Sponsored By

Buddy Killen

  • Former President of Tree music publishing company, home to Bill Anderson, Roger Miller, Harlan Howard, and Dolly Parton
  • Owned Killen Music Group, publisher of music recorded by OutKast, Faith Hill, Patty Loveless, Rascal Flatts, and more

One of the music industry's most diversified and enduring founders, Buddy Killen has left his fingerprints on every facet of the business - creatively touching its entire spectrum while making his mark as a musician, song-plugger, songwriter, publisher, and record producer.

Killen began his career by playing bass for two comedians which soon led to road show tours with such artists as Hank Williams, Sr., Jim Reeves, and Eddy Arnold among others. After Opry manager Jack Stapp took notice of Killen's work ethic he offered him a job pitching songs for a new publishing company called Tree. Their first international hit was "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis. Killen's keen eye for talent brought such songwriters to the Tree family as Bill Anderson, Roger Miller, Harlan Howard, Dolly Parton, and countless others. Killen's successful career at Tree eventually led him to become President. In 1980, when Stapp passed away, Killen purchased sole ownership of Tree and continued to nurture its growth as Chief Executive Officer, until 1989 when he sold the company to CBS (now Sony/ATV) and began building what has become the Killen Music Group.

The Killen Music Group (KMG) went on to publish music recorded by the multi-platinum sensation OutKast, as well as songs recorded by many country artists including Faith Hill, Trace Adkins, Lonestar, Patty Loveless, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, and Rascal Flatts, as well as many gospel artists.

Killen passed away in November of 2006.

Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on November 5, 2007.