More Celebrity Mentors and World-Renowned Producers Confirmed for THE LAUNCH, CTV’s New Original Music Series and International TV Format
— September 25, 2017
– Musical superstars Boy George, Alessia Cara, Nikki Sixx, Julia Michaels, and Jennifer Nettles join previously announced mentors Shania Twain and Fergie on THE LAUNCH –
– Additional industry-leading producers and songwriters set to produce original hit songs for THE LAUNCH Season 1 include Stephan Moccio, busbee, Ian Kirkpatrick, and Dann Huff who join previously announced mentor and producer, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder –
– Exciting opportunities available now for audiences in Toronto to attend live studio tapings of THE LAUNCH–
TORONTO (September 25, 2017) – With a musical pedigree spanning across multiple genres and decades, CTV announced today an additional roster of celebrity mentors for THE LAUNCH: Culture Club alumnus and Grammy® Award-winner Boy George; international pop sensation, Canadian singer and songwriter Alessia Cara; rock icon and founding member of legendary rock band Mötley Crüe Nikki Sixx; sought-after songwriter with her own current hit single “Issues”, Julia Michaels; and Grammy Award-winner and co-founder of country-pop duo Sugarland Jennifer Nettles. The artists join previously announced musical superstars Shania Twain, Fergie, and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder as mentors on the inaugural season of the CTV original music series and international TV format THE LAUNCH.
Also joining previously announced song producers on THE LAUNCH, including world-renowned music mogul Scott Borchetta and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, are award-winning producers/songwriters busbee (P!nk, Shakira, Blake Shelton), Dann Huff (producer behind more than 50 #1 hit records ), Ian Kirkpatrick (behind multi-platinum hit songs from Jason Derulo and Selena Gomez), and Canada’s own Stephan Moccio, the music mastermind behind massive, inescapable hits like the quintuple-platinum “Wrecking Ball”.
“We have assembled some of the most gifted and highly decorated talent in the music industry today to skyrocket THE LAUNCH into a new stratosphere of experience for both the emerging artists appearing on the series and for viewers across the country,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We look forward to watching the emerging artists draw from the cumulative wealth of knowledge and experience that our mentors represent, and the sheer excitement of watching these musical industry powerhouses place their imprint on music’s next big songs.”
THE LAUNCH is an all-new, six-part music television series and international TV format delivers an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a new original song. The first season of the Canadian version of the program is currently shooting in Toronto, before the format is rolled-out internationally later this year.
A summary of music industry superstars currently announced to participate in THE LAUNCH include (In alphabetical order):
Award winning Canadian singer/songwriter and Def Jam Recordings artist Alessia Cara emerged onto the music scene in 2015 with the release of her iconic anthem "Here” which garnered more than 500,000 total streams in its first week, going on to become Spotify’s Most Viral Song of 2015 selling more than 3 million copies. That same year she released her full-length certified platinum KNOW-IT-ALL. In summer 2016, Cara supported Coldplay on their European and North American tour before hitting the road to headline her 'KNOW-IT-ALL PT II' tour. Cara lent her voice to “How Far I’ll Go,” the official song for Disney’s animated film Moana; and her multi-platinum #1 hit single "Scars to Your Beautiful" is Cara's gut-wrenching take on female identity. Her most recent #1 hit with Zedd, “Stay” has sold more than 2 million copies and has been called the “song of the summer”. A JUNO award winner for 2016 Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Cara has also been nominated for an American Music Award for Best New Artist of the Year, People’s Choice Award for Favourite Breakout Artist, Billboard Award for Best New Artist, BET Award for Best New Artist, BBC Awards for Song of The Year, and 5 MTV VMAs, to name a few.
