CMT’s latest short-form digital series, “Viral to Verified,” offers first-person accounts from six fast-rising musicians who are making waves on social media and in country music. Airing weekly via CMT’s socials, including Instagram and TikTok — the very platforms that ignited these artists’ most recent successes — the series features one artist per weekly episode, including Lily Rose, Ashley Cooke, CB30, Alexandra Kay, BRELAND, and Priscilla Block.
Viral to Verified’s first episode features Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Lily Rose, whose big moment came when she uploaded her song “Villain” to TikTok in October 2020. The song quickly hit the top of iTunes all-genre chart and catapulted Rose to a present-day record deal, publishing deal, and a slot on Chris Lane’s upcoming fall tour.
In the eight-minute clip, Rose describes her life currently as a “whirlwind.” First, she talks of her collegiate years in Athens, Georgia, spending considerable time in the city’s legendary bar band scene as a singer-songwriter then new to the guitar as an instrument. However, after moving to Nashville four years ago, her most difficult moment keyed her profound rise to acclaim. After replacing her car’s dead battery while working as a grocery delivery person and being down to her last eight dollars in her bank account that her luck changed. Though she didn’t finish her night at work, she did upload a clip of her playing “Villian” to Tik-Tok. “I’m an overnight sensation, 13 years in the making,” Rose notes poignantly.
“We’re witnessing something special in country music right now, where virtually unknown artists are landing atop sales and streaming charts alongside the biggest names in the business,” said Melissa Goldberg, Sr. Director, CMT Digital. “‘Viral to Verified’ highlights these new and diverse voices, many of whom have been grinding at their craft for years, as they recount their rise to prominence through innovation and perseverance, demonstrating the sizable shift in country music consumption and discovery, and the power of social media.”
This short-form series — specifically designed for social media — joins other CMT Digital programming such as CMT Campfire Sessions, On The Road, and Pardi Time starring Jon Pardi.
The series’ forthcoming schedule is as follows:
Sept. 14 – Ashley Cooke
Sept. 21 – CB30
Sept. 28 – Alexandra Kay
Oct. 5 – BRELAND
Oct. 19 – Priscilla Block