Aldean, Ballerini top MusicRow Awards – By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Aldean, Ballerini top MusicRow Awards

CountryBreakout winners hailed for radio

By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

The MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards were
once again the unofficial kickoff to the Country Radio Seminar (CRS).  Air personalities, program directors, radio
execs, recording artists and record label folks gathered at the Listening Room
in Nashville, Wednesday, February 12 for the 17th annual MusicRow
CountryBreakout Award show.

Each year, MusicRow magazine recognizes the
artists and songwriters who have made the greatest impact on the
secondary-market radio stations whose airplay reports provide the statistics
for MusicRow’s weekly charts.

Attendees were treated to performances from
CJ Solar, who opened the proceedings with anenergetic and rockin’ full-band
set, and Chase McKinney who closed the show with a cool acoustic set.  In between, MusicRow owner and publisher
Sherod Robertson announced the winners for 2018 and presented the awards.

CJ Solar was called back to the stage to
receive the Independent Artist of the Year Award. CJ’s two singles, “airplane”
and “American Girls,” together totaled 38,689 spins. Both singles entered the MusicRow
CountryBreakout Chart, and appear on his five-song EP, Get Away With It (Sea
Gayle Records).  An accomplished
songwriter, CJ scored his first No. 1 as a writer in 2018 with “Up Down,”
recorded by Morgan Wallen featuring Florida Georgia Line.

Breakout Artist of the Year Award went to
Jordan Davis (UMG Nashville)  with a
total of 76,360 spins.  For Davis, the
‘break out’ was “Singles You Up” that hit No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout
Chart. The song also topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart, picking up an
RIAA Platinum certification along the way. His follow-up song, “Take It From
Me,” added to his spins total, topping MusicRow’s chart in the fall of 2018.

The unstoppable Shane McAnally received
Songwriter of the Year Award with an amazing seven Number One writing credits
on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart. Shane’s chart-topping hits: “Female,”
“Written in the Sand,” “Marry Me,” “Get Along,” “I Hate Love Songs,” “Burn Out”
and “Down to the Honky Tonk.” He had previously tied for the award in 2016 with
Josh Osborne and Ashley Gorley, but this was Shane’s first solo win as
Songwriter of the Year.

Florida Georgia Line won Group/Duo of the
Year for the fifth year in a row. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard earned 72,042
spins on reporting stations in 2018. “Meant To Be,” their collaboration with
Bebe Rexha, and the follow-up titled “Simple” both reached No. 1 on MusicRow’s
chart last year.  “Meant to Be” also
brought FGL their first Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group

Jason Aldean received the Male Artist of
the Year award for the second time with a total of 84,659 spins. Jason topped
the MusicRow charts three times in 2018 with “You Make It Easy,” “Drowns the
Whiskey” (featuring Miranda Lambert) and “Girl Like You.”  He is currently the reigning ACM Entertainer
of the Year.

Kelsea Ballerini picked up her third win as
Female Artist of the Year for 63,303 spins. “I Hate Love Songs” topped the
MusicRow charts in September 2018.  “I
feel so tall,” said Kelsea, teetering a little on high, high heels as she
received the award and acknowledged the applause from the music industry
audience.  “I Hate Love Songs” is the
second single from her album, Unapologetically (Black River Entertainment).

Additionally, Capitol Records Nashville received
MusicRow’s Label of the Year Award with 512,537 spins. It was the 14th
consecutive year that they received this award. The Reporter of the Year Award
went to Derek Beck, Program Director of reporting station KRGI-FM in Grand
Island, Nebraska. 

The MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards 2019
show was sponsored by Vaden Group Elliott Davis

You can read full details about the Awards
and much more in the February/March edition of MusicRow.  More information at  

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