Universally recognized as one of the music industry’s most iconic artists, Boy George first appeared on TOP OF THE POPS with Culture Club in 1982, and has sold more than 100 million singles and 50 million albums worldwide. In 1984, Culture Club won the Grammy® Award for Best New Artist and BRIT Awards for Best British Group and Best British Single that same year. Culture Club became the first group since The Beatles to have three Top 10 hits in America from a debut album, and the first group in music history to have an album certified diamond in Canada.
busbee is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer. He is based in Los Angeles and has worked extensively in Nashville, London, and numerous other territories. Many of his biggest hits as a songwriter have been 50/50 collaborations, including “Try” by P!nk, "My Church" by Maren Morris, "The Fighter" by Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, and "Dark Side" by Kelly Clarkson. In addition, busbee was a cowriter on the recent crossover smash "H.O.L.Y." by Florida Georgia Line. Originally a classically trained jazz musician, busbee has collaborated with a wide range of artists as both a producer and songwriter, including Gwen Stefani, Lady Antebellum, Martin Garrix, Usher, Jon Bellion, Blake Shelton, Timbaland, and Kid Cudi.
An award-winning session musician and record producer behind more than 50 #1 hit records since he started his career in L.A. and Nashville decades ago. Dann Huff has produced various artists including Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, Hunter Hayes, Jewel, Megadeth, Martina McBride, and Lonestar, to name just a few. The three-time Country Music Association Awards (CMAs) Musician of the Year winner, the four-time Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) winner for Guitar Player of the Year, and the Country Producer of the Decade by Billboard Magazine in 2010, has played guitar on the albums of artists including Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Loggins, Reba McEntire, Celine Dion, Bob Seger, Shania Twain, Michael Bolton, Luther Vandross, Boz Scaggs, Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, and numerous more.
Influencing a generation of stars to follow, Fergie remains pop’s leading lady. On September 21, the eight-time Grammy® Award-winning, multi-platinum solo artist doubles down on her anxiously awaited visual experience and second full-length album, Double Dutchess — the first release from Dutchess Music, the label she founded in partnership with BMG in 2017. The album follows her 2006 debut solo release The Dutchess, which sold 7.2 million albums and 29 million tracks around the globe and yielded three #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits: “London Bridge,” “Glamorous,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and Top 5 smashes “Fergalicious” and “Clumsy.” She also remains a driving force in The Black Eyed Peas whose legacy eclipses sales of 35 million records and 60 million tracks over the course of four multi-platinum offerings.
A Grammy® Award-nominated producer and songwriter, Ian Kirkpatrick has landed a dozen singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and is behind hits including Selena Gomez’s critically acclaimed “Bad Liar” and Dua Lipa’s #1 single on the U.K. singles chart “New Rules”. Along with earning a Grammy® nomination for his work on Justin Bieber’s multi-platinum album Purpose, he’s also produced and written hit singles like Jason Derulo’s #1 Top 40 single “Want to Want Me”, Nick Jonas’s certified single “Levels”, and Andy Grammer’s platinum hit “Fresh Eyes” and gold-certified “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah).”
Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, performer, and 2017’s biggest global breakout star, Julia Michaels’ 2016 debut single “Issues” was certified RIAA double-platinum in the U.S., and crossed worldwide consumption of 6 million units in less than six months, becoming the best-selling song by a new artist and the highest on-demand audio streaming song by a new artist released in 2017 according to Nielsen Music. Michaels has also solidified herself as one of pop music’s most in-demand songwriters, co-writing a string of Billboard Hot 100 hits alongside musician Justin Tranter, including smashes like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo’s “Close,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” [feat. A$AP Rocky] and “Hands To Myself,” and hits for many more top artists. The cumulative worldwide stream count for songs she has co-written exceeds 10 billion to date.
