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The story of Kane Brown is about perseverance, uniqueness and talent but there is one thing it is not about: radio.  At least not yet.

Sony Music Nashville is working on making a hit out of “What Ifs,” a song Brown recorded with longtime friend Lauren Alaina. Until now, however, his meteoric rise has happened basically by YouTube videos, a killer country music voice and his persona.

“I think with the country music artists, it’s been kind of groundbreaking,” said Braeden Roundtree, who books Brown alongside Rob Beckham at WME.  “Normally (if you don’t have a radio hit), you do your 200-cap rooms, then your 500-cap, then the big ones.  The smallest venue Kane has played is 500-cap and that was fall 2015. The average now is 1,250 to 1,300.”


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Photo: Courtney HUKA Entertainment

Kane Brown

Brown is of mixed race – white, black and Cherokee – and was at times homeless as he traveled with his single mother, eventually settling in Fort Oglethorpe and Lafayette, Ga.

“He grew up on a farm with his grandparents listening to traditional country music,” Roundtree said. “He could just as easily have a conversation with you about Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks as much as Justin Bieber and Drake.”

He sang in a high school choir with Alaina and eventually auditioned for “American Idol,” where Alaina was a runner-up on season 10, and “X-Factor.”  Ultimately, he decided to sing cover songs on Facebook, gathering 1 million followers.


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Photo: Courtesy HUKA Entertainment

Kane Brown

“It hit critical mass when he booked a show on his own,” Roundtree said, who asked Brown’s manager, Martha Earls, if he could help “firm up the deal.”

“That show ended up selling out in 30 minutes and we added a second night. That sold out in an hour. From that point on it was off to the races.”

The races included touring with Florida Georgia Line and, through October, Jason Aldean, along with his headlining gigs and fair/festival shows this summer.

“Equally impressive is that venues are selling out in advance,” Roundtree said. “Cain’s Ballroom (in Tulsa) sold out a month in advance. Seven Flags Event Center outside Des Moines, 3,000 tickets, sold out in advance.

“We’re analyzing this information and figuring out where to go next but it’s kind of uncharted ground.”