Black River Entertainment Launching New Christian Label: Exclusive

Brooke Boiling
Hannah Kerr photographed in 2015.

Black River Entertainment, a management firm, label and publisher that represents Kelsea Ballerini, Kellie Pickler and others, is expanding its footprint in Nashville with the launch of M2T, a new Christian imprint distributed by Sony's Provident Distribution.

The label is being launched in partnership with veteran artist-producer Mark Miller and Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall, and its first signing is 18-year-old worship leader Hannah Kerr, daughter of Black River CEO Gordon Kerr.

Miller credits the elder Kerr with initiating M2T, which stands for Made to Thrive. "God just laid it on his heart to start a label," says Miller, longtime frontman for the country group Sawyer Brown, who produces Casting Crowns for his Beach Street label. "Gordon came to me and I honestly said I didn't have time, but God and Gordon had other things in mind."

Hannah Kerr, whose Miller-produced debut EP is due in the fall, is scheduled to perform Sept. 10 in Orlando during the Christian Music Broadcasters Momentum conference. She is expected to release a full album in the first quarter of 2016.

"Whether it's country or Christian or pop," says Gordon Kerr, "the motive is to leave this world better than you found it."

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 19 issue of Billboard.