Robin Thicke’s monster summer hit “Blurred Lines” may finally be slowing down at radio, but its success has created numerous live performance opportunities that probably wouldn’t have existed if the single hadn’t dominated airwaves in recent months. The infectious (and litigious) track was No. 1 for 12 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was just crowned Billboard's Song of the Summer. All of which made Billboard.biz wonder what the single's massive success would mean for Thicke's touring prospects. So we turned to the pros...
“There has been an incredible amount of new business and opportunities across the board,” Cara Lewis, Thicke’s booking agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), tells Billboard.biz. "It is important to capitalize on heat, visibility and radio play. But at the same time, we always plan with a long-term career in mind. Robin has already achieved success with his solid touring history and amazing catalogue. Based on 'Blurred Lines,' and the visibility it has garnered, Robin has been able to add new fans to his already established loyal base. It is about evaluating every opportunity and making sure his touring is strategically planned and well executed."
Career Artist Management's Jordan Feldstein, who manages Thicke, also acknowledges the important role radio played in strategizing the singer's touring opportunities. "Robin's touring was something that I felt like [Career Artist Management] could develop with the right radio growth," says Feldstein, who also manages Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles. "I knew as soon as we heard the demos that Robin would be a headline act for years to come."
Thicke is currently booked on a handful of upcoming September music festivals, including the Virgin Mobile FreeFest (Columbia, Md.), the iHeartRadio Music Festival (Las Vegas) and the iTunes Festival (London). Going forward, he will be "launching a world tour to commence at the beginning of 2014 that will include several U.S. and European legs, as well as a string of festivals in North America and overseas. He’ll also have private and corporate opportunities that can lead to much bigger relationships," says Lewis, who also books such musical heavyweights as Eminem, Kanye West, Pitbull and the Roots.
Tom Poleman, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment president of national programming platforms, says the success of “Blurred Lines” played a major role when deciding to add Thicke to the iHeartRadio Music Festival artist lineup.
“We look at the festival as the Super Bowl of music, so whatever is hot in every genre is what we want to put on stage. When it became apparent that ‘Blurred Lines’ was the song of the summer, that’s when we started talking about it,” Poleman tells Billboard.biz, noting that Clear Channel approached Thicke’s record label, Star Trak/Interscope, about booking the singer on the festival. “I’d say the last four to six weeks we were talking about, and we got aggressive with it in the past three weeks or so.”
Virgin Mobile FreeFest booker Seth Hurwitz tells Billboard.biz that fans were overjoyed to learn Thicke had been booked to the festival. “When we put him on people went berserk,” says Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. and co-owner of the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. “I’ve never seen this kind of fervor over the V Fest.”
And how does all of this success impact Thicke's performance fee? "There is a huge financial upside when an artist has a single of this caliber, along with a sense of urgency/demand and ticket-selling ability," Lewis explains, declining to divulge any exact figures.