CMT's NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY -- official bios


LAUREN ALAINA – Lauren Alaina, a Rossville, Ga. native, and the American Idol Season 10 runner up, released her debut album Wildflower in the fall of 2011 via Mercury Records Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope Records and it landed at #2 on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart. She became the youngest female artist to debut this high on the Billboard charts since LeAnn Rimes' debut 15 years ago and is the best-selling country female debut since 1996. Alaina won the award for Artist Of The Year: New Artist at the “2012 American Country Awards.”

KELLEIGH BANNEN – EMI Records Nashville recording artist Kelleigh Bannen is a Nashville native who always dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating from college in Virginia, Bannen made her way back to her hometown, where she began to write and craft her sound. It was while on the "90in90" tour, in which she played 90 gigs in 90 days to benefit the Butler Center for research, where she connected with legendary producer Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride). In the past year, Bannen has been hard at work in the studio with Paul Worley recording her debut album. Recently, she made her hometown debut on the Grand Ole Opry, appeared on the CW's "Hart of Dixie," shared the stage with Luke Bryan and Jon Pardi at the Capitol Street Party, and released her video "Sorry On The Rocks" on CMT and Bannen was also recently featured as CMT’s “Listen Up” artist.

BRANDY CLARK – Morton, Wash. native Brandy Clark has had songs recorded by The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert, Reba and Darius Rucker, as well as songs featured on television programs such as Nashville, and Hart of Dixie. Clark recently completed her debut album with producer Dave Brainard (Jamey Johnson, Jerrod Neimann). The project, set to be released in 2013, includes 12 self- penned songs and features Vince Gill on background vocals.

SARAH DARLING – Sarah Darling has released three consecutive #1 videos, including "Something To Do With Your Hands," "Blackbird," and her current single, "Home To Me." Set for a digital release on January 29, the "Home to Me" EP includes an acoustic performance of the title track. A regular on the Opry stage, Darling was recently touted by the New York Times as a “sophisticated songwriter” with a “crisp, powerful voice.” She is currently recording her forthcoming album with producer Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Rascal Flatts).

ROSE FALCON – Born in New York City and raised in Nashville, Tenn., singer/songwriter Rose Falcon started her career at a young age and has had her songs featured in national TV and commercial ad campaigns, the Country Strong movie and has had cuts by some of Nashville’s biggest artists – Lady Antebellum and Faith Hill to name a few. Because her songs are written straight from the heart, she shares a special connection with fans and holds nothing back.

RACHEL FARLEY – Signed to hot new BBR Music Group and RED imprint, RED BOW Records, Rachel Farley's debut single, “Ain't Easy,” impacts Country Radio in February 2013. The 17-year-old's unique style of Country rock paired with her youthful vigor and an age-defying confidence on stage has already made Farley one of Country music's most-anticipated newcomers and one to watch in 2013.

JANA KRAMER -- Jana Kramer’s second single “Whiskey,” from her highly praised self-titled debut album is gaining at radio now. “Whiskey” follows her debut hit single, “Why Ya Wanna,” which reached #3 on the charts and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The CMA Awards presenter was also nominated for three American Country Awards, performed at the CMT Music Awards and is nominated for an upcoming ACM Award for New Female Vocalist of the Year. Kramer, who’s self-titled album was named Best of 2012 by Billboard and iTunes, was also featured on Men’s Health recent Hot List. Kramer has impressively sold over a million tracks, including more than 100,000 of the new single “Whiskey” and over a half million of “Why Ya Wanna.” In addition to her debut album premiering at No. 5, the success of “Why Ya Wanna” also earned Kramer the title of highest charting debut single from a new female artist since 2006 (previously held by Taylor Swift), as well as making her one of the fastest rising debut artists of 2012 overall.

ASHLEY MONROE – Ashley Monroe is one-third of the critically-acclaimed trio Pistol Annies. As a composer, Monroe's songs have been recorded by many artists including Train, Brendan Benson, Chris Isaak, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, Guy Clark, Wanda Jackson and the Ranconteurs. Her new solo album, Like A Rose, produced by Vince Gill and Justin Niebank and will be released by Warner Music Group on March 5, 2013.

KACEY MUSGRAVES – Kacey Musgraves is a 24-year old singer/songwriter from Golden, Texas. She’s written songs for Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert and most recently she co-wrote the song “Undermine” that appeared in the second episode of the ABC drama, Nashville. Kacey’s debut album will release this spring on Mercury Records Nashville and was co-produced by Kacey, Shane McAnally and Luke Laird. Kacey’s first single “Merry Go ‘Round” has already been praised by Billboard, NPR, Washington Post, NY Post and Rolling Stone who gave it four stars.

HOLLY WILLIAMS – Holly Williams, granddaughter of the legendary Hank Williams and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter in her own right, will self-release her third studio album, The Highway, on Georgiana Records February 5, 2013. Co-produced by Williams and Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars), the album features guests Jackson Browne, Jakob Dylan, Dierks Bently and Gwyneth Paltrow.

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CMT’s Next Women of Country


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