Name: Rob Beckham
Title: Agent, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
Panel: Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes? Tues. (June 8) 11:30am – 12:30pm. For more info visit

Who is the one upcoming country artist to keep an eye on and why?
We are very fortunate to have the support we have on our tours this summer. On Rascal Flatts tour, Chris Young has had two No. 1 singles since adding him to the tour, and Kellie Pickler is an emerging star. On Brad Paisley, the entire tour is smoking hot, Darius Rucker coming off three No. 1 songs, and another top 5, with a new studio album out this summer. Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson all having huge hits and selling a lot of records. They are all artists to watch for.

What's the last album you bought?
The entire Beatles remastered collection and Miranda Lambert’s new album.

What’s the last show you saw?
I see shows nearly every week. The last concert I went to as a fan was Nickelback. Great show.

Fill in the blank. My favorite Nashville venue to see a band is ________.
12th and Porter or the Rutledge.

Do you Twitter? If so, how often? If not, why not?
No, I do not twitter. I have a three-year-old daughter, so no time.

What digital tools work best for your business?
Internet, Youtube and Myspace. It makes everything instant access.

What revenue stream is going to eventually replace CDs?
I think eventually [online] music [retailers] like iTunes or Amazon will go to a monthly subscription, to either buy as many songs/albums as you want for a monthly fee.

What's the most innovative business idea you've seen in the last year?
Ticketless ticketing. When all you have to do is bring your cell phone and have it scanned, it will eventually revolutionize the fan experience.

At this moment in time, what most worries you about the country music business?
My biggest worry is that we are not creating new superstar headliners, like we were doing in the ‘90s and early 2000s. When you have Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, George Strait and Toby Keith as mainstays, there have been very few breakout since that time. Flatts, Paisley, Chesney, Urban are all going on 10-plus years. All have exploded at different times, but still are 10 years or more into there careers right now. Taylor took the world by storm, and now Jason Aldean has emerged as the next big headliner in our country world. I hope we can create more big superstars to eventually keep the format going.

What encourages you most about the business?
I think we have the best crop of new stars we have had in many years. They are having huge hits and selling product. I think the future is bright, we just have to sit back and see who will become the next George Strait or Kenny Chesney or Taylor Swift.

For more info on Billboard's first ever Country Music Summit, done in conjunction with CMA, visit