One of the nation’s top concert promoters, Louis Messina, will be honored with the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 28, at a CMA Touring Awards ceremony to be held at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works.
In making the announcement Thursday, the Country Music Association revealed that the CEO of the Messina Touring Group had received the news the previous Friday in a phone call from country star George Strait, a longtime client. “Having George Strait call and tell me the news was so powerful, so meaningful, so special and a moment I will always cherish,” Messina said in a statement.
The Austin-based Messina started his career working mostly with rock acts, then made a shift and began working primarily with country stars in the late ’90s. In more recent years, his company has worked across multiple genres, since his biggest client, Taylor Swift, started hooking Messina up with her pop friends like Ed Sheeran.
On the country side, Messina continues to work with Strait, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Blake Shelton and Eric Church. In the pop or rock worlds, besides Swift and Sheeran, he promotes Shawn Mendes, the Lumineers, Kelly Clarkson and Vance Joy. Swift’s “Reputation” tour just broke a U.S. record, grossing a reported $266 million.
Nominations were announced Thursday in the competitive categories for the CMA Touring Awards. Vying for business manager of the year are Renee Allen (Arnie Barn), Julie Boos and Jamie Cheek (both of Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy), Legina Chaudoin (O’Neil Hagaman) and Dwight Wiles (Wiles + Taylor & Co.).
The manager category includes Virginia Davis (G-Major), Kerri Edwards (KP), Clint Higham (Morris Higham), Jason Owen (Sandbox), Chris Parr (Maverick) and John Peets (Q Prime South).
Talent buyers competing for the CMA honor are Ben Farrell (Lon Varnell Enterprises), Ali Harnell (AEG Presents), Patrick McDill (Live Nation Nashville), Brian O’Connell (also Live Nation Nashville) and Stacy Vee (Goldenvoice).
The top talent agents awarded with nominations are Becky Gardenhire, Kevin Neal, Risha Rodgers and Jay Williams (all of WME), and Nate Ritches (Paradigm).
The CMA Touring Awards’ publicist of the year candidates include Erin Burr (Big Machine), Ebie McFrarland (Essential Broadcast Media), Tyne Parrish (the GreenRoom), Jensen Sussman (Sweet Talk) and Wes Vause (Warner Music Group).