CMT reveals “Next Women of Country” class of 2023 kicking off the franchise’s 10-year anniversary
CMT reveals “Next Women of Country” class of 2023 kicking off the franchise’s 10-year anniversary
NWOC alums Brittney Spencer, Brooke Eden, Caitlyn Smith, Ingrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie & Tae and Mickey Guyton, plus special guest Nicolle Galyon join CMT’s Leslie Fram to fete milestone of storied program
Event kicks off year-long partnership with City Winery Nashville to host regular CMT NWOC showcases
Special CMT Hot 20 Countdown episode, hosted by Cody Alan and Rissi Palmer, to feature exclusive interviews and performances from 2023 inductees to air in February
NASHVILLE – (January 17, 2023) – CMT has revealed 16 new artists named to its prestigious “CMT NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY” (NWOC) franchise, kicking off a special 10 year anniversary celebration of CMT’s storied program and long-running effort to support and promote developing female talent. This year’s group of participants marks the largest class in NWOC program history.
The news was revealed tonight at City Winery Nashville in front of an invitation-only crowd of industry and VIP guests who feted the new class alongside special guests including NWOC alums Brittney Spencer (2021), Brooke Eden (2015), Caitlyn Smith (2017), Ingrid Andress (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2015), Maddie & Tae (2015) and Mickey Guyton (2015), along with acclaimed songwriter-artist-producer Nicolle Galyon.
The brand’s flagship series CMT Hot 20 Countdown, hosted by Cody Alan and Rissi Palmer, will again air a dedicated Next Women of Country three-hour special episode, filmed from tonight’s event, introducing the class of 2023 with exclusive interviews and performances from each new inductee. The special episode is slated to air Saturday, February 11th at 8a/7c with an encore on Sunday, February 12th at 9a/8c on CMT.
The “CMT Next Women of Country” Class of 2023 includes:
O.N.E The Duo
“Each year, it’s extremely gratifying to welcome a new wave of fiercely independent females to our Next Women of Country program, all of whom are blazing their own paths and playing by their own rules”, said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music & Talent, CMT. “Tonight we’re introducing our largest class of inductees ever as we celebrate with the return of our first in-person event in over three years - and this group of accomplished artists is absolutely worth the wait!”
“Reaching this historic 10th anniversary milestone with CMT Next Women is a testament to the hard work of those gatekeepers in our industry who have locked arms and worked tirelessly toward a level playing field for women. I’m so proud of this franchise for continuing to be at the forefront of this imperative dialogue and look forward to continuing our fight toward greater progress and true equity for all underrepresented voices in country music.”
Over the next year, the new CMT NWOC class will receive cross-brand support for their music and videos on CMT, CMT Music, PlutoTV’s ‘CMT Equal Play’ channel, CMT Hot 20 Countdown, CMT.com and @CMT social channels, in addition to cross-promotional opportunities for Paramount Media’s MTV Entertainment Group brands with live events, the Paramount Times Square NYC Billboard and more.
As part of the brand’s CMT Equal Play initiative, a dedicated effort to elevating all underrepresented voices in country music, CMT also provides its NWOC access to social impact and artist advocacy opportunities designed to assist them in supporting charitable causes and social issues. These resources will continue to be provided by Nashville-based social impact firm, The Change Agent·cy for a third consecutive year.
Additionally, CMT will partner with City Winery Nashville to continue a series of fan-focused showcases featuring NWOC throughout the year. CMT has a long history with City Winery that was revived last Fall with three showcases spotlighting current and past NWOC members, including a special showcase tribute to the late Loretta Lynn.
A staunch advocate for country music’s female artists, CMT first launched its “Next Women of Country” campaign in 2013 as a substantial, meaningful effort to support and expose developing female talent, both signed and unsigned, in a male-dominated format. The initiative has grown significantly since its inception, showcasing emerging female artists across all CMT screens, including CMT and CMT Music, various digital series, and seven tours anchored by superstar acts including Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Tanya Tucker and most recently, Maddie & Tae.
This year’s 2023 class marks a total of 111 female acts that have been named as part of the program, including notable alumni of the franchise who have achieved both commercial and critical acclaim: Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Brittney Spencer, Brooke Eden, Caitlyn Smith, Carly Pearce, Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell, Madeline Edwards, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Morgan Wade, Miko Marks and Tenille Arts, to name a few.
