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News August 19, 2021

Michael Chugg nominated for CMA’s inaugural Rob Potts international award

Senior Journalist, B2B
Michael Chugg nominated for CMA’s inaugural Rob Potts international award

Rob Potts, the late Australian country music champion, is being remembered with an award in his honour.

From this year, the Country Music Association adds the Rob Potts international live music advancement award to its International Awards.

The new category recognises an individual’s significant contributions to the live music industry by helping to build audiences for country music outside the United States.

Fittingly, Potts’ good friend Michael Chugg is one of five nominees for the inaugural Rob Potts International Live Music Advancement Award, and the only Australian.

Chugg, Chairman of Chugg Entertainment, will face off against Sina Hall (Germany – Semmel Concerts Entertainment GmbH); Nigel Hassler (U.K. – CAA); Sigve Prestnes (Norway – Stageway Talent); and Troy Vollhoffer (Canada – Premier Global Production, Country Thunder Music Festivals and Big Valley Jamboree).

Michael Chugg

Michael Chugg

In announcing the new award, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern described Potts as “a true pioneer in the genre.” He was a “driving force in our efforts to expand country music internationally,” she adds, “and I am excited we are able to honor those following in Rob’s footsteps.”

Live music industry professionals eligible to receive the award include promoters, booking agents, talent buyers, festival and venue bookers.

Potts’ career spanned more than 30 years, opening doors for Australian country artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Morgan Evans, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban.

A promoter, manager, label chief and country music authority, died following a motorcycle accident on the west coast of Tasmania in October 2017. He was 65.

As a concert promoter and CEO of Entertainment Edge, Potts toured some of the biggest U.S. country artists in his homeland, from Zac Brown Band, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Florida Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Dixie Chicks and many more.

In 2009, Potts brought a pre-superstar Taylor Swift to Australia for her first shows.

morgan evans by kelsea ballerini

Morgan Evans photographed in Nashville, in November, 2020.

And through his long running partnership with Chugg Entertainment, Potts established the CMC Rocks festival brand across the CMC Rocks The Snowys, CMC Rocks The Hunter and CMC Rocks QLD festivals.

The Potts Entertainment chief was the only Australian-based member of the CMA board and only the second Aussie to have served since its formation in 1958.

Potts posthumously received the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, during the 2019 APRA Music Awards in Melbourne.

The CMA International Awards “acknowledge the efforts of individuals working to develop country music in markets across the world,” and are voted on by the Nashville-based body’s international members.

There is no formal awards ceremony, and the trophies are handed out when the opportunity presents itself.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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