CMT Next Women of Country Class of 2020 Announced

Next women of COuntry

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Our founder, Stephanie Wagner and Managing Editor, Christina Bosch were in the audience earlier this week when CMT announced the newest class of its Next Women of Country. The incredible honor highlights the country music genre’s next big female artists. Last year, along with the 2018 class, Cassadee Pope, Clare Dunn, and Hannah Ellis represented the initiative on tour.

Next Women of Country CMT

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

This year, Swag Session alum, Renee Blair, Kylie Morgan, Walker County, Madison Kozak, Tiera, and Sykamore were among the first group of talented women that were inducted. CMT’s Leslie Fram and country superstar, Martina McBride gave warm welcomes to each and every one of the new members. During the second round, our recent Swag Spotlight, Hailey Whitters, as well as, Caylee Hammack, Gabby Barrett, Abbey Cone, and our Swag Session alum Avenue Beat were all recognized as new members.

CMT NExt Women of Country

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

In addition to celebrating the future of females in country, CMT announced its seventh CMT Next Women of Country Tour to be headlined by the iconic, Tayna Tucker.

CMT Next Women of COuntry

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Of course, the memorable event would not be complete without presenting the 2019 Impact Award to one deserving female artist, who has made lasting contributions to the industry. This year, Tracey Gershon and Brandy Clark honored the extraordinary Brandi Carlile for her incredible impact on shifting the narrative on women in country music and her one of a kind talent as a singer-songwriter.

Each of the eleven women, who make up the Class of 2020 are primed for success in the industry. It is especially encouraging to see the bond that women in country music seem to have with each other. We look forward to seeing how the new class continues to shape the genre and support each other, as their careers unfold.



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Next Women of Country Kicks off in NYC with Sara Evans, RaeLynn & Kalie Shorr

CMT Next Women of Country Sara Evans

Sara Evans joined by RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr took the stage at B.B Kings in Times Square for the kick off night of CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour. The venue was packed, with standing room only crowd members at the bar.

CMT Next Women of Country Sara Evans

First to take the stage was Kalie Shorr, this being her first tour and her first time performing in New York City, the young punk-country artist opened her set with “Fight Like A Girl”, an anthem which she powerfully performed.  She also sang her latest single “Two Hands” and “Damn Sky” which are both featured on her EP Awake. Covering a kick-butt version of Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like A Woman” the girl power night started off with a bang.

CMT Next Women of Country Raelynn Sara Evans

Next to take the stage was RaeLynn, the “Wildhorse” singer sang songs off of her debut album including “God Made Girls” and “Young”.  “It’s a dream to be playing in New York tonight at B.B King’s opening for Queen Bee, Sara Evans, I’m just so excited to be on tour with her,” she told the audience. Referencing her time on the reality talent show The Voice and her coach Blake Shelton, the young singer explained that after writing for a few years she loved being able to put honest music out into the world.  She closed her set with a song that she explained “changed her life,” “Love Triangle”.

CMT Next Women of Country Sara Evans

Finally, Sara Evans took the stage as the headlining act of the night.  Evans was joined by her band which included her brother, Matt, sister, Leslie and oldest son Avery.  The powerhouse vocalist sang songs from her 20-year career including, “Suds in the Bucket”, “Born to Fly” and of course “A Little Bit Stronger”.

She also performed songs from her latest album Words, including “Night Light”, “Long Way Down” and “Marquee Sign”.  The songstress had the entire audience singing along to her hits, entertaining them with her wit and humor in between songs and empowering all of the women in the room.  “We need a lot more women in country music, that’s for sure,” she exclaimed.  “I can’t tell you how honored I am that you are all here on a Monday night.”

Evans didn’t just sing originals but included some incredible cover songs, stylistically changing them to suit her signature sound including Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You”, Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and closed out the night bringing her two opening acts back on stage for “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”.


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