Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here!
Cindy Mabe, president, Universal Music Group Nashville: She had something to say in a format that didn't have a lot of depth at the time. We did get some radio airplay, but we looked for other opportunities for exposure. Owen Ken Ehrlich, the Grammys' executive producer, had his eye on her for months before the awards. We also took a chance having Kacey tour with Katy Perry, but it was the best tour package we've ever done. From merch sales and social media, you could see Katy's audience turning into fans.
Musgraves: Getting to sing with Loretta Lynn at the CMA Awards the same night that "Follow Your Arrow," which I literally was told to my face would never be a single, got song of the year was absolutely mind-blowing. At this point I don't have a bucket list anymore. I'm just along for the ride.
2014's No. 1's: J Balvin & Farruko | Idina Menzel & the 'Frozen' Soundtrack | Tove Lo, Kiesza, & Nick Jonas | Taylor Swift | Barbra Streisand | Weird Al Yankovic | Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX | Nicki Minaj | 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Soundtrack | Enrique Iglesias | Kacey Musgraves | Santana | Sam Smith | Iggy Azalea | Jason Derulo | Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz
This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard.