Apple to pay royalties after Taylor Swift complains – AMEN

We need more artists like this! Bam!

Article from the Tennessean

Palo Alto, Calif. — Taylor Swift has Apple changing its tune.

Hours after the pop superstar criticized the giant tech company in an open letter posted online, Apple announced Sunday that it will pay royalties to artists and record labels for music played during a free, three-month trial of its new streaming music service.

“When I woke up this morning and I saw Taylor’s note that she had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change,” said Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue in an interview with The Associated Press.

Apple had already agreed to share revenue from paid subscriptions to the new Apple Music service, which will cost $10 a month. But Swift said she would withhold her latest album from the service because Apple wasn’t planning to pay artists and labels directly for the use of their music during the free, introductory period.

“We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation,” Swift wrote in an open letter posted Sunday on her Tumblr page, under the heading “To Apple, Love Taylor. “

Apple has maintained that it negotiated revenue-sharing at rates that are slightly higher than the industry standard, to compensate for the three months that it plans to offer its streaming service without charge.

“We had factored that in,” Cue said Sunday. But he added, “We had been hearing from artists that this was going to be rough on them, so we are making this change.”

Cue declined to say how much Apple will pay in royalties for streaming during the free trial period. He said Apple will share 71.5 percent of its revenue from paid subscriptions within the United States and 73 percent from subscriptions outside the country, while other streaming services generally share about 70 percent.

Some artists and independent labels had worried they would miss out on opportunities to get a financial return from new music that is released during the three-month trial. Swift said she spoke out on their behalf.

Swift wasn’t immediately available for comment on Apple’s change of heart. But she posted a reaction on Twitter late Sunday, saying “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”

Cue wouldn’t comment on whether she will now make her album “1989” available on Apple Music. But he said he spoke with Swift personally on Sunday. “She was very pleased to see that we would give her a call right away and have a discussion,” he said.

Since Apple began selling digital music through its iTunes store in 2001, he added, “We’ve always loved music and have strived to make sure that artists are getting paid for their work.”

Swift had written in her letter that she found Apple’s original stance to be “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”

While praising Apple for developing a paid music service that will compensate artists, she added, “We know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period.”

The singer and songwriter has been outspoken on the issue of compensating musicians for streaming music. Last year, Swift pulled her catalog of recordings from Spotify after complaining about its use of her music on the free, ad-supported version of its service.


Taylor Swift Pulls All Of Her Albums From Spotify

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has refused to put her new album “1989” on Spotify since its release last week, and now she has also pulled her old albums from the streaming service.It doesn’t appear that any of Swift’s songs are available on Spotify, and a Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that Swift removed all of her albums from the streaming service.

Artists don’t make nearly as much money putting their music on Spotify as they do selling digital albums and songs on services like iTunes.

Earlier this month, Jimmy Buffett asked Spotify CEO Daniel Ek for a raise, saying artists who stream their music on Spotify are “at the end of the pipeline” when it comes to the money Spotify pays labels for permission to stream albums.

Spotify says it pays 70% of its revenue to labels — which will amount to about $1 billion this year — but some artists feel they don’t get a big enough cut.

The streaming service revealed last year that it paid artists an average of less than a penny per play.

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Swift wrote that “piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically.”

Swift wrote the editorial to express confidence in the future of music, noting that she hoped artists didn’t “underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”

Spotify is working hard to change Swift’s mind. Here’s a statement that was just posted on the company’s website:

We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more — nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

PS — Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.

Swift initially refused to release her 2012 album “Red” on Spotify, but she relented several months later.

Spotify is valued at $4 billion and reportedly wants to sell for more than $10 billion, according to The Journal.

This highlights one issue with Spotify’s business model — artists have quite a bit of power over the streaming service if they can yank their albums at any time.

Source: Business Insider

Award Season Has Begun!

24 hours until the CMAs air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN on ABC. The CMAs are bringing back Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood to host the show…I honestly could pass on Carries humor, but I’m not in charge of the show am I!? I’m sure with the election about to happen, we will have plenty of jokes to start out with. How about Brad coming out with his Binders full of women??…just sayin’.

Performances by: Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson & Vince Gill, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band, Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Eric Church, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town.

Lets take a look at the nominees. My choices are in bold.

Entertainer of the Year – Jason has had an amazing year and I would love to see him get the icing on the cake…if Taylor gets it – well, the world won’t end, since she won it last year.

Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton – winner
Taylor Swift

Female Vocalist of the Year – Why is Kelly nominated? That’s what everyone is asking..well, you will get to see her perform her new country hit -“Don’t Rush” with Vince Gill during the show and she had a smash with Jason Aldean and Reba.. I’d like to see Miranda get this again, but I have a feeling Carrie will take it away with her recent album release.

Kelly Clarkson
Miranda Lambert – winner
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year – I think Luke Bryan deserves it this year. Just plain and simple.

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Blake Shelton – winner
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year – tough call here. I think Lady Antebellum will take it with their successful “Own The Night” World Tour.

The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town – winner
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year – Sugarland is usually the go-to for this award since they kicked out Brooks & Dunn, but Sugarland has been MIA on the radio scene. They have been touring and Jennifer Nettles was on “Duets” this summer but I’m hoping for a shift in this award soon. I’d love for Thompson Square to evolve more. They put on an amazing show and have some great songs. I’m throwing an arrow in the dark and saying Sugarland for this award, again..

Big & Rich
Love and Theft
The Civil Wars
Thompson Square – winner

New Artist of the Year – This award is also a shoot in the  dark. Each of these artists have done pretty well this year. Lee Brice has had some hit singles; Hunter Hayes had his #1 with “Wanted”; Love & Theft also had their hit “Angel Eyes”, but I don’t see them taking this award. I think they still need to grow as artists. Thompson Square is still growing as well. Brantley Gilbert is kicking off his headlining tour…I’m quite surprised..not really a fan, but I see him or Hunter taking this.

Lee Brice
Brantley Gilbert
Hunter Hayes – winner
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

Album of the Year –  Eric Church – “Chief”…so hard to pick!

Luke Bryan, Tailgates and Tanlines
Eric Church, Chief – winner
Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
Dierks Bentley, Home
Lady Antebellum, Own the Night

Song of the Year (Award goes to songwriters) – Hands down – “Over You” – beautifully written and knowing what it’s about just makes your heartache.

Eli Young Band, “Even if It Breaks Your Heart” – written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay
Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You” – written by Dave Barnes
Dierks Bentley, “Home” – written by Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers
Miranda Lambert, “Over You” – written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton – winner
Eric Church, “Springsteen” – written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell

Single of the Year (Award goes to artist and producer) – I want to say “God Gave Me You” but I think Eric will win this with “Springsteen”

Jason Aldean, “Dirt Road Anthem”
Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You”
Dierks Bentley, “Home”
Little Big Town, “Pontoon” – winner
Eric Church, “Springsteen”

Musical Event of the Year – Kenny & Tim. They toured together and honestly, I don’t recall hearing any of the other nominees besides Taylor because of the Hunger Games.

“Dixie Highway,” Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band
“Feel Like a Rock Star,” Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw – winner
“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” Willie Nelson featuring Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson
“Safe and Sound,” Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars
“Stuck on You,” Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker

Music Video of the Year – Lord…between Eric and Miranda..

Eric Church, “Springsteen”
Kenny Chesney, “Come Over”
Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup” – winner

Musician of the Year – yeah, about that…
Sam Bush
Paul Franklin
Dann Huff
Brent Mason
Mac McAnally – winner

See ya at the show!

The AMAs are next – Nov 18th @ 8pm and the ACAs are December 10th @ 8pm!

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CMT Awards/CMA Fest 2012

It’s almost here..less than a month away. ARE YOU READY NASHVILLE!??

Let the madness begin with thousands of fans parading downtown Nashville for 4 days!

It all begins June 6th with the CMA Fest Parade that travels down 10th Ave, then down Broadway. After the parade a Block Party (free show at the riverfront)…That night is also the CMT Awards – held at the Bridgestone Arena.  I’ll be backstage guiding those lovely artists around in circles and to interviews…basically making sure they don’t get lost and getting those limes and plastic cups for Kenny Chesney…never fails! I’m hoping not to get run over by Keith Urban this year…crazy driver…but he looks so good doing it!

