Friday, 17 March 2017

THE SHIRES become first ever UK country act to win CMA AWARD: ‘Jeff Walker Global Artist Award’

The Shires Shine at C2C
UK’s most successful Country act 
Hit second album ‘My Universe’ certified Gold alongside debut ‘Brave’

“The duets between The Shires’ Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes were an upbeat treat, particularly on party tune Friday Night"
Evening Standard on C2C 2017
 “Two genius singer-songwriters” - Metro
A fantastic second album” - Sunday Express
 “Their place in the vanguard of homegrown country is assured” - Daily Mail

UK Country superstar duo, The Shires, announced they have become the first ever UK Country artist to win a CMA award **. Winning the prestigious CMA Jeff Walker Global Artist Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements by a Country Music artist originally signed outside of the United States. The Shires were very happy to receive a surprise presentation of the award during the CMA Songwriters series show featuring artists including Maren Morris and Drake White.

** Note ** Olivia Newton John was British born, born in Cambridgeshire, UK on Sept 26, 1948 who at aged 6 then emigrated to Melbourne, Australia with her family. She was voted Best British Female Vocalist two years in a row by the magazine Record Mirror. Newton-John's country success sparked a debate among purists, who took issue with a foreigner singing country-flavoured pop music being equated with native Nashville artists. Olivia was also named the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year in 1974, defeating more established Nashville-based nominees Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker, as well as Canadian artist Anne Murray.

Check out a video of The Shires receiving the award here:

Commenting on this incredible achievement The Shires stated: “We are completely thrilled to win the CMA Jeff Walker Global Artist Award. To win a CMA Award this early in our career and to be the first band from the UK to be acknowledged by the CMAs in this way is huge for us – thank you to everyone who voted for us and thank you to our fans who support our music and the UK country movement.”

Last week The Shires were presented with their second GOLD disc in just 12 months as they officially announced their hit album ‘My Universe’ had sold more than 100K copies in the UK. This unprecedented achievement further cements the band’s position as the UK’s most successful Country act. The Shires are the fastest selling UK country act ever – going Gold with two albums within a year of release as well as reaching this level of sales with ‘My Universe’ a mere 20 weeks after its release. The new album has not left the Top 60 since release in October last year, and has been back up in the Top 20 numerous times.

The Shires also recently announced the release of their next single ‘Drive’. The country-rock tinged single, with its delayed guitars and stadium sized drums is the latest single from the UK Country superstars who landed three consecutive A-list on BBC Radio 2 for previous singles releases including; ‘Beats To Your Rhythm‘, ‘My Universe‘ and 'A Thousand Hallelujahs’. Co-written with USA Country music star Kip Moore, the song has potential to break across the pound as well as the UK. Discussing the tracks potential Decca’s Managing Director, Rebecca Allen stated: “Drive is one of those tracks that has potential to break not just the UK, but it will no doubt resonate with USA Country Radio too. Kip and the band have written a modern country pop classic and I’m sure when the time is right the USA label Big Machine, will launch it into the stratosphere.”

On Oct 28, 2016 The Shires made music history by signing a ground-breaking record deal with the Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group under the historic Dot Records imprint.
Breaking News: On March 13, 2017, Big Machine Records announced a restructuring of its promotion staff. Former Dot Records artists Tucker Beathard and Carly Pearce are now Big Machine Records artists, whilst former Dot artist Drake White moves to BMLG Records. Dot Records, a joint venture between Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) and Republic Records, will now not continue.
The future label home status is not known for DOT artists Maddie & Tae, Aaron Lewis, or Steven Tyler or The Shires.
Maddie & Tae were the first signees announced to the reactivated imprint in June 2014. BMLG also went through a recent label makeover when Republic Nashville became the BMLG imprint.
(Update March 18) The Shires premiered their hotly anticipated BBC documentary The Shires: New Country on BBC Four (Fri March 17, 2017 at 10.30pm) which followed their rise, the first British country group to have a Top 10 album in the UK pop charts, and how they have spearheaded today's interest in country music. The programme followed Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle as they launched their second album, MY UNIVERSE, in the UK, as well as on a working trip to Nashville where they were signed by the leading country label in town, Big Machine. The duo play The Bluebird Cafe (pictured below with The Shires co-writer award winning Canadian songwriter Victoria Banks), the intimate club where the performances from the TV series Nashville are filmed, and meet with Scott Borchetta, who discovered Taylor Swift and signed the band to Big Machine records.

Ben and Crissie of The Shires said: “We’re so excited to be part of this documentary which explores the rise of country music in the UK - it’s a truly fascinating story.”
Watch it back (UK Residents) on the BBC iPlayer

Suggested Tweet: @TheShiresUK New Country @BBCFour Docu #CountryAtTheBBC

CONNECT with The Shires:
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