This issue is published the same week as our Pollstar Live! conference in Los Angeles. That conference includes student volunteers under the tutelage of Dr. Scott Douglas, who teaches entertainment business classes at the University of Montana.
And we just learned something very interesting: Scott helped his cousin, Easton Corbin, get a music career.
Douglas heard his cousin’s music and sent it to longtime Nashville agent (and University of Montana alum) James Yelich. That brought Corbin, a native of Florida, to the attention of Mercury Nashville.
Corbin has been managed by the team that shepherds Rascal Flatts since July 2009.
“It’s a very young audience,” co-manager Doug Nichols told Pollstar. “I think the purity of his music is appealing to a lot more people than we here in Nashville would think are fans of that music. You’d think fans of Alan Jackson or George Strait-type of music would be an older demo and that’s not the case.”
Corbin’s silky voice is constantly compared with George Strait’s, and he’s had two hits in “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.”
Corbin is definitely getting matched up with other William Morris Endeavor artists. He has played with, or will play with, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry.
“He could work exclusively in Texas,” Nichols said. “He plays well on the radio and his music fits all the Texas clubs. That’s probably been a huge platform for him to build off of. When you’re not from there, it can take some time but he was an immediate hit. At Billy Bob’s, last April, he sold 2,800 tickets and sold $4,000 in merchandise, which is unheard of.”
American Country Awards’ breakthrough artist of the year.
First country male solo artist to achieve a No. 1 debut single since 2003.