Country music star Jennifer Nettles is a Grammy® Award-winning singer-songwriter and performer, and recipient of the prestigious Crystal Milestone Award as the first female artist to be the solo songwriter on an Academy of Country Music (ACM) Song of the Year winner since 1972. Nettles has been recognized with five awards by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for her songwriting prowess, including the emotionally charged # 1 Platinum hit “Stay” which earned Nettles a Grammy®, an ACM, and Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. In 2015, Jennifer made her Broadway debut as Roxy Hart in the Tony Award®-winning, record-breaking musical Chicago. A year later, she released two critically-acclaimed Big Machine Records’ albums – Playing With Fire and To Celebrate Christmas.
Celebrated international rock icon Nikki Sixx is the founding member of Mötley Crüe and Sixx:A.M.; a three-time New York Times best-selling author, a philanthropist, and photographer whose first exhibition in partnership with Leica Camera is scheduled this fall. Sixx is also the host of two nationally syndicated radio shows through iHeartMedia, Sixx Sense and The Side Show Countdown.
Charismatic front man of the Grammy®-nominated pop-rock group OneRepublic, Tedder is an in-demand hit songwriter, and Grammy® award-winning record producer, behind OneRepublic’s massive global smash hits “Counting Stars” and “Apologize”, and 2007 hit song “Bleeding Love”, which he co-wrote, that went on to become an international hit for Leona Lewis. Tedder also wrote and co-produced the #1 international hit “Halo” for Beyoncé, as well as “XO” from the singer’s hit visual album BEYONCÉ; the smash “Rumour Has It” for Adele; and more recently, “Remedy” from Adele’s album 25.
Recognized as the top-selling country artist of all-time, five-time Grammy® Award-winner, Canadian-born, and internationally acclaimed musical artist Shania Twain has sold 90 million albums worldwide. The undisputed “Queen of Country Pop”, Twain is the powerhouse voice behind a string of hits including “You’re Still The One”, “From This Moment On”, and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” to name only a few. A Canadian-born artist and author of the best-selling memoir From This Moment, Twain has achieved an unprecedented three Diamond-certified albums; headlined a show-stopping, two-year Las Vegas residency in 2012; and was recognized as the 2016 Billboard Women in Music Icon Award-winner. Shania NOW, Twain’s fifth full-length album led by the declaratory first single “Life’s About to Get Good”, is slated for release on September 29.
Classically trained impresario, Oscar® and Grammy®-nominated artist Stephan Moccio is a Canadian producer, songwriter, composer, recording artist and musician behind some of music’s most massive, inescapable hits. In 2013, Moccio co-penned the quintuple-platinum song “Wrecking Ball” for Miley Cyrus. Following the song’s success, Moccio quickly became one of the industry’s most sought-after and in-demand producers and songwriters, going on to co-write and co-produce the two end credit songs for the film Fifty Shades of Grey: the quintuple-platinum "Earned It" (The Weeknd) and "I Know You" (Skylar Grey), which appeared on the film’s platinum selling soundtrack. Previously, Moccio co-wrote the Celine Dion hit “A New Day Has Come”, which spent 21 weeks at #1 on the Billboard AC chart, and marked Celine Dion’s record-breaking comeback in 2002. He also produced and co-wrote the quintuple-platinum song “I Believe” for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
CTV is giving viewers in the Greater Toronto Area an opportunity to experience the excitement first-hand by attending a taping of THE LAUNCH. The studio is located just east of downtown Toronto, and is accessible by TTC with free parking available within a five-minute walk from the studio. Participants interested in attending a taping can visit CTV.ca/TheLaunch for ticket information or RSVP by emailing LaunchAudience@InsightTV.com with subject line “THE LAUNCH Tickets”. Note: include the number of guests, along with full names of everyone attending. All audience members must be at least 11 years of age and those under the age of 16-years-old must be accompanied by an adult.
Reinventing the music television series genre, THE LAUNCH debuts a new and unique format, documenting an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to break a new artist and bring a song to life. In each hour-long episode, a group of unsigned emerging artists are mentored in the creation of a new original song by a panel of internationally renowned hit makers and mentors – from discovery to stardom in just two days. THE LAUNCH takes viewers on a fresh journey every week, unveiling new talent and new songs in each episode.
