Universal Music Group Nashville announces the signing of country music superstar Brad Paisley to its imprint EMI Records Nashville. The singer-guitarist — who has won three Grammys, two American Music Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 14 Country Music Association Awards over a 20-plus year career — had been with Sony Music’s Arista Nashville division since the beginning of his career. 

Paisley is finishing his next studio album, the first for UMG Nashville, expected later this year. On Friday he will release a new song from the album- “Same Here,” written by Paisley, Lee Thomas Miller and Taylor Goldsmith, and produced by Luke Wooten. He will join fellow UMGN artists Alan Jackson, Brothers Osborne, Carrie Underwood, Caylee Hammack, Chris Stapleton, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, George Strait, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Mickey Guyton, Reba McEntire, Sam Hunt, Vince Gill, Little Big Town, and more.

The signing reunites Paisley with UMGN Chairman and CEO Mike Dungan and president Cindy Mabe. According to the announcement, Dungan was instrumental in signing Paisley to his first deal at Arista, and Mabe served as Paisley’s marketing point person through many of his early album cycles including his breakthrough projects, “Mud on the Tires” and “Time Well Wasted.”  He is pictured above with Mabe (second from right) and, on left and right respectively, Bill Simmons and Kendal Marcy of the AMG, his management company.

“There were two people that should get the credit that you even know my name – Mike Dungan and Cindy Mabe,” Paisley said. “I ran into Mike at the fishing department at Walmart after having met with several labels and he talked me into signing my first deal with Arista. They assigned this woman named Cindy Mabe to me – we graduated the same day at Belmont [University in Nashville]. I got to work with her on my first few albums and now I get to work with her at UMG. Cindy’s a genius and terrific human being. She heard what I was up to with the new music, and she pointed me further into the direction I was headed. I’ve never had this kind of enthusiasm and empowerment. She said, ‘Make music that matters.’ It’s an amazing thing to work with Mike and Cindy again. It’s great to know they believe in this music as much as I do.”

Mabe said, “Brad is a true creative.  He has no boundaries to what he uses as his canvas. He has used his voice and his words as a gift to heal the world through his philanthropy, his song writing, his guitar playing, his entertaining, his music videos, his sense of humor and his heart. He has been a part of the country music duo with Carrie Underwood that helped define country music to the world. And getting to reunite with my friend and collaborator in his next creative adventure is something I’ve wanted for a long time. I cannot wait for him to share the music he has created with the world.”