Country star John Michael Montgomery has launched his own independent label, Stringtown Records. The label takes its name from a small community near Montgomery's home in Mercer County, Ky.

Montgomery will serve as the label's CEO and Nashville music veteran Shelia Shipley Biddy takes on the role of president.

The first project to be released will be Montgomery's tenth studio album, which he will record this fall with Byron Gallimore (Faith Hill, Tim McGraw). The two men worked together on Montgomery's 2004 "Letters From Home."

Montgomery will also be looking for other artists to sign.

Hallmark Direction, which manages Montgomery, will provide management, business management and publicity for the label. The radio promotion team and a distribution deal are still being finalized.

Montgomery has scored 20 top singles, including seven No. 1s on Hot Country Songs, and has sold 10.5 million records in the U.S., according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Shipley, who has served at MCA Nashville, Decca Records and RCA Nashville, among other labels, is currently an artist manager at Hallmark Direction. She will continue to oversee the careers of Trent Willmon and Ray Scott.

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