Darius Rucker on the red carpet at the Music Biz Awards Dinner at the JW Marriott hotel. Photos by Earl Flippen, Jr.

By Ashley Benkarski

NASHVILLE, TN — The Music Business Association held its annual Music Biz conference May 5-8 at the new JW Marriott hotel, with artists Peter Frampton, Darius Rucker and others receiving awards for their contributions to the industry.

The conference brings together people from all stages of the music industry to discuss a myriad of topics over four days, with panels that provide professional insight for attendees. It’s also a great way to network, as local country artist and attendee J Kyle Reynolds can attest. This was the second time he’s been to the conference, and he said he made a few connections with industry professionals that he’d like to work with. 

The awards portion of the conference took place May 7, with MBA president James Donio presenting Outstanding Achievement awards to Sony Music Nashville chairman and CEO Randy Goodman and famed songwriter and producer Richard Gottehrer, whose first chart-topping record was “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels in 1963. 

Artists Bebe Rexha and Kane Brown received Breakthrough Artist awards. “It’s a big shout-out to my fans and my team and everybody that works with me,” Brown said. “We’re all hungry and excited to be where we’re at.” 

Brown, a Chattanooga native, was brought to stardom by Goodman and has worked with

Local country sensation Kane Brown on the red carpet at the Music Biz Awards Dinner.

R&B artist Khalid on his song “Saturday Nights,” with plans to collaborate again in the future. He released a new video last month titled “Good As You,” and has seen a quite a bit of success since he debuted his music in 2015, with CMA and AMA wins as well as numerous nominations across a variety of categories.

Rucker received the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for his philanthropy, having supported St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Make A Wish Foundation and the American Red Cross, to name a few. He’s also reuniting with his old bandmates to release a new Hootie & The Blowfish album under a new deal with UMG Nashville. The band will kick off their Good Therapy tour in Virginia Beach, Va. on May 30 and will be playing the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sep. 7.

The Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement, one of the more distinguished awards, for his achievements in the industry. Known for classic rock hits like “Baby, I Love Your Way,” Frampton recently announced his retirement at the end of the year due to being diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis, an autoimmune disease that affects the muscles. 

Before he bows out of touring, he’ll play the “Peter Frampton Finale” tour this summer. He’s also releasing a new album at his Nashville studio titled “All Blues” with his touring band, the Peter Frampton Band. Frampton’s final tour has two stops in Tennessee—he’ll be playing the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga June 23 and Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheatre June 27.

Music Biz will return to Nashville for its 2020 conference again at the JW Marriott Hotel on 8th Ave next May. For more information about the conference, visit www.musicbiz.org.