Andrew Gertler Brings On Co-Manager for Shawn Mendes, New Client Lauren Spencer-Smith

Andrew Gertler’s AG Artists is expanding. The management company has brought leading client Shawn Mendes’ longtime A&R Ziggy Chareton on as a partner to co-manage the Grammy nominated artist, as well as two new artists: Lauren Spencer-Smith and JP Saxe.

Chareton has worked at Island Records since 2011, most recently as head of A&R, which he’ll continue in addition to joining Gertler in management.

Rising singer-songwriter Spencer-Smith has been searching for new management since May after parting ways with David Ehrlich. In February, Spencer-Smith (who competed on American Idol in 2020) signed a record deal with Island and Republic Records after breakout hit “Fingers Crossed” took off, becoming a Hot 100 top 20 hit.

Saxe is behind the 2019 Grammy-nominated smash “If the World Was Ending” featuring Julia Michaels. He released his debut album, Dangers Levels of Introspection, last summer.

“I’m so excited to welcome two incredibly talented new artists to our roster, Lauren Spencer Smith and JP Saxe, as well as to formally welcome Ziggy as a partner,” Gertler said in a statement. “I’ve always been dedicated to growing a small roster of best-in-class artists, so it only felt natural when the opportunity arose with both Lauren and JP. They are both top tier songwriters that fit our ethos of working only with the best clients, both as musicians and as people, and we are so fortunate to have them as part of the family.”

Gertler has managed Mendes since the start of his career in 2014. He has grown AG Artists to include digital art studio and management venture Permanent Arts — which reps NFT artist FEWOCiOUS (who this month redesigned Billboard magazine’s Pride cover) — and Permanent Content, AG’s joint venture film and TV production company with Mendes that released the singer’s In Wonder Netflix documentary in 2020.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Lauren and JP to the family,” Chareton added. “I’ve been a fan of both artists from afar so to have the privilege to work alongside them is a dream. We can’t wait for what the future holds for both of these stars and we are so fortunate to have them as part of the family.”

Britney Spears’ Ex-Husband Jason Alexander Ordered to Stand Trial on Felony Stalking Charge

A California judge found Monday (June 27) that there is enough evidence against a man once briefly married to Britney Spears who showed up uninvited at the pop star’s wedding to go to trial on a felony stalking charge.

After a two-hour preliminary hearing, Ventura County Judge David Worley ruled that 40-year-old Jason Allen Alexander should be held to answer on the charge, along with misdemeanor counts of trespassing, vandalism and battery, court records showed.

Not-guilty pleas to all the charges were entered by an attorney for Alexander, who did not attend and remains jailed.

Spears married longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari at her home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on June 9, in front of several dozen guests including Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton and Madonna.

Alexander, a childhood friend of Spears to whom she was married for less than three days in 2004, appeared uninvited at the house before the ceremony, livestreaming his raid on Instagram.

Richard Eubler, a since-fired security guard for Spears, testified at Monday’s hearing that Alexander got inside her house and up to the locked door of Spears’ bedroom while she was inside, according to multiple media reports.

Eubler said Alexander had also tried to enter the property in the days before the wedding.

Alexander’s attorney, Sandra Bisignani, argued there was no evidence he had any intention of harming Spears.

Hot 100 First-Timers: Corey Kent Debuts With ‘Wild as Her’

Country singer-songwriter and alum of NBC’s The Voice Corey Kent scores his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to “Wild as Her.”

The track, released via Combustion Masters/Sony Music Nashville, debuts at No. 89 with 6.8 million U.S. streams (up 29%) and 700 downloads sold (up 16%) in the June 17-23 tracking week, according to Luminate. It concurrently rises 24-20 on Hot Country Songs.

“The last few months have been a wild ride,” Kent tells Billboard. “The way people have responded to the music is completely changing my life. It’s been humbling to see ‘Wild as Her’ continue to grow and accomplish new things. Stoked to see where it goes from here!”
Though it’s his first time reaching the Hot 100, the 28-year-old Oklahoma native had previously made a dent on Billboard’s charts in 2015-16 as a finalist on the eighth season of The Voice. Three of the songs he performed on the show hit the Hot Country Songs chart: his cover of Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love” reached No. 44 in April 2015 (marking his first appearance on any Billboard survey); his version of Jason Aldean’s “Why” reached No. 49; and his update of of Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” reached No. 38. Kent was then billed on the chart under his full name, Corey Kent White.

The following year, Kent’s LP Long Way reached No. 42 on Top Country Albums and No. 19 on Heatseekers Albums.

“Wild as Her” marks Kent’s first chart appearance since 2016, and his first as a Sony Music Nashville signee.

Kent is currently on tour with Eli Young Band, following stints opening for Chase Rice and Parker McCollum.

Dove Cameron Says She’s Never Felt Like a ‘Disney Girl’: ‘I Had Huge Imposter Syndrome’

While Dove Cameron‘s acting career skyrocketed due partially to her roles in the Disney Channel comedy series Liv and Maddie and in the Descendants films — she revealed in a new interview that she doesn’t feel like she ever fit in with past Disney stars.