And the nominees are: (My choices are in bold)
Video of the Year
Jason Aldean — “Dirt Road Anthem”
Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter — “You and Tequila”
Toby Keith — “Red Solo Cup”
Lady Antebellum — “We Owned the Night”
Miranda Lambert — “Over You”
Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwood — “Remind Me”
Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield — “Easy”
Blake Shelton — “God Gave Me You”
Taylor Swift Featuring the Civil Wars — “Safe & Sound”
Carrie Underwood — “Good Girl”

Male Video of the Year
Jason Aldean — “Dirt Road Anthem”
Luke Bryan — “I Don’t Want This Night to End”
Eric Church — “Drink in My Hand”
Toby Keith — “Red Solo Cup”
Blake Shelton — “God Gave Me You”
Keith Urban — “Long Hot Summer”

Female Video of the Year
Sara Evans — “My Heart Can’t Tell You No”
Miranda Lambert — “Over You”
Martina McBride — “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”
Kellie Pickler — “Tough”
Taylor Swift — “Ours”
Carrie Underwood — “Good Girl”

Group Video of the Year
Eli Young Band — “Crazy Girl”
Lady Antebellum — “We Owned the Night”
Pistol Annies — “Hell on Heels”
Rascal Flatts — “Banjo”
The Band Perry — “All Your Life”
Zac Brown Band — “Keep Me in Mind”

Duo Video of the Year
Love and Theft — “Angel Eyes”
Montgomery Gentry — “Where I Come From”
Sugarland — “Tonight”
The Civil Wars — “Poison and Wine”
Thompson Square — “Glass”
Thompson Square — “I Got You”

USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year
Lauren Alaina — “Georgia Peaches”
Brantley Gilbert — “Country Must Be Country Wide”
Hunter Hayes — “Storm Warning”
Scotty McCreery — “The Trouble With Girls”
Pistol Annies — “Hell on Heels”
Thompson Square — “I Got You”

Collaborative Video of the Year
Best video that featured a special collaborative appearance by artists; awarded to the artists (individual, group or duo)
Kenny Chesney Featuring Grace Potter — “You and Tequila”
Brad Paisley With Carrie Underwood — “Remind Me”
Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield — “Easy”
Lionel Richie With Shania Twain — “Endless Love”
Taylor Swift Featuring the Civil Wars — “Safe & Sound”
Zac Brown Band Featuring Jimmy Buffett — “Knee Deep”

CMT Performance of the Year
(Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT)
Jason Aldean — “Tattoos on This Town” from 2011 CMT Artists of the Year
Lady Antebellum — “Dancin’ Away With My Heart” from 2011 CMT Artists of the Year
Little Big Town — “Fix You” from Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert
Blake Shelton — “Footloose” from Invitation Only: Blake Shelton
Sting and Vince Gill — “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” from CMT Crossroads: Sting and Vince Gill
Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood — “Just a Dream/Dream On” from CMT Crossroads: Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood From the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam

CMA Fest begins Thursday, June 7th. Get ready for lots of drinking, loud music, screaming fans and sweating your bootays off! It’s well worth it though! The riverfront shows begin at 10am on Thursday with Montgomery Gentry kicking it off. The best thing about it? The shows are free at the riverfront. Those with a CMA Pass do get in 30 minutes early, but it really doesn’t make a difference.

Check out the Riverfront lineup here:

To be honest, I’m more excited about the riverfront shows than LP Field…Soaking up the sun on the river with beer! Nothing beats that!

Lets not forget about the Bud Light Stage at the Bridgestone! Lineup:

LP Field Lineup:

There is tons to do during the CMA Fest and I’ll be posting with updates around town on my twitter. so follow me 🙂 Don’t forget about the bars in downtown Nashville. Amazing artists are performing all around town! Fan Club Parties will be happening as well!… much to do, so little time!!

ACM Thoughts…

This year I was stuck at home watching the awards instead of actually working them =( Stupid surgery!
Lets run through my thoughts on the show…

You can never go wrong with Blake and Reba hosting. They are the best hosts for an awards show and the ACMs actually got this right…It’s like an old married couple making jabs at each other. You can’t stop watching them. As for some of the presenters; KISS, Marc Anthony, LL Cool J and Ashton Kutcher….I know this is Vegas and all and we need to mix it up a bit, but you might as well have just brought Justin Bieber into the show…Wait, didn’t the Rascal Flatts do that for the CMT Awards??!! Total viewers mean everything =)

Carrie Underwood – “Good Girl”…Carrie can sing, don’t get me wrong, but the girl looks like a chicken with her head cut off when she attempts to dance. All I can think of is “cheerleaders are dancers gone retarded”. I’m in love with that song though!

