Today, CMT reveals the 17 artists to watch in its much-anticipated 2020 LISTEN UP campaign, which recognizes and supports country music’s most promising newcomers across CMT platforms.
The year-long initiative raises awareness for new artists via support for their music and videos across CMT and CMT Music channels, CMT Hot 20 Countdown, CMT.com and @CMT social media channels, in addition to company-wide opportunities including live events and the ViacomCBS’ Times Square NYC Billboard.
The 17 artists below join CMT’s prestigious 2020 LISTEN UP roster:
A native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, former college athlete Adam Doleac taught himself to play guitar at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Brash. Bright. Fresh. Wildly melodic. Avenue Beat are from Quincy, Illinois, who grew up interested in social media platforms and theater groups.
Blurring the lines between country and hip-hop music, Atlanta artist Blanco Brown makes a Southern sound that he proudly calls “TrailerTrap.”
This Georgia native’s crisp baritone and forward-thinking tastes captivated American Idol viewers. An adventurous batch of original music on the way.
Caylee Hammack grew up in tiny Ellaville, Georgia. Her original songs tug on her own life story – bad decisions, broken hearts, and a quirky family lineage.
Pennsylvania native Gabby Barrett began singing in her local gospel choir at nine years old. She rose to national prominence as an American Idol finalist.
Originally from Iowa, Hailey Whitters is more concerned with the busted and broken way things are, rather than the pretty and polished way things are painted to be.
Famous for never giving up on the dream of the ’90s, The Hot Country Knights revive a comedic element which has long been integral to the country genre.
At 14, Madison Kozak convinced her parents to move from rural Ontario, Canada, to Nashville where she developed her skills as a vocalist and songwriter.
This young guitar phenom and innovative songwriter from Greenville, South Carolina, can switch from swaggering rock to supersonic soul.
With an enduring optimism and a flair for challenging boundaries, Georgia native Niko Moon pairs Atlanta-bred hip-hop and traditional country.
Born in Conroe, Texas, and based in Austin, Parker McCollum is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and dedicated road warrior with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Originally from Louisiana, Payton Smith highlights his gifts as a vocalist, writer and nimble guitarist on his new EP — and he plays every guitar part on each track.
Born in Nashville and raised in Paris, Tennessee, Sam Williams (whose father is Hank Williams Jr.) uses songwriting as therapy to get out the things he needs to say.
Sykamore grew up on a cattle ranch near Alberta, Canada. Her songwriting is equal parts country and pop, with intimate reflection and empathetic storytelling.
An Alabama native, Tiera has been singing ever since she was a little girl. She moved to Nashville in 2017 and appeared on the USA Network series Real Country.
The sisters of Walker County — Ivy (lead vocals) and Sophie (drums and harmony) — point proudly back to Sulphur Springs, Indiana and to the mark it left on them.
“CMT has curated an incredible list of emerging talent for 2020! Equally important, it’s a diverse group of new artists with 50/50 parity for female and male artists, with one bonus wildcard – Hot Country Knights – thrown in for good measure!” shared Leslie Fram, SVP of Music & Talent at CMT. “We will follow and support these newcomers throughout the year with opportunities from video airplay, content rollout, social support and live performances. We can’t wait for our audience to see and hear more of what they can do!”