From Drake to Carrie Underwood, How the NHL Is Netting More Live Music Events: Chart Beat Podcast

John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
Carrie Underwood sings the National Anthem prior to Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round against the Winnipeg Jets during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 29, 2018 in Nashville, Tenn.

NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer joins as the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

In the first of two new podcasts this week, we welcome National Hockey League chief content officer Steve Mayer, as the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight (April 10). This decade, the NHL has vastly increased its live music presence surrounding games, with Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson, Drake, Imagine Dragons, Nick Jonas, The Killers, Logic, Panic! at the Disco, Bebe Rexha and Carrie Underwood among the many acts who, like hockey players, have dished out hits.

Kicking off the 2019 postseason, Cage the Elephant (atop the Alternative Songs chart for a fifth week with "Ready to Let Go") will play a free pre-game concert in Tampa, Florida, tonight for an expected audience of, according to Mayer, over 15,000 fans.

"Music and sports go hand-in-hand," says Mayer, a nine-time Emmy Award winner. "We also find that a lot of the artists we've had perform are hockey fans.

"People ask all the time, 'What's the NHL's music? What's the genre?' And, you know what, we don't have one. I think we're best off playing to all tastes. We're trying to reach the most people."

Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. Plus, listen for our second new podcast this week, when senior editor Andrew Unterberger will join for a deep dive into the Billboard Hot 100's new No. 1, Lil Nas X's genre-bending "Old Town Road," plus a flashback to the best music of 1999.

And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes! Plus, the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast is also available on Acast, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, PocketCast, Podbean, Stitcher and TuneIn.