Music News (4/14/21)


Billy Dean Signs Publishing Deal With Given Entertainment

Pictured (L-R): Given Sr. VP of Publishing and Artist Development Cliff Downs; Given Founding Partner Cindy Owen; Billy Dean; Given Creative Director Kelsey Wise. Photo: McIntyre Barnhardt

Billy Dean has signed a publishing deal with Given Entertainment.

The signing reunites Given Founding Partner Cindy Owen and Dean from their days at Starstruck Entertainment, when Owen brought the artist to Narvel Blackstock for management.  At the time, she served as the company’s Creative Director.

Since his launch in the early ’90s, Dean has sold millions of records, won numerous music industry honors and amassed a loyal following with his brand of pop-folk-influenced country. He won his first of several major awards in 1992 when the Academy of Country Music named him Top New Male Vocalist of the Year, and also presented him with the Song of the Year honor for “Somewhere In My Broken Heart.” The smash single also won Song of the Year from the Nashville Songwriters Association International, as well as awards from BMI and a Grammy nomination. Dean was also part of the Grammy-winning album Amazing Grace: A Country Salute To Gospel Vol 1, and Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, which won 1994 CMA Album of the Year. Other career accolades include CMT’s Rising Star Award and TNN’s Top Songwriter Award for his song “Billy the Kid.”

In addition to music, Dean has worked as an actor, appearing in several TV shows including Wings and Lois and Clark as well as the Dolly Parton movie Blue Valley Songbird. He also hosted some network music specials including ABC’s In Concert.

“Signing Billy is a no-brainer. His passion for music is as strong as it ever was and he is writing and singing better than ever,” Owen says. “We are proud to give him a platform to continue to build on the Billy Dean legacy that had so many of us hooked.”

“When Cindy listened to my new music, she said, ‘Billy, your best years of writing are ahead of you.’  That’s the kind of encouragement and support I look for in a publisher,” Dean says. “Given is giving me the freedom to dig deep to craft songs for this generation of incredibly gifted country music artists.”

Drew Baldridge Signs With Sony Music Publishing

Pictured (L-R): Hill Entertainment Group’s Greg Hill, Sony Music Publishing’s Cam Caldwell, Hill Entertainment Group’s Grace Jones, Sony Music Publishing’s Anna Weisband, Drew Baldridge, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, Sony Music Publishing’s Rusty Gaston, Sony Music Publishing’s Mya Hansen and Sony Music Publishing’s Tom Luteran

Drew Baldridge has signed a global publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing.

Baldridge first captured attention with his breakout single “Dance With Ya” from his debut album Dirt On Us in 2016. In 2020 his viral hit “Senior Year,” which he co-wrote alongside Tim Nichols and Jordan Walker, landed on both the Billboard and Mediabase Country charts without major label support. The track became the anthem for students who missed out on the many traditions that come with graduating high school due to the ongoing pandemic. The Patoka, Illinois native is also known for fan favorites like “Middle of Nowhere Kids,” “Before You” and “It’s Your Loss.”

Baldridge kicked off 2021 with “That’s You,” written alongside Trannie Anderson and Jason Massey. The song was released following its success on TikTok and garnered over four million views on social media. This month, he released his newest single, “Beach Ain’t One,” which he wrote with Ryan Peterson and Ryan Plappert, and in March kicked off the second leg of his Baldridge and Bonfires Tour that will run through the summer with over 50 dates. Baldridge also hosts a weekly radio show on LA’s Go Country 105 airing every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.– 2 p.m. PT.

“As a songwriter, Drew has experienced a breakthrough to another level,” says Sony Music Publishing Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. “Drawing from his years of fan engagement and building his business, his songs are rich with emotion and heart that connects with the country audience. In a time where it’s easy to make excuses, Drew is cutting his own path – be it in touring or on TikTok. We couldn’t be more excited for what’s ahead in his career.”

“Rusty has been a champion of mine since I moved to Nashville,” says Baldridge. “I am so excited to be working with him and everyone at Sony Music Publishing in these next stages of my songwriting career.”

Lindsay Hyslop Promoted To Director Of Marketing At Anthem Records

Lindsay Hyslop

Lindsay Hyslop has been promoted to Director of Marketing for Anthem Records. Reporting to Allison Hamamura (General Manager, West Coast & Head of Anthem Records), Nashville-based Hyslop will continue to oversee all label marketing in addition to working closely with Anthem’s artists and songwriters to build and design opportunities that showcase their creative works around the world. She worked in label and management positions for over 11 years and before joining Anthem managed the marketing, brand partnerships and streaming for RGK Entertainment Group. Prior to that she worked at Universal Music Canada in the digital marketing department.

“Lindsay has proven herself to be a determined, persuasive executive with an abundance of creativity,” says General Manager, West Coast & Head of Anthem Records Allison Hamamura. “She oversees the strategic marketing of Anthem Records’ artists with exceptional aplomb. Her international experience with brand partnerships, digital marketing and ability to pivot has served our roster well to date and will continue to do so as we move forward.”


Steve Bogard Inks With Amped Entertainment

Pictured (L-R): Byron Gallimore, Steve Bogard, Eric Gallimore

Steve Bogard has signed an exclusive co-publishing agreement with Amped Entertainment.

Bogard has written 10 No. 1 songs and 22 ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC award winning songs for artists including George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Dustin Lynch and many more. He also serves as President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Bogard joins Amped Entertainment’s growing roster including KK Johnson of Track45.

“I’ve been a fan of Steve’s for years,” says Amped Entertainment’s Eric Gallimore. “He’s had some great cuts with Tim McGraw and I’m looking forward to working with him on another successful chapter in his career.” 

Bogard says, “I’ve known and admired, Byron, Missi, Eric, and the crew at Amped for a long time and I am so excited to get to work with them moving forward.”