TWO YEARS AFTER COUNTRY DEBUT, JEWEL RETURNS WITH NEW SINGLE: Jewel’s new single is a song called “Stay Here Forever” (one she co-wrote with hit songwriter Dallas Davidson). The track, co- produced by Nathan Chapman, impacts Country radio next week, exactly two years after the launch of her Country breakthrough hit “Stronger Woman”. We asked Jewel about writing this song and just how it feels to be back with new music at Country radio. “I wrote this song last year during a songwriters retreat that I hosted on my ranch in Texas,” recalls Jewel. “We had such a fun time coming up with new ideas for songs and sharing them around the fire at the end of the day. ‘Stay Here Forever’ is a song that really says what it feels like to be in love and to want to live in that moment forever. I recorded it, along over 60 other songs, with just an acoustic guitar in my home studio- and the label really fell in love with it. We decided to cut a full version of the song in Nashville and I am thrilled to be back at Country radio and to see what all the fans think!” As previously reported, the song is included in the movie and soundtrack of the upcoming film Valentine’s Day (soundtrack in stores 2/9; film opening 2/12).
■ JUSTIN MOORE CELEBRATES LANDMARK YEAR: 2009 was a groundbreaking year for The Valory Music Co. recording artist Justin Moore. Not only did the star become the only new Country artist last year to have a #1 single with his massive hit, “Small Town USA,” Moore also recently took the crown as Billboard’s “New Country Artist of 2009.” In addition, Moore’s self-titled debut album, was recognized as one of the best albums of 2009 in The New York Times’ “The Year in the Arts” list. Music critic Jon Caramanica lauded the album as his #9 pick of 2009 citing Moore’s “traditionalist bones holding together bursts of wry cowboy humor and eyebrow-raising salaciousness.” It’s not the first time Moore has been recognized by the American institution. His artistry was also featured in a recent The New York Times “Playlist,” in which Justin Moore was hailed as, “one of this year’s most exciting country debuts…” “2009 has been a great year for me professionally,” says Moore. “I can't thank the folks in the Country music community enough for the support they've shown me this year. I have to say a huge thanks to my peers, my family, my label, CMT, GAC, and especially Country radio for taking a shot on a hick from Arkansas. The chance that everyone has taken on me is appreciated by my family and I more than anyone will ever know,” Moore continues. “Being named Billboard’sTop New Country Artist, and being one of the New York Times' best albums of the year sticks the cherry on top.” And the accolades don’t stop there. The success of "Small Town USA" made the Arkansas native the first solo artist to have a song from his/her debut album go to #1 since Taylor Swift's "Our Song" (from her Big Machine Records self-titled release) in December 2007. The hit has sold over a half million downloads to-date. Moore’s follow-up single, “Backwoods,” is currently a Top 30 hit and rising.