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Clare Dunn Lifts Lid On Nashville Corruption: ‘Belly Of The Beast’

12 March 2024 | 3:37 pm | Mary Varvaris

Standing up for herself, Dunn walked away from what would’ve been a “bad contract”. She stated that declining the contract did “irreversible damage” to her reputation.

Clare Dunn

Clare Dunn (Source: YouTube/'Holding Out For A Cowboy' music video)

American musician Clare Dunn has exposed the dark side of the country music industry, calling out the “corruption” and “the belly of the beast in country music in Nashville.”

Dunn, an independent singer-songwriter who has written with some of the most famous figures in the Nashville music scene, including Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Jamey Johnson and more, found herself in a record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville and departed in March 2020.

She’s been steadily releasing music ever since, and fans come to Dunn for her no-holds-barred approach to songwriting and, now, honesty about the music scene.

In a recent TikTok video, Dunn discussed the early days of her career, describing herself as “very naïve”. For the story, she called out a booking agent who, for the video’s sake, was named Charles and an entertainment attorney named Bubba.

Recalling her confusion at a pivotal time in her career, Dunn said, “One day Bubba calls me up, the attorney, and says, ‘Hey, do you want to come in and have a meeting with me and Charles?’” Dunn remembered feeling excited as she remembered that Charles wanted to manage her.

She continued, “I was like, ‘Okay, Charles wants to manage me. He’s well-connected. This could be awesome for me.’” Recounting an uncomfortable moment, Dunn added, “Bubba slides a piece of paper across the table to me.

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“Bubba launches into this whole oration of why I need to incentivise Charles, who’s already my booking agent, who’s already making his 10%, why I need to incentivise him to continue working with me.”

Realising that the deal on paper in front of her wasn’t financially viable, she said, “So, what I learned at Belmont is, it may be inevitable you have to sign a 360 deal with a major label, but for God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t sign a 360 deal with anyone else before then.”

Standing up for herself, Dunn walked away from what would’ve been a “bad contract”. According to the Holding Out For A Cowboy singer, declining the contract did “irreversible damage” to her reputation.

Dunn claimed that she found out about the agent putting another artist “into this same type of corrupt deal”. She continued, “That artist went on to blow up, and for how big this artist was, they should have had a massive career for a long time, but this artist’s career imploded because of financial strain from these horrible deals that this artist had signed.

“I knew this artist, I knew people that they worked with, and come to find out they had signed this same deal. It was all playing out at the time still when he was trying to get me to sign this deal.”

You can watch Dunn’s videos below. So far, she’s shared only part one—part two is on its way.

Two weeks ago, Dunn released her latest EP, Wasn’t Looking. It’s the first body of work that Dunn owns.


idk why i called the attorney “bubba” lol but heres part 1 of my story. I know its long, just a lot of pieces and parts #claredunn #nashvillestory #colorado #oklahoma #texas #wyoming #montana

♬ Live in the Spirit - Josué Novais Piano Worship & Instrumental Worship and Prayer


just wanted to say thanks yall. this past week has been a little scary at times - breaking open subjects ive wanted to tslk about for a long time but havent out of fear. thank you for all your support and hope yall have a great Sunday night And thank you for the love on my EP!! “Wasnt Looking” everywhere now. #claredunn #agriculture #cattleranchers #independentartist

♬ Out of the Blue - Clare Dunn