Following in the successful footsteps of CANADIAN IDOL, THE IHEARTRADIO MMVAs, THE JUNO AWARDS, the MuchMusic and Coca-Cola Covers competition, and most recently, the launch of iHeartRadio Canada, THE LAUNCH was put into development in January 2016. The series was co-developed by and is produced in association with Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, Paul Franklin of Eureka, and Bell Media, in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions. The format is currently being readied for an upcoming international roll-out.
THE LAUNCH is executive produced by Scott Borchetta, Randy Lennox and John Brunton; Lindsay Cox and Paul Franklin are Showrunners and Executive Producers; Executive Producers for Bell Media are Robin Johnston and Corrie Coe who is also Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming, Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.
About Big Machine Label Group Led by Founder, President and CEO Scott Borchetta, the Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Nash Icon Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio. BMLG artists include superstars Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Hank Williams Jr., Ronnie Dunn, Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles; chart-topping acts Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, A Thousand Horses, Brett Young, Aaron Lewis, THE VOICE winners Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery, AMERICAN IDOL Season 15 winner Trent Harmon; up-and-comers The Cadillac Three, Drake White, Tucker Beathard, Tara Thompson, Midland, Carly Pearce and Delta Rae. BMLG also helms soundtracks for the hit TV show NASHVILLE. BMLG artists have received multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT, Teen Choice, MTV, Billboard, People’s Choice, and Brit Awards. Big Machine is the first-ever American label to align with terrestrial radio for performance royalty rights for its artists and is an industry leader in fighting for artist, songwriter, publisher and record company rights. Visit BigMachineLabelGroup.com for more information.
Eureka is a next-generation production company combining the expertise, credibility and key relationships traditionally found within large multi-national production companies with the energy and nimbleness of a startup. Launched in January 2016, Eureka has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney and produces both unscripted and scripted programs. Within less than a year of opening Eureka has over sixty hours of programming commissioned in 2017 with more series to be announced soon.
About Insight Production Company, Ltd.
Insight Productions, known for its award-winning ratings juggernauts, is Canada’s most established content producer. Headed by CEO John Brunton & COO Barbara Bowlby, Insight is an industry leader in the development, financing, and production of hit programming, both scripted and unscripted. The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration; The JUNO Awards; Canada’s Walk of Fame; Big Brother Canada; How To Change The World; and The Amazing Race Canada – the most watched Canadian series on record – were collectively nominated for 29 Canadian Screen Awards in 2017 taking home 14 statues. Year after year, The Amazing Race Canada wins the Golden Screen, the CSA for the highest-rated reality program in Canada. Other productions include: Canadian Idol; Battle of the Blades; Never Ever Do This At Home; Intervention; Top Chef Canada; Ready Or Not; Falcon Beach; and A Christmas Fury. Recently, Insight produced The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration, a live concert special watched by one in three Canadians. Insight Productions was founded in 1979 and has since created thousands of hours of groundbreaking and multiplatform content for the global market in every genre. In 2015, Insight received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s inaugural Icon Award in recognition of its 35th anniversary. For more information visit www.insighttv.com. About Bell Media Original Programming
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, MASTERCHEF CANADA, hit drama CARDINAL, and upcoming original series THE DISAPPEARANCE, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, and THE DETAIL. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are Space’s internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK as well as KILLJOYS, WYNONNA EARP, and DARK MATTER; Bravo’s award-winning and most-watched original drama 19-2; CraveTV hit comedy LETTERKENNY; Discovery’s first-ever drama FRONTIER; Comedy’s satirical news series THE BEAVERTON, CORNER GAS ANIMATED; and multiple series and specials for food and lifestyle channel Gusto, including ONE WORLD KITCHEN and A IS FOR APPLE. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual franchise HIGHWAY THRU HELL, COLD WATER COWBOYS, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K.
CTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 16 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.