Meet the CMT “Next Women of Country” Class of 2023:
Alana Springsteen: Celebrated by Billboard as a “confidence bolstering jam,” Springsteen’s major label debut “you don’t deserve a country song” previews the March 24 release of Messing It Up, the first installment of her newly announced three-part album, TWENTY SOMETHING. Quickly nearing 100 million streams, the 22-year-old’s rare ability to express complex emotions with impossible ease has been praised by the likes of American Songwriter, People, Rolling Stone and more. A talented artist-songwriter, she picked up the guitar at age seven and moved to Nashville at 14 from Virginia Beach, landing a publishing deal almost immediately. Springsteen has appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, toured with Mitchell Tenpenny and LANY, and is supporting Adam Doleac on dates in 2023.
Angie K: Following a successful run with Team Blake on NBC’s The Voice, Angie K has continued growing a remarkable career, resulting in more than 40 million streams worldwide. Her brand of hard-hitting country lends a nod to her Latin roots, such as the single “Real Talk,” a bilingual hit that catapulted her onto the country scene by making her a Highway Find on SiriusXM. Her last three singles have each hit over a million streams and have been added to some of the most popular playlists on Spotify and Apple Music. Angie K has shared the stage with Big & Rich, Tanya Tucker, Trace Adkins, Melissa Etheridge, Jake Owen and more.
Ashley Cooke: With 1.2 million TikTok followers Ashley Cooke is making an impact on country listeners. She has topped 100 million total career streams and her song “Never Til Now" featuring Brett Young, prompted Cooke’s national television debut on ABC’s The Bachelorette. Her album Already Drank That Beer garnered critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, People and Taste of Country. Cooke followed her passion for music to Belmont University in Nashville, where she won the Country Showcase, placing her in an elite class of winners that includes Brad Paisley and Tyler Hubbard. Cooke has opened for Young, BRELAND, Cole Swindell and more.
Avery Anna: Known for the viral smash “Narcissist" which has topped SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown and collected more than 100 million streams, Avery Anna is a teenage sensation. Her debut EP, Mood Swings, was released in October. The Arizona native’s career took off when she began filming videos of herself singing during the pandemic. Two years later, she celebrated her high school graduation with more than 1.5 million followers on TikTok. She was recently named to Amazon Music's 2023 Breakthrough Artists to Watch: Country Class, and Pandora’s Country Artists to Watch in 2023.
Carter Faith: Combining emotive lyricism, a laid-back aesthetic and refreshing candor, Carter Faith has earned over 30 million streams with her recent releases “Greener Pasture,” “Cowboys & Dreamers,” “Joyride,” and other songs from her debut EP, Let Love Be Love. Hailing from Davidson, North Carolina, Faith taught herself to play guitar and piano, and soon after began crafting lyrics. She has earned praise from Spotify, The New York Times, HuffPost, People and Billboard. She has shared the stage with Cole Swindell, Carly Pearce and Old Dominion, and was part of the first-ever Song Suffragette’s UK tour in 2022.
Catie Offerman: One of country music’s most skilled players and promising modern traditionalists, Catie Offerman just released her new single “Til I See You Again” and was named one of Pandora’s Country Artists to Watch in 2023. Originally from New Braunfels, Texas, Offerman grew up on a horse ranch and started playing piano at age four, which eventually led her to pursue other instruments such as violin and accordion. She performed throughout Texas and graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music at age 19. Offerman was featured in The Highwomen's "Redesigning Women" video and is currently on Parker McCollum’s sold-out tour.
Georgia Webster: Georgia Webster’s song “Tell Your Mom” was an instant hit on TikTok, amassing more than 2.7 million views in just a few days. Her EP, Chapter 1: Things We’re Not Saying was released in September, including “X’s,” the song that garnered the attention of Kelsea Ballerini and has over 10 million on-demand streams. After hearing the song, Ballerini invited Webster to join her as direct support on Ballerini’s intimate HEARTFIRST TOUR. A native of tiny Hampden, Massachusetts, Webster started performing around her hometown while in high school. She was recently named one of Pandora’s Country Artists to Watch in 2023.
Julie Williams: In 2022, Julie Williams launched her first solo tour and also performed frequently with the Black Opry Revue including at their CMT-sponsored anniversary gala that was covered by NBC News, and with the group at CMA Fest in Nashville. Her single “Southern Curls” soulfully addresses the struggles of growing up mixed-race, with fans raising over $5000 to fund the song’s music video that was brought to life by an all-Black creative team, and was covered by Billboard, CMT and more. She was previously named part of Rissi Palmer’s Color Me Country Class.
