CMT has confirmed the 2016 class of its Next Women of Country and revealed plans for a related tour to launch in January. The announcement was made Tuesday (Nov. 3) in Nashville during the third annual CMT Next Women of Country showcase.
Co-hosted by Next Women alumnus Kelsea Ballerini and CMT senior vice president of music strategy and talent Leslie Fram, the gathering at City Winery featured performances by Lauren Alaina, Danielle Bradbery, Brandy Clark, Cam, Clare Dunn, Brooke Eden, Ashley Monroe, Maren Morris, Cassadee Pope and surprise guest Jennifer Nettles.
The 2016 CMT Next Women of Country class includes Ashley Campbell, Courtney Cole, Sara Haze, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Rainey Qualley, Aubrie Sellers and Tara Thompson. The members represent major label, indie and unsigned rising artists who will receive support from CMT in an effort to expose them to fans and get their music heard.
CMT launched its Next Women campaign in 2013 as a way to give more attention and airplay to emerging female country artists across all screens. Several alumnae — Kacey Musgraves, Clark, Pope and Monroe included — have achieved both commercial and critical acclaim. In 2015, CMT expanded the franchise to include its first-ever female-powered tour with Jana Kramer and Ballerini.
“I always take any opportunity to champion women in music and throughout society at large,” Nettles said after announcing her involvement in the 2016 tour. “I am absolutely energized to headline this year’s CMT Next Women of Country Tour and celebrate these exciting artists on the precipice of so much greatness.”
To join the conversation, follow along on social media using #CMTNextWomen.
Here’s a list of tour dates confirmed for the CMT Presents Jennifer Nettles With 2016 Next Women of Country Tour.
Jan. 15: Orillia, Ontario (Casino Rama)
Jan. 16: Northfield, Ohio (Hard Rock Live)
Jan. 17: Wheeling, West Virginia (Capitol Theatre)
Jan. 20: New York City (Beacon Theatre)
Jan. 22: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (Tower Theater)
Jan. 23: Boston (House of Blues)
Jan. 24: Lancaster, Pennsylvania (American Music Theatre)
Feb. 5: Durham, North Carolina (DPAC)
Feb. 6: Cherokee, North Carolina (Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center)
Feb. 12: Wendover, Nevada (Peppermill Concert Hall)
Feb. 13: Beaver Creek, Colorado (Vilar PAC)
Feb. 14: Colorado Springs, Colorado (Pikes Peak Center)
Feb. 17: Hobbs, New Mexico (Lea County Events Center)
Feb. 19: Phoenix (Celebrity Theatre)
Feb. 20: Prescott, Arizona (Yavapai College)
Feb. 23: Los Angeles (The Wiltern)
Feb. 26: Santa Rosa, California (Wells Fargo Center for the Arts)
Feb. 27: Bakersfield, California (Majestic Fox Theatre)
March 1: Oakland, California (Fox Theater)
March 3: Tacoma, Washington (Emerald Queen Casino)
March 4: Airway Heights, Washington (Northern Quest Casino)
March 5: Grand Ronde, Oregon (Spirit Mountain Casino)
March 17: Fort Wayne, Indiana (Embassy Theatre)
March 18: Hammond, Indiana (Horseshoe Casino)
April 8: Branson, Missouri (TBA)
April 10: Lawrence, Kansas (Lied Center)
April 14: Ralston, Nebraska (Ralston Arena)
April 15: Davenport, Iowa (Adler Theater)
April 16: Green Bay, Wisconsin (Resch Center)
April 21: Morristown, New Jersey (Mayo Performing Arts Center)
April 22: Albany, New York (Palace Theatre)