UK country duo The Shires have moved to BMG to release their next album.
The deal with BMG and its Nashville label Broken Bow Records was exclusively revealed in the latest issue of Music Week.
The Shires’ first three albums reached the Top 10. Accidentally On Purpose, which peaked at No.3 in April 2018, has OCC sales of 52,585.
Their second album, My Universe, was the fastest-selling UK country album. In 2017 the Nashville-based Country Music Association honoured The Shires with its Global Artist Award.
BMG president repertoire & marketing UK, Alistair Norbury, said: “The Shires have been a gamechanger for country music in the UK. We are incredibly excited that they have turned to BMG to help them take their career on to the next level.”
He said the joint approach by the BMG UK team and their Nashville-based colleagues from Broken Bow, led by Jon Loba, BMG EVP Nashville, was key to securing the deal.
What we can achieve internationally is the real opportunity
Norbury added: “The dilemma for UK-based country artists is that traditional UK labels have zero leverage in Nashville. The terrific strength of BMG is working directly with my peer and colleague Jon Loba and get a total US buy-in to The Shires and for Crissie and Ben to meet the Nashville team prior to signing the deal. Building on what they have achieved in the UK is just part of the plan. What we can achieve internationally is the real opportunity.”
The new album will be A&R’d by Jamie Nelson (BMG director of A&R UK) and follows his current run of Top 10 albums with Richard Hawley, Aled Jones & Russell Watson and Kylie.
The Shires said: “We are both so excited to be working with Alistair, Jamie and the BMG team. Their vision and excitement for our music, not just in the UK but also internationally, is infectious! Broken Bow’s involvement, for us is the ‘Nashville’ icing on the cake and we cannot wait to get started.”
BMG acquired Nashville-based independent Broken Bow Records in 2017, in its biggest single investment in a record label. Broken Bow’s roster includes Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Jimmie Allen and Granger Smith.
To read the full story, including the only interviews with Norbury and manager Steve Morton, pick up the latest issue – or subscribers can click here. To subscribe and never miss a big industry story click here.
PHOTO: (L-R) Jamie Nelson (BMG), Ben Earle (The Shires), Crissie Rhodes (The Shires), Alistair Norbury (BMG), Steve Morton (Union Artists)