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Inside Track: ‘Wild as Her’ Singer Corey Kent at Center of Nashville Bidding War

The track is currently No. 40 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

Nashville has its sights set on Corey Kent, with several country major labels bidding to sign the singer-songwriter.

Over the past few months, the independent artist — who’s signed with Triple 8 Management and with Combustion Music for publishing — has vaulted onto the country charts without the aid of a major label, thanks to streaming traction on his song “Wild as Her.” The song sits at No. 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, while Kent has risen as high as No. 23 on the all-genre Emerging Artists chart.

“Wild As Her” has earned 18.6 million U.S. on-demand official streams and 6,000 downloads, according to Luminate (formerly MRC Data). Meanwhile, Kent’s catalog has earned 35.4 million U.S. streams, according to Luminate.

Now, Kent has been fielding calls from between eight and 10 labels, sources tell Billboard, including three top Nashville labels. Kent and his team estimate that it could be several weeks before a decision is made.


“We’ve been working hard at building a sustainable independent career for the past 10 years,” the 27-year-old Oklahoma native tells Billboard. “We weren’t shopping labels and were booking over 100 shows last year and just boot-strapped it. It feels like something that now I get to choose my teammates and members. It’s like, ‘Who is the best option on the table and who fits the best?’ The biggest thing is, ‘Do they have passion for what we are doing and what can they offer us that we can’t do for ourselves?’ Going to country radio is going to be amazing.”

Kent recently signed with WME for global booking representation, working with WME’s Nate Towne and Hayley Riddle. And he’s the latest in a handful of country artists signing label deals after viral hits, including Warner Records artist Warren Zeiders, UMG Nashville’s Priscilla Block and Sony Music Nashville’s Andrew Jannakos. The success of “Wild as Her” builds upon Kent’s former song releases including “Ain’t My Day” and “Gold.” In 2020, he independently released the album From The West, and followed last year with ’21.

“Although there has been loads of label interest both from within Nashville as well as New York And L.A., Corey will end up with a Nashville label,” says Triple 8 Management’s George Couri. “The concern at most labels is getting lost in a massive roster, most of which is not growing. And although he has tremendous heat to kickstart this next phase for him, and you would expect he would be priority, we need to structure a deal that takes advantage of that heat we have now — but also structure it so that we can ensure, contractually, that we can keep building him even if the heat fades.”