of our music out and available for everyone to hear,” said Duncan. “We have really been looking forward to this day for quite a while.” 

Hewitt added, “We truly feel like the chemistry we have found together in the writing room and in the studio is something very special; we feel so blessed.” 

The five-track EP produced by Chuck Ainlay and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum (with Aaron Chmielewski producing on “Lucky One”) was born out of the writing room and combines Post Monroe’s distinct harmonies and sweet mandolin melodies with southern attitude. 
“I have had such an amazing time being on the production side of the music-making process with Post Monroe,” said Haywood. “I truly believe that these girls are the real deal – from the writing room to the studio - they have a unique perspective and fresh sound that I can’t wait for people to hear.” 

The trio came to fruition as Hewitt and Duncan discovered McLeod’s voice after a co-writing session and decided she was the woman to complete the package. Individually, the ladies approach their craft from different perspectives that support the creative flare of their work. 
“We are strong women and we’re vulnerable,” said McLeod. “There are many sides to every woman and we like writing songs that speak from all those sides.” 

While drawing from unique backgrounds, Post Monroe blossomed from each member’s early passion for music. 

Hewitt, who came of age on a farm in Lancaster, Minn., has extensive experience in live performance playing 150 shows annually throughout her teenage years and was a former contestant on the sixth season ofNashville Star before relocating to Music City. 
A native Tennessean, Duncan, has been amongst Nashville’s elite songwriters since the age of 15. She was recognized on the Warner Music Nashville roster in 2008 with the release of her album Right Road Now featuring the popular “When I Said I Would” and “Skinny Dippin”. 

With a more traditional path, McLeod spent her childhood singing locally and participating in musical theater in her hometown of Madison, GA.. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Georgia before acquiring a position in the music industry where she initially got to know her bandmates. 

The first single from the project will be “Red Hot American Summer” and the video will soon follow the debut release. For more information, visit

(13 May 2016) Post Monroe - Post Monroe - EP (KCH Entertainment)
5 Tracks/ Time: 16:54 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -
Post Monroe - Posted their EP on the UK Country Itunes Chart!

Post Monroe EP Track Listing: 
1. Half Hearted (Whitney Duncan, Ashlee Hewitt, Greg Becker) 
2. Lucky One (Whitney Duncan, Kelly Collins)
3. Red Hot American Summer (Whitney Duncan, Ashlee Hewitt, Shelby McLeod, Blair Daly)
4. Dixie Dust (Whitney Duncan, Ashlee Hewitt, Shelby McLeod, Dave Haywood, Dave Thompson)
5. Hell On Me (Whitney Duncan, Chris Tompkins) 

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Sounds Like Nashville Review: Post Monroe EP by Chuck Dauphin (Hedley Entertainment as Sr. Publicist. He is a 25-year industry veteran with radio and publication experience. He was presented with the 2014 CMA Media Achievement Award by the CMA) ..A trio that manages to be contemporary in their approach yet still retain a traditional flavor, Post Monroe hits the mark immediately with the infectious “Half Hearted,” which sets itself apart with their tight and breezy harmonies. It’s definitely a song that will make you want to roll down the window and sing along loudly. That sound grows from track to track, hitting its’ peak with the fun “Red Hot American Summer.” Designated as the set’s first single, the song should have no problem catching on with radio stations across the country. It’s sweet. It’s seductive. And, it’s a great deal of fun, with each of the ladies taking their turn in the lead spotlight.
But, the ladies can slow down the tempo and score with a heartfelt ballad, as well. “Hell On Me” is a great example of this, with Duncan taking lead with a flawless performance….Rounding the album out is the nostalgic “Dixie Dust,” which gives each of the members a chance to think about their hometowns (Duncan – Scotts Hill, TN / Hewitt – Lancaster, MN / McLeod – Madison, GA) and the role that they have played in their individual lives – which given the quality of this EP, is going to be getting a lot busier!

About Post Monroe
Members: Ashlee Hewitt • Whitney Duncan • Shelby McLeod
Genre: Country | Home Town: Nashville
Ashlee Hewitt, Whitney Duncan and Shelby McLeod meld their distinct voices, backgrounds and life experiences together to create Post Monroe. “Our sound is our voices,” Ashlee explains. “They’re different. They’re unique. The blend of them together makes Post Monroe what it is.”

The trio’s harmonies are paired with acoustic-driven, catchy melodies to create the music they each grew up idolizing. “We’re country, that’s what I love,” Whitney adds. “We’re not pop country, we’re not trying to be a crossover group. It’s back to our roots.”
The songs themselves are extremely important to the songwriting threesome. “Most the time when we’re writing it’s like a therapy session, where someone shares something that’s happened to them and it’s like, ‘Well, that’s the hook!'” Ashlee says. “We are strong women and we’re vulnerable,” Shelby adds. “There are many sides to every woman. We like writing songs that speak from all those sides.”

Each member can approach a song or idea from a different perspective. Ashlee is married with a three-year-old son, Tuff, while Whitney is newlywed and Shelby, the youngest, is still living the single life. “We’re all in different places but also similar at the same time,” Whitney explains.

Ashlee grew up on a farm in Lancaster, Minn. — “way up by Canada” — and started singing at the age of three. Between the ages of 13 and 18, she played nearly 150 shows a year across Minnesota and North Dakota. “I knew I wanted to do music so I just packed up and came to Nashville,” she recalls of the move she made at 18.

Whitney is a native of Scotts Hill, Tenn., and grew up visiting Nashville. She played the fairs and festivals circuit as well and began coming to Nashville at the age of 15 to write with the city’s elite songwriters. “I’d skip school and my dad would bring me to Nashville and then turn around and go to work,” Whitney remembers. “It was a two-hour drive and he’d drive again to get me after work.” Like Ashlee, Whitney pursued a career as a female solo artist before realizing their dream to start a band.

Shelby was raised in Madison, Ga., and spent her childhood singing and doing musical theatre. While she hoped to move to Nashville after high school, her father — who she admits is her “hero” — insisted she go to college. Four years later, after graduating with a degree in communications, Shelby moved to Music City and within two months she landed a job working for Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Entertainment. “I wanted to get a job in the industry to learn and go in the back door like everybody does,” Shelby admits. “Oh, I’ll slip through and someone will love me. I learned so much and I loved working there.”

But her plan worked. It was that job that brought Shelby to her future bandmates. Whitney and Ashlee had met through a mutual friend and discovered their mutual love for songwriting and desire to start a trio. “I met Shelby at Starstruck and I didn’t know she could sing, I just thought she was gorgeous,” Whitney recalls. “Then a friend told me she could sing and we brought her in for a meeting and all sang together … it was magic.” “When we got the first demo back, everyone was in awe,” Ashlee adds.

The trio adopted a name that Ashlee had been holding on to for quite a while. “I was living in L.A. in 2008 and I heard someone describe a fashion style as Post Monroe … after Marilyn Monroe,” she explains. “Immediately, I was like that sounds like a band name! I went and got all the social media and websites and everything and blocked them.”
“I love Marilyn Monroe and her timeless beauty but I think it’s nice to leave it open for interpretation, too,” Whitney says. “In country music, we have Bill Monroe. There are some great Monroes.”
“We’ll be whatever Monroe you want it to be,” Shelby jokes. “We are so many things and Marilyn was so many things. It really represents our depth as individuals, as women.”