Chris Young – “Save Water, Drink Beer”…I’m so glad he actually got to perform at an awards show and sing a full song! He is the biggest sweet heart in the world! He will only be moving up in the industry!

Zac Brown Band – “Keep Me In Mind”…not the biggest fan of this group..or a fan at all…NEXT. Great guys, just not into the music.

The Band Perry – “Postcard From Paris”…Honestly, I don’t really remember this performance…O_o

Keith Urban – “For You”…I could never get tired of Keith performing. I do wish they would have showed a little more of the video on the screen, but I don’t oppose to the camera being on him!

Blake Shelton – “Drink On It”…not a fan of the song at all..Sorry folks! I’d rather sleep on it!

Hunter Hayes – “Storm Warning”…I wish he would have been able to perform the whole song..what a cute lil fella

Little Big Town – “Imagine-Here’s Hope”…Hands down, the most looked by group in the industry. Their harmonies are amazing. They can never do wrong! Damn Award Shows need to start letting them perform more!

Jason Aldean – “Fly Over States”…Love this song!! Loved the runway theme stage as well.

Brantley Gilbert – “Country Must Be Country Wide”…In the words of Martina McBride…people need to stop singing about how country they are or how country is so country. Hate the song………HATE

Erich Church – “Springsteen”…Loved the piano part…he sometimes scares me a little bit..just sayin

Lady Antebellum -“Dancing Away With My Heart”…Great group and well deserved win on “Vocal Group of the Year” but something about this song rubs me the wrong way.

Dierks Bentley -“Home”..I loved Bono’s introduction. Dierks performance was on point and beautiful!

Scotty McCreery – “Water Tower Town”…Why??!!!

Brad Paisley – “Camouflage”…Yes, we all know Brad loves camouflage, but a chessy song about it?? Eh..I’ll pass!

Rascal Flatts – “Banjo”…I call them the Rice Crispy Treat band…

Toby Keith – “Red Solo Cup”…To be quite honest,  I’m not usually a Toby fan, but I loved this performance. I have no clue why, but I did. Deal with it.

Sara Evans – “My Heart Can’t Tell You No”…Some pitch problems, but it was her usually, cut my wrist song.

Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw – “Feel Like A Rockstar”…It was like watching a little jam session going on…not bad guys!

Miranda Lambert – “Over You”…such an amazing, powerful, sad song. I’m so glad she performed this!

Zac Brown Band & Braid Paisley – “Whiskey’s Gone”…I can’t stand when an artist performs more than once. There are so many talented artists that should have been given the 3 minutes to show off their skills. Plus, Brad in a beanie hat was quit odd.

Martina McBride & Pat Monahan – “Marry Me”…While, vocally it was great, a cheesy wedding with passage interludes during the song? I know you have a sad story and all, but could you not go to the chapel down the road and spare the viewers? I guess they can now say Kenny, Taylor, Keith, and all of the other artists were officially at their wedding.

Luke Bryan – “I Don’t Want This Night To End”…Love Luke, hate the song…Songs are just not the same anymore. He is an amazing performer though and gives it his all. I vote for him to start a show at Chippendale’s…

Lionel Richie & Blake Shelton– “You Are”…Another why moment…Wasn’t a good closure to the show, that’s for sure.

And The Winners Are!

Song of the year: Eli Young Band, “Crazy Girl”…Surprised at this one!

Album of the year: Miranda Lambert, “Four the Record”…. Unstoppable!

Single record of the year: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”…Another great win!

Vocal group of the year: Lady Antebellum…I don’t see them not winning this award for a long time. Kind of like Brooks & Dunn.

Vocal event of the year: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”…no one can beat Kelly’s Vocals. Perfection! Just release a damn country Album KC!

Video of the year: Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup”…I fill you up…..

Vocal duo of the year: Thompson Square…love them to pieces!

New artist of the year: Scotty McCreery…Won a fan voted show, won a fan voted award.

Female vocalist of the year: Miranda Lambert…Thank you, Jesus!

Male vocalist of the year: Blake Shelton
…Amen! Such a humble speech.

Entertainer of the year: Taylor Swift…Reallllllyyy?? Can we stop the fan voting now and get serious? Great entertainer and all, but Jason should have had this.

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Photos courtesy of:
USA Today
CBS News
Country Music Is Love

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