Country Music Takeover of the UK and Ireland

Country Music Takeover of the UK and Ireland

CMA Presents Broad Slate of International Events: C2C Concerts at The O2 in Dublin And London; Second Annual CMA International Marketing Summit; Brad Paisley and Friends BBC Songwriters Show Taping; And Third Appearance of the CMA Songwriters Series to be held in March

NASHVILLE – Country will be king in the U.K. and Ireland as CMA participates in a diverse lineup of Country Music events from songwriters’ showcases to industry panels, to star-packed stadium concerts across the Atlantic March 14-17.

Scheduled events for the weekend include the Second Annual CMA International Marketing Summit; an evening with the storytellers behind the hits with CMA Songwriters Series, which is making its third run in the region; a special BBC songwriters show taping at the iconic BBC Radio Theatre; and two crowning C2C (Country To Country) concerts, two nights each, at The O2 in both Dublin and London in association with The 02 and SJM Concerts.

“The fans in this market are very enthusiastic and supportive of Country Music,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Our artists are experiencing successful tours there and the business opportunities for the industry are obvious. Presenting the reach of the format, the caliber of our artistic community, and providing information about our consumer benefits everyone involved in Country Music.”

CMA Songwriters Series

The CMA Songwriters Series has been exposing fans to the artisans who, through their craft, pen hits that touch the lives of millions of music fans. Popular domestically for a decade (with more than 75 shows in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.), the CMA Songwriters Series makes its third trip to the U.K. in 2014.

The two-hour show presents the songwriters and artists together on stage, taking turns telling the stories behind their hit songs and performing them acoustically as originally written. With entertaining anecdotes and powerful performances, fans have the opportunity to hear the stories, challenges, and processes involved with writing songs that have become huge hits.

This year, the CMA Songwriters Series takes place on the evening before C2C, a huge two-day music festival at The O2 featuring an outstanding line up of stars.

The CMA Songwriters Series kicks off the weekend’s events on Friday, March 14 at The O2’s IndigO2 in London. Hosted by award-winning songwriter Bob DiPiero, the intimate evening of songs and the stories behind them features Martina McBride, Brett James, and Striking Matches.

“C2C is proud to present the CMA Songwriters Series in London this year. The Series provides music lovers with a unique opportunity to learn the backstory of how a song is written and brought to life,” said Milly Olykan, Senior Event Producer at The O2 and a member of the CMA Board of Directors. “Having Martina McBride appear at both the Songwriters Series and the following day perform at C2C will give UK fans a real appreciation of an artist’s relationship with a song from its origins through to performing it live to thousands.”

One of the most honored, praised, and awarded women in Country Music, McBride is a four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year winner. She has earned 14 Gold records, 9 Platinum records, 3 Double Platinum records, and 2 Triple Platinum records in the U.S. and has been recognized for selling more than 18 million units. The Grand Ole Opry member has had 20 Top 10 hits and six No. 1 smashes. Although known for her interpretation of songs, McBride has had a hand in crafting her own songs such as her 2006 Top 5 hit “Anyway.”

An esteemed member of the CMA Board of Directors, James has had numerous chart successes including “When the Sun Goes Down” recorded by Kenny Chesney with Uncle Kracker; and “Jesus Take the Wheel” recorded by Carrie Underwood, which also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song. “It’s America” recorded by Rodney Atkins; “Out Last Night” recorded by Chesney; “Cowboy Casanova” recorded by Underwood; “The Truth” recorded by Jason Aldean; and “The Man I Want to Be” recorded by Chris Young all topped the charts. ASCAP named James their Country Music Songwriter of the Year in 2006 and again in 2010. Other artists who have recorded his works include Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi, and Paulina Rubio.

Striking Matches is a duo made up of Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis. Paired up at random by a professor at Belmont University to perform for a classroom full of guitar majors, they have been writing and performing together ever since. Their self-titled EP was released in October 2012 and was named among iTunes “Best of 2012.” Featured on NPR and in the Wall Street Journal the pair already appeared at the Grand Ole Opry more than 15 times, opened for some of the biggest names in music, and had five songs featured on ABC’s hit television series “Nashville.”

Recurring host and performer for the CMA Songwriters Series and a member of the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame, DiPiero (“Southern Voice” recorded by Tim McGraw, “Blue Clear Sky” recorded by George Strait, and “Lovin’ You Is Fun” recorded by Easton Corbin) will also share the entertaining stories behind some of his most popular hit songs. DiPiero has had more than 1,200 songs recorded by other artists, countless hit singles, and an astounding 15 No. 1 hits. DiPiero was a key player in the creation and launch of the CMA Songwriters Series and its first showcases in New York City 10 years ago as a way to spotlight and champion songwriters.

“It has been amazing to see the CMA Songwriters Series accepted in the U.K.,” said DiPiero. “The fans voted with their feet and are now spreading the word on these one-of -a-kind shows. To have the third year of this series be part of the Country O2 Festival is awesome. I’d like to think these shows have been the advance team for what is becoming something great between Country Music and England.”

The CMA Songwriters Series takes place at the Indig02 in London on Friday, March 14 (8:00 PM). Tickets for the CMA Songwriters Series at London IndigO2 go on sale Friday, (9:00 AM) at or are available as part of registration for the CMA International Marketing Summit. For more information on the CMA Songwriters Series, visit

ASCAP and BMI are official partners of the CMA Songwriters Series.

