Tasha Layton Mark Career HighlightsTop (l-r): Ryan Stevenson, Tasha Layton
Lower (l-r): Cochren & Co., Josh Wilson, Rhett Walker
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—First Company Management (FCM), one of Nashville’s premier entertainment management firms, is celebrating milestones marked this year by many of its artists, despite industry-wide challenges created by the global pandemic.
Songs by FCM artists Ryan Stevenson (“Amadeo [Still My God]”), Josh Wilson (“Revolutionary”), Rhett Walker (“Believer”), Cochren & Co. (“One Day”), and Tasha Layton (“Into The Sea [It’s Gonna Be Ok]”)—landed in the Top 40 on Billboard magazine’s Christian Airplay Songs and Christian AC Songs year-end charts, with Cochren & Co. also being featured on TobyMac’s hit, “Edge of My Seat.” The six singles generated a total of 93 million streams, garnering an estimated Christian radio airplay audience of more than 1 billion.
In addition, 2020 breakout artist Tasha Layton was named Billboard’s #5 female Christian artist of the year, according to the publication’s Top Christian Artists – Female chart, being the only new artist to join the esteemed list.Billboard also honored the ongoing impact of the iconic Newsboys, naming the Platinum-selling band one of the top 10 Christian artists of the last decade. In addition, two Newsboys signature songs, “We Believe” and “God’s Not Dead,” rank in the Top 30 on the publication’s Decade-End Hot Christian Songs chart, while two of their classic albums, God’s Not Dead and Born Again, garner Top 50 status on the Decade-End Top Christian Albums chart.
Making a significant debut in 2020 was pop worship artist RICHLIN, the only Christian artist to land in the Top 20 on Pandora’s all-genre Predictions chart. RICHLIN has generated more than 3 million streams on the platform to date.
Further demonstrating Christian music’s growing commercial appeal, a track by Centricity recording artist Peabod was featured in a holiday spot from Metro by T-Mobile.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for our artists, our partnerships and helping each achieve their own success,” said Mike McCloskey, general manager, First Company Management. “I’m grateful for their perseverance and hold-nothing-back commitment to writing impactful hit songs that matter to people, and for their desire to create innovative live show experiences. And I can’t say enough about our management team; the love, faith, ingenuity and encouragement they show to our artists in this uncharted time is unmatched.”
During a year that transformed traditional concerts, many FCM artists creatively launched successful “Backyard” tours, performing acoustically in safe, outdoor settings to offer fans a premium experience. Ryan Stevenson’s “Backyard Concert Series” included 30 dates, while Rhett Walker’s “Backyard Freedom Fest” took him to 26 markets. Josh Wilson’s “RV-lutionary Tour” played 22 shows, while new FCM-signee Brandon Heath played 25 dates on his “Brandon in the Backyard” tour. 7eventh Time Down’s “Backyard Revival” tour will continue into 2021. And Cochren & Co. hit 77 shows including TobyMac’s “Hits Deep” and drive-in tours, as well as their own backyard outing.
Developing new avenues to connect with listeners, both Stevenson and Walker debuted podcasts on KLOVE’s AccessMore platform. Stevenson’s “Weathering The Storm” shares conversations with artists, authors and friends who have overcome obstacles in life, while Walker’s “Front Porch Gospel” features guests discussing faith, family and freedom. In addition, Stevenson penned his first book, Eye Of The Storm: Experiencing God When You Can’t See Him, published by Harvest House in July.
First Company Management was established in 1995 by Christian music visionary Wes Campbell. Under the guidance of Campbell, Dave Wagner (COO), and Mike McCloskey (GM), the firm’s roster includes GRAMMY®-nominated, Platinum-selling Newsboys; GRAMMY®-nominated singer/songwriters Ryan Stevenson and Rhett Walker; Christian radio hitmakers Josh Wilson, Cochren & Co. and 7eventh Time Down; multi-Dove Award winner Brandon Heath; 2020 breakout female vocalist Tasha Layton; former Stellar Kart and Audio Adrenaline frontman Adam Agee; Anberlin lead vocalist Stephen Christian; pop worship artists RICHLIN and London Gatch; rapper and singer/songwriter Peabod; and singer/songwriter Stillman. In addition, First Company played a significant role in the development of “God’s Not Dead,” one of the most successful faith-based film franchises of all time.