“I never had that moment where I was like, ‘I’m a Disney girl,'” she told the LA Times this week. “I never looked at Miley [Cyrus] or Demi [Lovato] or Selena [Gomez] or Zendaya or Bella [Thorne] or anybody — Hilary Duff or anybody that came before me — I never looked at them and thought, you and me — same.”

She added that she was “always the strange outlier who doesn’t belong and who will never fit in. I had huge imposter syndrome.”

“So I don’t really look to anybody else for a roadmap,” she continued. “I mean, this whole narrative that I was on Disney and then found my way out with a pop song, it was a total f—ing accident.”

Cameron’s 2022 hit, “Boyfriend,” gave the star her first top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, as the sultry track peaked at No. 16 on the tally dated June 11, 2022. She also climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart (dated May 14) to become the top emerging act in the U.S. for the first time.

The singer came out as bisexual while hosting an Instagram Live session in 2020, but told Gay Times that “queer” is the label that best describes her identity.

“Every song of mine is a queer song because I’m a queer artist,” she told the LA Times. “Does that mean that every song is ‘I am G-A-Y?’ No. I think there’s gonna be a lot of room in my artistry to talk about things other than that I love women”

Read the full interview here.

Cardi B Reveals Kanye West & Lil Durk as ‘Hot S—‘ Collaborators

Cardi B‘s upcoming single “Hot Shit” just got hotter. After teasing an announcement earlier in the day on Monday (June 27) the Grammy winning rapper revealed that Kanye West and Lil Durk will be joining her on the song.

The star unveiled the exciting news via the single’s steamy cover art, which features Cardi in the back of a luxurious car, wearing a metallic bikini with matching sunglasses and heels. All three artists’ names are printed at the bottom of the photo.

“Hot Shit” is set for release on Friday (July 1). Pre-save the single here.

The single will be the artist’s first track since last year’s “Up,” which peaked at No. 1 for a week on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart in March 2021. “Up” followed “WAP,” the Megan Thee Stallion collaboration that spent four weeks topping the Hot 100 in 2020.

Ye teased back in January that he finished a verse for Cardi, though at the time, he didn’t give any release information. “My cousins was saying ‘Come by here’ yesterday but I was finishing, I was finishing that verse for your girl, you know what I mean,” he said in an interview with Hollywood Unlocked, referring to to the “I Like It” rapper. “I always believed in her since she was on [Love & Hip-Hop], period.”

Ken Williams, Songwriter Behind Hits for The Main Ingredient and Peaches & Herb, Dies at 83

Ken Williams, the prolific songwriter who rose from participating in his U.S. Air Force singing group in the ’60s to co-writing The Main Ingredient’s timeless 1972 R&B smash “Everybody Plays the Fool,” died June 17 in Manhasset, N.Y. He was 83.

“It has been going since ’72 and it’s still going. That’s one of the classics,” he said of “Everybody Plays the Fool,” which he co-wrote with Rudy Clark and J.R. Bailey, in a 2018 interview. “It’s mind-boggling. Every time you sit back and hear it, you say, ‘Wow.'”

Before writing hundreds of songs for Peaches & Herb, Donny Hathaway, the Four Tops and many others, Williams was in an Air Force group, the Chuck-A-Lucks, stationed in Great Falls, Mt. They were supposed to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, but a scheduling conflict forced the singers back to the base. “Talk about a hurt group,” Williams said. “But you can’t win ’em all.”

After the Air Force, Williams moved to New York City and, playing in jazz clubs, made enough music-industry connections to begin working with Peaches & Herb. He wrote and produced several of the pop duo’s hits, including “Two Little Kids,” “We’ve Got to Love One Another,” “For Your Love” and “Love Is Strange.” After that, he was hot, and wrote for the Four Tops (“Seven Lonely Nights”), Hathaway (“Love, Love, Love”) and many others.

In 2003, Alicia Keys sampled “Let Me Prove My Love to You,” Williams’ co-written 1975 hit for The Main Ingredient, on her album The Diary of Alicia Keys — which led to Williams’ first Grammy Award. “Alicia was looking through music,” he said. “I guess she wanted to do the song. I said, ‘Thank you.'”

Williams grew up in Fernandina Beach, Fl. — he received the key to the city in 2004 — and learned music in high school band class. His first public gig was a talent show in nearby Jacksonville, and a cousin had to talk Williams’ parents into letting him go. He sang Roy Hamilton‘s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Later, he toured with the Chuck-A-Lucks and once shared a stage with the late Jackie Wilson.

But it was songwriting, not singing, that would make his career, and in 1968, he founded a publishing company called A Dish-A-Tunes LLC, which owns more than 500 songs. “Mine just kind of happen,” said Williams, who was based in Long Island, N.Y., in his later years. “Some writers can say, ‘OK, we’re going to sit down and write three or four songs a day.’ Mine don’t work that way. I’m not a robot. I’ve got to feel it and get that flow.”

Williams is survived by his wife, Mary Seymour Williams, a Broadway performer; a sister, Dorothy Jones; sons Kenny Williams Jr., Kevin D. Williams and Kalvin Williams; a daughter, Cheryl Nicholson; and a stepson, Kenny J. Seymour.