Four Rising Country Artists You Need To Know, From Caylee Hammack to Ingrid Andress
On June 3, Billboard and CMT will present the second Billboard Live Featuring CMT Next Women of Country showcase in Nashville, highlighting four of Music City’s most promising artists.
Label: Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville
About: In 2013, Andress packed up and moved to Nashville. She has since grown her fan base with songs that feature bold female characters, including the 2019 empowerment anthem “Lady Like” and the heart-wrenching piano ballad “More Hearts Than Mine.” In May, the singer-songwriter dropped the emotional “Both,” about an indecisive lover. On Instagram, she explained that the song is about sticking up for yourself and what you want in a relationship: “I wrote this song for my friends, but I realize now that it’s for everybody.”
From: Ellaville, Ga.
Label: Capitol Records Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville
About: Hammack and producer Mikey Reaves (Needtobreathe, Emily Hackett) spent nearly 60 hours together perfecting her gospel-inspired lead single, “Family Tree,” which arrived in March and previews her upcoming debut full-length. The song is a candid and colorful account of her upbringing. “All I ever wanted to be was me,” she says. “That’s very hard in a world that tries to tell you what is beautiful and what is good and what is valid. [But I want to] encourage others to do the same.”
From: Fort Worth, Texas
Label: Big Machine Records/Big Machine Label Group
About: Early on, Jenkins took a DIY approach to making and promoting her music, “asking coffee shops if I could play, going to open mics or playing in airports,” she says. But now that the singer-songwriter’s debut, No Saint -- which hit No. 18 on the Country Album Sales chart in March -- has been recognized for her smoky vocals and vivid storytelling, those days are behind her. Still, she co-wrote every track on the album and co-produced the short film Running Out of Road, which coincided with the album’s release.
The Sisterhood Band
From: Nashville, Alyssa Bonagura; Los Angeles, Ruby Stewart
Ages: 30, 31
Label: Arista Nashville/Sony Music Nashville
About: Though not actual sisters, the pair’s striking harmonies sound almost familial on tracks like the rallying “Bullet” and the pop-country jam “Get Up and Go.” The duo is currently working on its self-produced debut album, while also touring to build up a following. “I’m more emotionally invested [when we] interact with fans and hear how a song has changed their life,” says Stewart, who teases a new single coming early this summer. “Because that’s what music has done for me.”