Late Wednesday night many started to notice that David Nail was missing from UMG Nashville’s roster page on their website. As you can see here, he’s no longer listed and appears to be done with the label. Giving further credence to this is an ominous tweet Nail sent out on Tuesday night:
I have reached out to UMG Nashville to officially confirm his status and will update this post when they or Nail provide official confirmation. If Nail is indeed done with the label, the move is not entirely surprising. Nail’s most recent single “Good At Night” failed to even crack top 50 at country radio, peaking at #52. Previous single “Night’s on Fire” reached #14 on the charts, but it took nearly a year to reach this spot. Nail hasn’t had a major hit since 2013 with #1 song “Whatever She’s Got” and his last hit before this was in 2011 with #1 hit “Let It Rain.” Radio has basically left him in the dust and UMG Nashville ran out of patience with him essentially, so they cut him loose.
It’s especially disappointing to see after his latest album Fighter released last year was good and was one of the best album releases by a major label country artist in 2016. But this is life on a major label: you either produce or you lose your spot. If you’re a David Nail fan, don’t be too disappointed by this as I expect Nail to bounce back. There’s no reason why an indie label wouldn’t be interested in him eventually and Nail could always go at it independently through some outfit like Thirty Tigers. This story is yet another reminder of the cutthroat nature of the music business and Nail is another victim chewed up and spit out by the Nashville machine.