C2C 2014 (Country to Country)

Following the acclaimed success of Country to Country (C2C) 2013, an outstanding line up of music stars are again heading across the Atlantic for a huge two-day music festival extravaganza at The O2 London on Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16. Also for the very first time C2C is going to Ireland on Friday and Saturday, March 14 and 15 at The O2, Dublin.

Headlining C2C 2014 will be Brad Paisley, six-time co-host of the CMA Awards and a 14-time CMA Awards winner; and Grammy-winning, 13-time CMA Awards nominee Zac Brown Band. C2C 2014 will also see the return of Country superstars Dixie Chicks, who will be performing in the U.K. for the first time in eight years. Rascal Flatts join the line-up as well as Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Chris Young, and McBride (London show only).

As part of the London C2C, CMA will partner with Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation to present a booth in the Town Square marketplace at The O2 each day (12:30-8:30 PM). The Town Square features retailers, merchandise, food vendors, and a stage with live music.

C2C 2014 is almost sold out but remaining tickets can be purchased from and For further information please visit C2C’s website

British Music Experience at the O2 London

On Saturday, March 15, CMA will present two exciting panel discussions at C2C featuring songwriters and music executives in the British Music Experience at The O2, London. Attendees will hear about what it takes to be a successful songwriter and panelists will explore the steps to hit-making. These panels are a must for any aspiring songwriter or artist and are free to the public but seating is limited. Panel topics, times, and access information will be announced soon via CMA, C2C, and The British Music Experience websites.

The British Music Experience is Britain’s only interactive museum of popular music. Following its opening at The O2 in 2009 it has made its mark as the center for everyone who wants to celebrate the fantastic history of British popular music. It is a registered not-for-profit charity with the purpose of advancing the education and appreciation of the art, history, and science of music in Britain. Although the museum looks primarily at British Music they have always explored the influences of other genre’s and other countries. The current Taylor Swift exhibition and forthcoming events with the CMA allow the British Music Experience to explore Country Music’s relationship with British music. Visit the British Music Experience website for more details

Second Annual CMA Marketing Summit/BBC/CMA Songwriters Series

On Monday, March 17, CMA will be hosting its Second Annual CMA International Marketing Summit at the British Music Experience at The O2 in London. Last year saw the first international conference held in Paris.

Attendees will be immersed in a full day of presentations and interactive panels at the CMA International Marketing Summit. Music industry experts from the U.S. and U.K. will discuss ways to capitalize on the worldwide power of Country Music followed by a reception at The Media Café in the BBC’s New Broadcasting House and performance of the CMA Songwriters Series.

“CMA’s International Marketing Summit is an educational, networking event that allows members of the Country Music industry and other industries to interact, expand, and create new business opportunities,” said Trahern, “With informative and educational panels, and amazing keynotes, it is an event that we are very proud to bring to London for the first time.”

Highlights of the Summit include a keynote by Big Machine Label Group founder and CEO Scott Borchetta; an overview of the most recent CMA research reports with updated demographic and psychographic information presented by CMA Senior Director of Market Research Karen Stump; in addition to a special Brad Paisley and Friends BBC/CMA Songwriters Show taping at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House.

The CMA Songwriters Series-styled event includes Paisley with his songwriting friends Chris Dubois, Kelly Lovelace, and Lee Thomas Miller.
Dubois has written more than 20 Top 20 singles including 14 songs that have reached No. 1 including “Old Alabama,” “Water,” “We Danced,” and “Then” recorded by Paisley. Lovelace is known as an accomplished songwriter for his dozens of hits that include “The Impossible,” recorded by Joe Nichols; “Girls Lie Too” and “I Just Wanna be Mad” recorded by Terri Clark; “All-American Girl” and “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” recorded by Underwood; and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” recorded by Randy Houser.

Rounding out the line-up for the BBC taping will be 2009 CMA Song of the Year winner (“In Color” recorded by Jamey Johnson) Miller. Miller’s most notable hits include “You’re Gonna Miss This” recorded by Trace Adkins; “The Impossible” recorded by Nichols; “I’m Still a Guy” and “The World” recorded by Paisley; and “Southern Girl” recorded by Tim McGraw.

BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, Asian Network and Popular Music Controller and CMA Board member Bob Shennan stated, “The Country Music scene has never been more vibrant in the U.K. and I am delighted that Radio 2 is able to welcome so many music friends from around the world to the heart of the BBC for what promises to be a very special event.”

BBC will broadcast the evening as a one-hour program on BBC Radio 2 in the fall of 2014. The event will also be filmed for future broadcast. BBC Radio 2 is the U.K.’s most popular radio station with 14.9 million listeners (Rajar Q3 2013). The show will be introduced by Bob Harris, the network’s Country Music host and previous winner of the CMA International Country Broadcaster Award and the Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award.

Those with a ticket to the Summit also have the opportunity to attend the CMA Songwriters Series event on March 14 (8:00 PM) at the Indig02 at The O2 in London featuring McBride, DiPiero, James, and Striking Matches. For Further information on registration please contact

CMA: Advancing Country Music Around the World

Throughout the year, CMA honors individuals of the international community with awards including the International Country Broadcaster Award, International Artist Achievement Award, Global Country Music Artist Award, Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award, and the prestigious Jo Walker-Meador International Award, which is named for the original executive director of CMA.

Through awards such as these and events like the International Marketing Summit and CMA Songwriters Series, CMA seeks to recognize and empower its international membership and Country Music fans globally.