Magazine article Variety

Country ‘Road’ to Pop

Magazine article Variety

Country ‘Road’ to Pop

Article excerpt

BRAD BELANGER

HOMESTEAD MANAGEMENT

ZACH CROWELL, SHANE MCANALLY & JOSH OSBORNE

SONGWRITERS AND PRODUCER

GREG MARELLA

CAPITOL MUSIC GROUP EXECUTIVE VP OF PROMOTION

Even among Sam Hunt's team, you won't find a lot of people who'll brag that they knew "Body Like a Back Road" would become one of the year's ubiquitous hits even outside of its natural habitat in the country format. "The song was made for country radio," says Hunt's manager, Brad Belanger, "but with the huge numbers we saw there, it naturally made its way to pop and hot AC."

Well, "naturally" may understate the effort involved in breaking the song into pop. "I couldn't even tell you when the last one crossed over into pop," says Greg Marella, Capitol's exec VP of promotion. (Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," from 2013, is generally regarded as the most recent.) "You're instantly met [at pop radio] with 'Country records don't work,' and they give you the examples of the ones that tried and failed," he continues. …

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