Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs, Midland, Carly Pearce, and Michael Ray
So who are they…
Georgia native Lauren Alaina captured America’s hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of American Idol. In 2017, Lauren followed up her first No. 1 debuting album, Wildflower, with the release of the eagerly-awaited Road Less Traveled. Selected as one of Rolling Stone’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2017 and praised as “full of life lessons and uplift” (PEOPLE), the collection of 12 songs all written by the young star includes Lauren’s first No. 1 hit, title track “Road Less Traveled” and her current single, “Doin’ Fine.”
The “sassy Southerner with killer pipes” (PARADE) has shared the stage with superstars including Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Martina McBride. Lauren heads out with Cole Swindell for the Reason to Drink Tour in February.
Lauren is one of CMT’s Next Women of Country and she earned her first CMT Music Award this summer for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Lauren recently performed on the 51st Annual CMA Awards where she was also nominated for her very first CMA Award for New Artist of the Year. Lauren has also been nominated for several Teen Choice Awards, Radio Disney Awards and this spring, she earned her first ACM nomination for New Female Vocalist of the Year.
Lauren brings her signature “powerhouse, honey-toned vocals” (Rolling Stone) to country radio with her incredibly moving current single, “Doin’ Fine.”
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With gritty, grizzled vocals, brazen songwriting talent and a dynamic live show, River House Artists/Columbia Nashville’s artist Luke Combs stormed onto the Country music landscape as a force to be reckoned with.
The 27 year-old Asheville, North Carolina native released his critically-acclaimed debut album This One’s For You on June 2 which remains the largest selling debut country album to release in 2017.
The album debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and remained inside the Top 10 on the same chart since release. Combs’ debut PLATINUM-certified smash radio single “Hurricane” set Country radio history topping both the Billboard Country Airplay chart and Mediabase chart for two consecutive weeks – rendering Combs the first new solo Country male artist to accomplish the feat since Blake Shelton with “Austin” in 2001. Combs made history once more when “When It Rains It Pours”, the GOLD-certified second single off his debut project, landed at No. 1 at two-weeks at Country radio.
In 2017, Combs earned nominations for CMT Awards Breakthrough Artist Of The Year, CMA Award New Artist of the Year and MusicRow Breakthrough Artist/Writer Of the Year. NBC’s “Today”, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and ABC’s “CMA Awards” are among his most recent TV appearances; and his key press coverage includes features in NPR, Noisey, American Songwriter, Washington Post, Billboard, USA Today and more. After college at Appalachian State, Combs, a true road warrior, built his avid fan base, developing his trademark through delivering rowdy, hold-nothing-back shows.
By 2014 when Combs followed his calling to Nashville, Tennessee, he had an army of fans behind him, three self-released EPs and a set list full of songs that are true, authentic and demonstrate his signature modern throwback sound. In 2017, Combs shared the stage with Brantley Gilbert on his Devil Don’t Sleep Tour, joined star-packed line-ups at Austin City Limits, CMA Music Fest, and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and is currently on his headlining Don’t Tempt Me With A Good Time Tour with stops in 25 cities cross country this fall and sets out on the spring leg of the tour February 2018.
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Hailing from Dripping Springs, TX lead vocalist Mark Wystrach fronts Midland’s rich sound, rounded out with lead guitarist Jess Carson and bass player Cameron Duddy. The trio, rooted in tradition in both sound and style, initially garnered attention playing clubs in the region.
Their chart-topping lead single “Drinkin’ Problem” offers an intentional nod to Country music reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s. The GOLD-certified track embodies a throwback swagger with the Duddy-directed music video earning Midland their first CMT Music Awards nomination for Group Video of the Year in June 2017.
Launching to rave reviews from notable outlets like Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone Country with The Washington Post touted ON THE ROCKS as “the year’s best Country Album.” Midland’s freshman album is available now on Big Machine Records, featuring 13 tracks with songwriting credits from each member alongside hitmakers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. The Dann-Huff produced album earned the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Country Album Sales chart upon release.
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Born into the bluegrass brawn of Kentucky, Carly Pearce has never known a moment that Country music wasn’t her destined path. At the young age of 11 she began touring with a local band, at 16 quit high school for a job performing at Dollywood while being homeschooled and learned humility working odd jobs upon moving to Nashville.
Now, with her highly-acclaimed debut album EVERY LITTLE THING (Big Machine Records) and the GOLD-certified No. 1 blockbuster title track, Carly is the highest charting solo female debut since July 2015 and joins an elite group as one of only three women to accomplish this feat in the past 12 years. Previously scoring a three-week No. 1 on SiriusXM’s The Highway, Carly’s second chart-topper “If My Name Was Whiskey” helped solidify her in their “Class of 2017.”
Aligned with sought-after producer/songwriter busbee (Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Kelly Clarkson) and regarded as “the best country debut of 2017” (Uproxx), Carly’s textured vocals and emotive songwriting prowess are emphasized across 13 tracks including her full-bodied new single “Hide the Wine.” The CMT Next Women of Country alum was named to multiple 2017 Ones To Watch Lists as People touted her “the new voice of Country,” and the momentum has continued.
With nearly 50 invitations to play the Grand Ole Opry, Carly previously joined the bill alongside Eric Church, Kelsea Ballerini, Martina McBride, Kip Moore and more. Following her sold-out run on Brett Young’s CALIVILLE TOUR, Carly heads out with Blake Shelton’s COUNTRY MUSIC FREAKS and Thomas Rhett’s LIFE CHANGES tours throughout 2018.
As part of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s All for the Hall concert series in New York City, Carly and Liz Rose collaborated with PS 169/Baychester Academy students to premiere an original song during the February 13 guitar pull with Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Maren Morris and Kesha.
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March 2017 brought Michael Ray his second No.1 single with “Think A Little Less” off his debut self-titled album. This followed his first No. 1 single, “Kiss You In The Morning” which went to the top spot in just 24 weeks. Ray continues to grow his following, having toured with Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Darius Rucker and wrapped up his own first 40-city headlining tour last year.
Michael was raised in Eustis, Florida an hour from Orlando. The child of a family full of musicians, he began his professional career before he was a teenager, graduated to the bar scene as soon as he could drive and hasn’t let up on the pedal since. When he decided it was time to move to Nashville, the work Ray had put in began to pay off quickly as he landed a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell Music and a record deal with Atlantic Records /Warner Music Nashville.
In between touring, Michael has been recording his new album expected for release in early 2018 with its first single, “Get To You,” at Country radio now.
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Co-sponsored by the Academy of Country Music and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the annual new artist showcase event officially closes out the seminar and remains one of the most anticipated events each year at CRS. Performances will be powered by Live Nation and will take place in the CRS Performance Hall. The 2018 New Faces of Country Music Show will be held Feb. 7, 2018, during Country Radio Seminar at the downtown Omni Nashville.
Dinner tickets for the 2018 New Faces of Country Music Show are sold-out. The $599 regular registration rate for Country Radio Seminar 2018, held Monday, Feb. 5 through Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Omni hotel, is available at www.CountryRadioSeminar.com. On Dec. 5, the CRS rate increases to the final rate of $699. In addition, a limited number of Omni Hotel rooms are still available. To book a room, please call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664).