Members of the Nashville music community broke from a very busy CMA Awards week to pack the local City Winery for a Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 1) of live music by rising stars in CMT’s Next Women of Country program.
Aubrie Sellers, Maddie & Tae, Maggie Rose, Mickey Guyton, Tara Thompson, Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell, Lucie Silvas, Margo Price and RaeLynn each entertained with their words and music in a traditional guitar pull, covering a variety of subjects including heartache, funding big dreams with empty pockets, taking the road less traveled and living in a world without Willie Nelson.
New additions to the Next Women platform are Price, Rose, Silvas, Logan Brill, Jillian Jacqueline, Kree Harrison, Caitlyn Smith and Jamie Lynn Spears. For the first time, two trios — Post Monroe and Runaway June — join the initiative.
Brandy Clark opened the show with “Three Kids No Husband” from her latest album Big Day in a Small Town and co-hosted the event with CMT senior vice president of music strategy and talent Leslie Fram. After her performance, Clark was with the CMT Next Women of Country’s first Impact Award for her numerous accomplishments in music.
Since joining the inaugural Next Women class in 2013, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker and Kacey Musgraves have all recorded Clark’s songs. She is a four-time Grammy nominee, and she was a part of the 2016 Next Women of Country tour with Ell, Thompson and Jennifer Nettles.
Halfway through the show, surprise guest Martina McBride was welcomed onstage to reveal that she will be headlining the 2017 Next Women of Country Tour with Alaina. Before Fram gave McBride the floor, she asked McBride what it meant to her to support other women in music.
“I wanted to create a space on tour where fans can come and really just share the love and positivity and leave feeling stronger and more positive,” McBride said. “And so I’m excited to make that happen again.
“For me,” she added, “it’s not really a cause. It’s more of a movement and it’s a movement that I really and truly believe in — championing women in songs — and I feel like mentoring is really important. I feel like passing along any kind of lessons and knowledge that we’ve learned to the new generation is important and learning from them. I feel like as women, when one of us wins, we all win and I feel like we’re stronger when we support each other.”
CMT’s Next Women franchise has been a launching pad for several of today’s superstars and Grammy winners. Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris are among the alumnae of the prestigious program.
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.
To join the conversation, follow along on social media using #CMTNextWomen.
Check out some of the photo highlights from Tuesday afternoon:
Maddie & Tae
Maggie Rose (L) and RaeLynn
Lucie Silvas (L) and Lindsay Ell