Norwegian Cruise Line Press Releases

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces "Free the Beat" Songwriters Cruise Hosted by Kellie Pickler

Songwriters to Set Sail Around Hawaii to Curate the Brand’s First-Ever Global Music Library

Miami, FL, US - Dec 03, 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, has partnered with Kellie Pickler and Warner Chappell Music to host its second songwriters cruise through the brand’s “Free the Beat” program, a music platform through which the industry’s top songwriters, artists, talent and creators have the opportunity to develop content for Norwegian Cruise Line’s first-ever global music library.

This month, Pickler and seven songwriters from Warner Chappell Music will set sail from Honolulu, Oahu on a seven-day cruise to the islands of Hawaii on the only U.S.-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America.

“I am so excited to host Norwegian Cruise Line’s special songwriters cruise on Pride of America,” said Kellie Pickler, American country music artist. “I am always inspired by the places I visit, and on this trip, the other songwriters and I will have the beautiful Hawaiian Islands as our backdrop to inspire us on new songs!  It’s going to be a really unique experience. I can’t wait!”


“We are thrilled to be partnering with Norwegian Cruise Line to continue to build their brand music library,” said Katie Jelen, Director of Synchronization for Warner Chappell Music.  “This collaboration allows us to extend a fun opportunity to our writers and help tell Norwegian’s brand story through the power of music.”

Songwriters include:

- Liz Rose known for “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift, “Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood, and “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town

- Abram Dean known for “Red Eye” by Andy Grammer and “Celebrate” by lunsford, which has been featured in a recent Norwegian Cruise Line advertising campaign

- Audra Mae known for “Little Red Wagon” by Miranda Lambert, “Heartbeat Song” by Kelly Clarkson and “Who I Was Born to Be” by Susan Boyle

- Mark Trussell known for “RSVP” by Maren Morris, “Details” by Billy Currington and “Beside you Babe” by Blake Shelton

- Kallie North known for “American Woman” by Muddy Magnolias, “Like It Or Not” by Willa J and “When I Get Going” by Kallico

- Brandon Day known for “Top Of The World” by the Plain White T’s, “Break it In” Eli Young Band and “Fire’t Up” by Brantley Gilbert

- Johnny Simmen known for producing the albums “The Fifth” by Birds of Bellwoods and “Beauty Fools” by The Naked Wild, as well as co-writing “Games” from the forthcoming Caitlyn Smith record

The songwriters will gain inspiration by experiencing everything this majestic archipelago has to offer, from the historical sites, to the waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches and the natural beauty of each destination, including Maui, Hilo, Kona, Kauai and the Nā Pali Coast, all while writing songs for the cruise line’s global music library.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s goal is to encourage and enable songwriters to freely develop content to enhance the guests’ experiences through onboard curated playlists from the world’s most beautiful destinations that one can discover on and off the ship. During the cruise, they will have the opportunity to enjoy 15 restaurants, spacious suites and a family-fun packed itinerary from snorkeling to surfing lessons, a traditional luau, relaxing on Hawaii’s finest beaches and so much more.

In August 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line launched the ‘Free the Beat’ program and the brand’s first global music library.  Multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Andy Grammer hosted the first seven-day songwriters cruise to Alaska from Seattle with writers from Family Affair Productions. Content and music were inspired by the exploration of the Mendenhall Glacier, snorkeling among the marine life and experiencing Alaska’s native culture.

For the video recap of the first songwriters cruise, click here.  For the Free the Beat and Pride of America press kit, click here.
For more information or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional; call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784); or visit




ABOUT KELLIE PICKLER: Kellie Pickler grew up immersed in country music in the small town of Albemarle, North Carolina with the words of Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton shaping her musical footing. After gaining fame as a contestant on the fifth season of “American Idol,” she signed with 19 Recordings/BNA Records and released her debut album, “Small Town Girl”, which has gone on to sell more than 900,000 copies worldwide and produce three hit singles: “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” She followed that in 2008 with her self-titled sophomore record, featuring country radio hits “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Best Days of Your Life” (co-written with Taylor Swift and her first Top 10) and “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You.” Having established herself as not only a powerful vocalist but also a songwriter, Pickler released her third studio album, “100 Proof”, in 2011 to huge critical acclaim. The album was named the No. 1 Country Album of The Year by Rolling Stone and was listed on the “Best of 2012” list by The Washington Post. In 2013 she competed on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” taking home the mirror ball trophy with partner Derek Hough while simultaneously releasing “The Woman I Am”, her fourth studio album. In 2015, she starred alongside her husband—producer and songwriter Kyle Jacobs—in the network’s highest-rated show, CMT’s docu-series “I Love Kellie Pickler.” While filming around the world, the multi-talented star landed a co-hosting opportunity on the daytime talk show “Pickler & Ben” which aired for two seasons and received multiple Emmy nominations. Last year, Kellie starred in Hallmark Channel’s highest-rated and most-watched movie of 2018, “Christmas at Graceland,” where she played a finance executive who rediscovers her passion and talent for singing. For the film, Kellie recorded and performed beloved Christmas songs including: “Silent Night,” “Silver Bells,” “First Noel,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Joy To The World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” In June of 2019, Pickler reprised the role in the sequel titled “Wedding at Graceland,” and her third film “The Mistletoe Secret” which premiered Nov. 10. Recently, she recorded “It’s Such a Good Feeling, the closing theme of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” for the “Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories” album. Pickler is an avid supporter of our servicemen and women. She has completed 11 USO Tours, performing for those serving abroad and has received both the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award and the USO Heart for the Warrior Award.

About Norwegian Cruise Line: As the innovator in global cruise travel, Norwegian Cruise Line has been breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising for nearly 53 years. Most notably, the cruise line revolutionized the industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation on their preferred schedule with no assigned dining and entertainment times and no formal dress codes. Today, its fleet of 17 contemporary ships sail to nearly 300 of some of the world’s most desirable destinations, including Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas and its resort destination Harvest Caye in Belize.  Norwegian Cruise Line not only provides superior guest service from land to sea, but also offers a wide variety of award-winning entertainment and dining options as well as a range of accommodations across the fleet, including solo-traveler staterooms, mini-suites, spa-suites and The Haven by Norwegian®, the company’s ship-within-a-ship concept. For additional information or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit For the latest news and exclusive content, visit the media center and follow Norwegian Cruise line on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @NorwegianCruiseLine; and Twitter and Snapchat @CruiseNorwegian.

About Warner Chappell Music: Warner Chappell Music, the global music publishing company of Warner Music Group, is home to a wide array of legendary songwriters and a rich catalog of contemporary hits and influential standards. With offices in more than 40 countries, Warner Chappell Music provides deep expertise across a range of creative services and the most innovative opportunities for songwriters and copyright holders. With a history dating back more than 200 years, the company currently publishes and administers music from Steve Aoki, Beyoncé, Blur, Eric Clapton, The Dream, Gamble & Huff, Green Day, Lukas Graham, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Led Zeppelin, Little Big Town, Madonna, Alan Menken, George Michael, Julia Michaels, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Katy Perry, Radiohead, Roc Nation, Stephen Schwartz, Slash, Stephen Sondheim, Chris Stapleton, Rod Temperton, Tove Lo, Justin Tranter, Twenty One Pilots, and Pharrell Williams, among many others.


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