Most of them were alumnae of the venerated CMT Next Women of Country program, country music’s top initiative supporting women musicians on the rise.
CMT rang in CMA Awards week on Tuesday (Nov. 13) at Nashville’s City Winery with its sixth annual CMT Next Women of Country showcase, the week’s premiere event celebrating female artists who represent the sound of country music’s future.
Fairchild introduced the 2019 class, and the inductees are Anna Vaus, Emily Hackett, Ingrid Andress, Lainey Wilson, Lauren Duski, Leah Turner, Rachel Wammack, Stephanie Quayle and Tenille Townes.
Cassadee Pope, an inaugural member of the program, will headline the sixth CMT Next Women of Country tour in 2019 with fellow members Clare Dunn and Hannah Ellis. This marks Pope’s first national run as a solo act. The full schedule and ticket information will be announced soon. Previous headliners include Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride and Sara Evans.
Additionally, Grammy winner and 2015 inductee Maren Morris received the program’s 2018 Impact award from award-winning hit-maker Natalie Hemby (Miranda Lambert’s “White Liar” and “Automatic”). The Impact award is presented annually to an individual who has made lasting contributions to songwriting, recording, radio airplay, record sales, streams, media impressions, awards and touring in country music over the past year. Previous recipients include Brandy Clark and Kelsea Ballerini.
CMT first launched its Next Women of Country campaign in 2013 in an effort to support and expose developing female talent, both signed and unsigned, in a male-dominated format. The campaign showcases emerging female artists across all CMT platforms throughout the year.