Kasey Tyndall: Singer-songwriter Kasey Tyndall developed her edgy, rock-infused country sound while growing up in a small town near Greenville, North Carolina. Her career got a major boost when she won a radio station contest to duet with Keith Urban at his nearby tour date. Since then, Tyndall has shared the stage with Kane Brown, Granger Smith, and The Cadillac Three and has upcoming dates with Tracy Lawrence. She has a new docuseries featuring friends Lainey Wilson and Drake White, and just released the current tracks "Nothin' Wrong With Being Country,” and “Place For Me” featuring Dylan Marlowe.
Kimberly Kelly: Lorena, Texas native Kimberly Kelly is proudly carrying the neo-traditional torch for country music, and released her full-length debut album I’ll Tell You What’s Gonna Happen in 2022. She brings to the table plenty of talent, touring experience and notable collaborators. Billy Joe Shaver is her “musical grandfather.” Her husband is Brett Tyler, a producer and No. 1 songwriter ("Cold Beer Calling My Name”) who worked on her previous independent EP Don't Blame It On Me. Kelly also got an early musical education singing harmony for sister Kristen Kelly on tours with Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Alan Jackson.
Mackenzie Carpenter: “Huntin’ Season,” the new single by Mackenzie Carpenter is gaining major traction, with the TikTok video collecting more than six million views. This follows her success as co-writer of “Villain,” recorded by Lilly Rose, which landed at No. 1 on the iTunes Country chart. Carpenter has opened for Miranda Lambert, Parker McCollum, Craig Campbell and more. Growing up in Athens, Georgia, Carpenter honed her soulful country tone by performing in church. Her dad inspired her to write songs and her brothers taught her to play guitar, and she pursued a career in music by attending Belmont University in Nashville.
MaRynn Taylor: Country music’s tiny new powerhouse vocalist is a reflection of her generation and is on a trajectory to connect with millions of fans. This insightful and talented singer-songwriter released her 5-song EP, Something I Would Do, in 2022. It includes the radio-ready “Every Single Summer” where Taylor reflects on carefree days spent growing up on Lake Michigan. Her record deal came following a chance encounter at the 2019 CMA Music Festival where she gave an impromptu performance at Black River Entertainment’s 60 Second Spotlight event.
Megan Moroney: Known for the song "Tennessee Orange" averaging 5 million-plus streams per week, Megan Moroney is an exciting new artist with 500K Tik-Tok followers. Moroney grew up in a musical household in Douglasville, Georgia and began writing songs her freshman year at the University of Georgia. From there, she developed a love for storytelling and has become known for her distinctive voice and honest, conversational lyrics. Her debut EP Pistol Made of Roses also includes her single "Hair Salon.” She was recently named to Amazon Music's 2023 Breakthrough Artists to Watch: Country Class, and Pandora’s Country Artists to Watch in 2023.
O.N.E The Duo: Mother Tekitha and daughter Prana Supreme comprise this duo blending pitch-perfect family harmonies fusing hip-hop and country stylings, as found on current single "Stuck In The Middle.” Tekitha, the female lead on the Wu-Tang Clan albums, and Prana, the daughter of RZA, the founder and de facto leader of Wu-Tang Clan, have been collaborating for ten years. Additionally, Tekitha is an accomplished vocalist in her own right and spent more than a decade recording and touring worldwide with Wu-Tang. Today, O.N.E The Duo is bringing a new vision for country music with their blend of country swagger and hip-hop cool.
Pillbox Patti: This talented diva is the onstage alter-ego of award-winning songwriter Nicolette Hayford who has been crafting magic in Nashville for over a decade, including Ashley McBryde’s “One Night Standards” and “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,” as well as cuts by Lainey Wilson and Chrissy Metz. Pillbox Patti brings her tell-it-like-it-is storytelling to the world on debut album Florida. She shares her first-hand personal experiences that speak not to the idyllic country upbringing often displayed in the genre, but to the hard experiences of many Americans, living day to day and just trying to get by.
Roberta Lea: Virginia native Roberta Lea is bringing fans her first full country album, Too Much of a Woman, showcasing her unique blend of traditional country, soul, pop and folk. This follows the success of her previous project Just A Taste. Roberta Lea is a talented songwriter and storyteller. As a member of the Black Opry Revue, she recently appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show alongside fellow members. Roberta Lea has been featured in major outlets including The Boot, NPR, The Virginian Pilot and the Nashville Scene.
Ali Marszalkowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Chader, email@example.com