CMT has added 10 up-and-coming superstar acts to the Next Women of Country campaign. The initiative started in 2013 to empower and bring awareness to country music’s rising female performers both independent and signed.
They are Logan Brill, Jillian Jacqueline, Kree Harrison, Margo Price, Maggie Rose, Lucie Silvas, Caitlyn Smith and Jamie Lynn Spears. For the first time, two new trios — Post Monroe and Runaway June — join the program.
“We’re so thrilled to introduce this incredibly talented and diverse mix of female artists to the Next Women franchise,” said Leslie Fram, CMT senior vice president of music strategy and talent. “With the full support of the industry behind us, we continue to see this initiative make a real difference in propelling female artists into the spotlight.”
Blending the swagger of Bonnie Raitt blues with authentic country storytelling, Shut Eye is the latest album from East Tennesse native Brill. Selections include the soul-searching ballad “The Bees” and Lori McKenna original “Halfway Home.”
Jacqueline’s five-song self-titled EP features the infectious lead single “Prime,” a youthful number about living life to the fullest.
Sharing the same hometown as Janis Joplin, Port Arthur, Texas native Harrison has been a member of the Nashville music community since she was a teenager and got her first taste of recognition as a child singer on the Rosie O’Donnell Show. Her rise to prominence continued as the runner-up of American Idol season 12. Released in July, her newest album This Old Thing is a unique blend of country soul.
Post Monroe are Whitney Duncan, Ashley Hewitt and Shelby McLeod. Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood produced the group’s self-titled EP, which was released in May.
It’s been a banner 2016 for Price, a recording artist on Jack White’s Third Man Records. She followed up the release of her breakout album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter with a musical guest appearance on Saturday Night Live in April. She was recently named Emerging Artist of the Year at the 15th annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards in September.
Rose’s music has been a Music Row staple for the better part of the current decade. “I Ain’t Your Mama” from Cut to Impress was among country radio’s most-played songs by a solo female artist in 2013. With a follow-up on the way, her genre-bending The Variety Show, Vol. 1 EP, featuring the infectious “Same Sky” and the moving ballad “Love Me More,” was released in April. When she’s not working on her own music, she is producing the rising group, the Morrison Brothers Band.
Runaway June are Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mullholland and Jennifer Wayne. They have spent the last couple months on a radio tour promoting their debut single “Lipstick,” an anthemic track about never settling for anything less than the love one deserves. They made their Grand Ole Opry debut on Oct. 14.
After achieving international success in Europe and beyond, British-born and New Zealand-raised Silvas has called Nashville home since 2007. Her husband, John Osborne of Brothers Osborne helped produce her newest album Letters to Ghosts. She has toured with respected musicians from all genres including Little Big Town, Elton John, Jamie Cullum, Macy Gray and Jamiroquai. She is currently on the road opening for Brothers Osborne on the Dirt Rich Tour.
Smith has co-written songs recorded by Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore and Rascal Flatts. She scored her first pop No. 1 this year as a songwriter of Meghan Trainor and John Legend’s duet “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” She is also a co-writer of the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton duet “You Can’t Make Old Friends.” Smith released her newest EP, Starfire, in July.
Spears has been writing songs for years in Nashville and she scored her first hit as a songwriter this year as the co-writer of Jana Kramer’s “I Got the Boy.” Siblings Britney Spears and brother Bryan were on hand to help welcome their younger sister onstage for her Grand Ole Opry debut in March. Her latest single “Sleepover” is available now.
CMT’s Next Women franchise has been a launching pad for several of today’s superstars and Grammy winners. Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Brandy Clark are among the alumnae of the prestigious program.
The platform has also led to two back-to-back all female tours starring Ballerini, Kramer, Clark, Lindsay Ell, Tara Thompson and Jennifer Nettles.
Earlier this year, CMT grew the franchise yet again to include a digital performance series, Next Women of Country Live, featuring exclusive new performances each week on CMT.com.