Jana Kramer and Kelsea Ballerini will be hitting the road together this spring during the inaugural CMT Next Women of Country tour. The network’s first-ever ladies-only tour launches on April 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and will make 10 stops across the nation.
In its first week out, Kramer’s single from her forthcoming sophomore album was the most-added track at country radio by a solo female artist. Ballerini co-wrote her debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” which hit the Top 20 on this week’s Billboard country airplay chart.
“I am beyond excited to be a part of the first Next Women of Country tour,” Kramer said. “I’m a big advocate for us girls sticking together and encouraging each other. I can’t wait to see everyone on the road!”
“My first summer in Nashville, I was 15 and didn’t have a driver’s license yet,” Ballerini added. “So I spent it at home, writing songs and watching music videos on CMT. That was a way I knew I could learn and feel like I was growing. Since then, it’s always been a dream of mine to have a music video on CMT. To now have that and for me to be part of the CMT Next Women of Country tour is a huge honor.”
The tour is the latest extension of the Next Women of Country campaign CMT launched in 2013 to promote more attention and airplay for emerging female country artists across all screens. Several Next Women alumnae — Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Cassadee Pope and Ashley Monroe included — found success ranging from commercial and critical acclaim.
“The Next Women of Country campaign seamlessly connects music fans with the rising generation of female country artists,” said CMT senior vice president of music strategy Leslie Fram. “With the tour, we’re now able to create zero-distancing between fan and artist and deliver an amazing night of discovery.”
CMT also has a long history of launching artists on the road, having recently capped off the 13th year of its CMT on Tour series with Kip Moore.
Tickets to the CMT Next Women of Country tour go on sale Friday (April 10) at participating venues. Here’s the complete schedule:
April 30: Grand Rapids, Michigan (The Intersection)
May 1: Cincinnati (Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill)
May 7: Cleveland (House of Blues)
May 8: Chicago (Joe’s Bar)
May 10: St. Louis (The Pageant)
May 12: Nashville (3rd and Lindsley) *
May 14: Orlando, Florida (Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill)
May 15: Fort Walton Beach, Florida (The Swamp)
May 17: Charlotte, North Carolina (The Fillmore Charlotte)
May 28: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (House of Blues)
* Kelsea Ballerini only, featuring special guests from Next Women of Country.