The world’s premiere bull-riding organization is getting into the music business, Billboard has learned.
Professional Bull Riders is launching its own record label PBR Music and publishing company Down in the Well and has signed U.S. Army combat veteran Ryan Weaver as the label’s first singer-songwriter. While PBR has worked with dozens of artists over the year to provide music for their events, the launch of PBR Music is a significant move into the music space for the organization owned by Endeavor, which also owns WME, Ultimate Fighting Champion and the Miss Universe pageant.
Weaver will release his “Celebrate America” EP with PBR Music and record music for the league and perform at its events as the Official Patriotic Voice of the PBR’s Celebrate America campaign. Two songs from EP — “Get Up” which addresses professional athletes who kneel during the National Anthem and “That’s What America Means to Me” — are available now on iTunes. The full EP willl be released during the PBR World Finals at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-5 and PBR will feature Weaver’s songs, at upcoming events, and in digital marketing, television broadcasts and social media campaigns.
Weaver is former Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot who lost a brother and brother-in-law in service, making the Weavers a two-time Gold Star family. Weaver’s father was a Marine and proceeds from the sale of his album will benefit charities helping the families of fallen heroes.
“Music has always been at the heart of the PBR experience, and Ryan Weaver represents the latest incarnation of our music strategy as PBR Music’s first artist,” PBR CEO Sean Gleason tells Billboard. “Ryan is the real deal: an authentic American warrior turning concepts of service, sacrifice, and love of country into patriotic, foot-stomping country rock. We are privileged to associate with Ryan, and we believe he’ll connect with PBR fans along every stop of our Celebrate America tour.”
Weaver honors America’s deceased military veterans with the song “Never Forgotten,” a tribute to his brother, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Aaron Weaver, who is now enshrined in the Infantry Hall of Fame along with his brother-in-law Randy Billings, one of four family Army Aviators. Weaver also recently recorded the first single of the album “Songs That Save Our Lives” with the West Point Military Academy’s Benny Havens Band.
“I’ve become a big fan of these tough-as-nails cowboys and the amazing bulls they go up against,” Weaver said. “I’m as excited to watch the bull riding in Las Vegas as I am to perform for the fans.”