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Former WME partner Beckham launches management firm

The former co-partner at WME Nashville, Rob Beckham, has joined forces with Nashville-based manager Bill Simmons to launch the Artist Management Group (AMG).

The management firm counts Brad Paisley and Chris Young as its first clients. The pair follow Simmons from Fitzgerald-Hartley Company, at which Simmons was a partner.

Nashville management firm the Fitzgerald-Hartley Company announced it was shuttering on Monday (6 May), after 42 years. The announcement was made shortly before Beckham and Simmons made the AMG launch public.

Co-founders Larry Fitzgerald and Mark Hartley will continue to work in artist management, with Fitzgerald focusing solely on longtime client Vince Gill.

Managers responsible for Fitzgerald-Hartley Company acts including Olivia Newton-John, Kellie Pickler, Eric Paslay and Randy Houser will reveal plans in due course.

Co-head of the WME Nashville office until October last year, Beckham’s departure prompted much speculation throughout the Nashville music industry and wider country music scene.

The management firm counts Brad Paisley and Chris Young as its first clients

WME Nashville is now run by co-heads Joey Lee, Jay Williams, Greg Oswald and Scott Clayton, who joined from rival Creative Artists Agency in November 2017.

Previously representing new AMG client Paisley, Beckham’s other past clients include Brett Eldredge, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and Chase Bryant.

Beckham has been named talent agent of the year by the Country Music Association and the TJ Martell ambassador of the year. He has also served as president of the CMA’s board of directors.

Although Nashville remains the heartland of country music, the genre has enjoyed a global revitalisation over the past few years. Artists including Kacey Musgraves, Florida Georgia Line and Midland and festivals such as AEG’s Country to Country have aided the popularity of country music among a younger, more international crowd.

The country music panel at this year’s International Live Music Conference discussed the diversity of country music fans, its growth across Australian, European and even Asian touring markets and the high levels of engagement between fans and artists.


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