TASMANIA, Australia (CelebrityAccess) — Veteran industry executive Robb Potts, a longtime director of the Country Music Association who helped to bring country music to Austrlia, died in a motorcycle accident in Tasmania on Oct. 27th.
"Chugg Entertainment and CMC Rocks are devastated to announce the sudden passing of Rob Potts, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident on the West Coast of Tasmania on Friday afternoon," said a statement posted to Chugg Entertainment's social media.
"Rob Potts was a pioneer of the Country Music industry and single-handedly opened the door for the biggest international country music artists to find a welcoming home in Australia."
With more than 30 years in the industry, Potts, and his company Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, played a key role in developing a market for American country music in Australia. Potts orchestrated the first Australian tour for Taylor Swift in 2009, before she became a household name.
As well, Potts, in collaboration with Chugg Entertainment, launched the CMC Rocks festival, which has grown to become Australia's largest country and roots music festival.
Potts was also a longtime member of the Country Music Association and their efforts to expand the brand internationally. He previously served as Chairman of the CMA International Committee and current Chairman of the Australian CMA Task Force. This past March, CMA awarded Potts with the Jo Walker Meador International Award in recognition of his efforts in developing the format in international markets.
“The CMA Board and staff, as well as the Country Music community is devastated at the news of Rob’s passing,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern in a statement released following his passing. “He was a key driver of our international expansion for the past years and waived the country flag proudly in Australia. On a personal note, my husband Wayne and I have lost a vibrant friend. Rob lived life to its fullest.”
Rob Potts was also the longtime manager to Warner Music Nashville’s Morgan Evans.
According to the CMA, Potts is survived by his son, Jeremy Potts, and ex-wife, Sally. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.