Morris Management Group
POWER MOVE: Kenny Chesney’s Brothers of the Sun was the top country tour, with $96.4 million, according to Billboard Boxscore; Higham has built a multifaceted marketing, promotion and booking operation in Morris Management.
THE RUNDOWN: Though Clint Higham has a year left on the contract that connects Morris Management Group to Front Line — now Artist Nation — his flagship client Kenny Chesney is a “free agent” of sorts, not contractually obligated to either of them. Working closely with Higham, Chesney remains one of the most powerful and consistent earners in country music history. Of course, Chesney, known for his loyalty, could leave his current arrangement and rejoin Higham if the manager opted to renegotiate his deal, join up with another firm or return to the independent ranks. All of this places Higham, who declined to comment on such speculation, in a position that not all Artist Nation managers with high-profile clients enjoy.
The Morris Management roster also includes rising country star Jake Owen, who will support red-hot Jason Aldean this year before testing the headlining waters himself, and Martina McBride, who will release what Higham terms a “blue-eyed soul” record in-house in the fall. Launching McBride’s record isn’t a stretch for Higham’s team at Morris Management, which is representative of the modern, multifaceted management company, with full-time marketing, digital, promotion and touring/booking staff. Both Chesney and Owen are booked in-house, while McBride is a Creative Artists Agency client. “We really try to approach careers from an angle bigger than just the current single on the radio,” Higham says. “It’s an army, but you have more of a say now that the record companies don’t have as much artist development support.”
Clint Higham photo by Robby Klein