How are we having this discussion again already? We can so vividly remember crafting our 2016 list and getting excited for the year ahead, and now we are glancing at it in the rearview mirror. Lucky for us, 2017 is looking pretty spectacular already, and we have been eagerly awaiting the time we could share our list of seventeen artists to watch over the next 365 days.
Without further ado, NashvilleGab’s 17 Artists to Gab About in 2017 are as follows (in alphabetical order by first name):
2016 brought Aubrie Sellers a record deal with Atlantic Records/ Warner Music Nashville and the release of her debut album New City Blues. The daughter of LeeAnn Womack and Jason Sellers, Aubrie is poised for even greater things in 2017 with her sultry voice and killer songwriting style. Look out for her to earn legions of new fans on tour dates with the Cadillac Three, Old Dominion and Miranda Lambert.
Big Machine/Republic Nashville saw something special in Brett Young right around the time we discovered him at a writers’ round in Nashville. The label certainly predicted right, as Young’s debut single, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” also served as his debut in the No. 1 spot on the charts. It’s been a long time coming for this down-to-earth, easy on the eyes, humble and likable artist, and we predict that 2017 will bring him many more tastes of success.
If your thing is massively talented and passionate singer, songwriter, musician types, look no further than Caitlyn Smith. With a collection of chart-topping songs and highly impressive cuts under her belt, this Nashville hidden treasure has finally been discovered and is shining as the face of her music, rather than just the brilliant pen behind the scenes. Few artists have mesmerized us over the years like Smith, and we are pretty confident that in 2017 the world will catch on to this phenom!
While Carly Pearce began to grab the ears of country fans as the female voice on Josh Abbott Band’s “Wasn’t That Drunk,” it’s her current single “Every Little Thing” that should shoot her to superstardom. The poignant, emotional track is already gaining much-deserved spins and attention on SiriusXM. Carly is working on new music with Busbee, the man behind Maren Morris’ stellar debut album, Hero.
Releasing an album that has taken years of his life, Drew Baldridge introduced himself to the industry with a project he can truly be proud of in the summer of 2016. The result of his first five years in Nashville was Dirt On Us — a collection of songs (including current single “Rebound” with the incredible Emily Weisband) that we believe will help Baldridge get some dirt on his boots as he digs his permanent foundation in country music history.
This Canadian pair of brothers has roots in bluegrass, as evidenced on their rising single “Make You Mine.” Brad and Curtis Rempel have been performing together since they were kids, and recently released their album Dear Life on Warner Music Nashville. In addition, they’ve recently opened for Martina McBride, played the Grand Ole Opry and performed on The Bobby Bones Show, making them a shoo-in as one of our artists to watch.
Rolling Stone described LANco as “Country’s Imagine Dragons,” and we were hard-pressed to come up with a better description. The five man group made a splash in the music world in 2016 with their anthemic “Long Live Tonight” and their tender Eric Church-esque ballad “American Love Story.” With a sound that combines the best of country, pop and various other influences, LANco seems poised for big things in 2017.
Luke Combs came on to the scene like a “Hurricane,” making waves with his debut single and storming up the SiriusXM The Highway countdown (following an impressive 2015 iTunes showing). Now, Combs has become the talk of the town, leaving people wondering what the North Carolina boy has up his sleeve in the near future. What we predict is that much success will come pouring down on Combs in the next year.
With a voice as beautiful as Maggie Rose’s, there has to come a time that the world will take notice and embrace her as the next big thing. We believe this is a name with which the masses will become quite familiar in 2017, as this stunning vocalist is under the watchful eye and tutelage of her superstar music publisher, No. 1 songwriter Dallas Davidson.
If there was any justice in the world, Margo Price would become the biggest country star in the world. In March, she released her debut solo album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, which was an emotional journey through the best of country and Americana. The album was released by Jack White’s Third Man Records, only further proving why Margo Price is one to pay attention to.
The fact of the matter is if Garth Brooks endorses you, your yellow brick road to success is pretty much paved. Lucky for Mitch Rossell, he not only has Brooks’ support, but he has a plethora of talent to carry him down that road. While Rossell opened for Brooks this summer, the Tennessee native already had a blossoming career, and now, with that extra bullet point on his resume, the sky is the limit for Rossell, and we believe he will fly high in 2017.
Runaway June’s debut single “Lipstick” was both one of 2016’s best songs and best pieces of advice, reminding girls to find someone “who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara.” The trio, composed of Naomi Cooki, Hannah Mulholland and Jennifer Wayne, signed with BBR Music Group/ Wheelhouse Records. It’s been too long since country music had an all-female super-group, and Runaway June is poised to claim that throne previously occupied by the likes of the Pistol Annies and the Dixie Chicks.
When you are born and raised in a creative home, art is in your blood. Ryan Follese has proven that he bleeds uniqueness in his art over the years, and in 2016 he floated his boat of talent and impressive experience to Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group. Follese has released a couple of songs to country radio thus far, following pop music success, and if 2017 begins the way 2016 ended, he will be able to put a label on the year as one for the books.
Ryan Hurd is one of many Nashville-artists looking to make the leap from songwriter to solo artist, and he’s well on his way. While he may have written a #1 for Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe (“Lonely Tonight”), it’s Hurd’s raspy voice and unique style that makes him stand out. Need proof? Check out “City Girl,” “Hold Your Back,” or “Love in a Bar,” or catch him opening up for Maren Morris early next year.
Surrounding himself with a list of celebrated musicians, Seth Ennis came to Nashville ready to bring something a little different to the table. His debut single “Woke Up In Nashville” was exactly that, resonating with Sony Music Nashville/Arista Nashville and securing Ennis a record deal. Having the ability to play multiple instruments and sing lead and harmonies, Ennis single-handedly performed the song for its recording and release, creating quite the buzz in Music City. If he continues on this path, Ennis will be waking up in Nashville with a smile on his face for a very long time.
Trey Smith and Jennifer Fiedler hail from Texas and officially met via Facebook message, even though they had always known of one another. Thank goodness for social media, as the rising duo, collectively known as SmithField, has certainly made its mark on country music in the second half of 2016 with the release of the stunning “Hey Whiskey.” If this song is an indicator of what’s to come for Smith and Fiedler, they can go ahead and consider themselves the next big “it” pairing in Nashville.
Singer-songwriter Tucker Beathard grew up as the inspiration to some of his father’s, Casey Beathard, hit songs. Now, with a Big Machine/DOT Records deal, Beathard is charging into the industry with songs of his own and he intends to Fight Like Hell to make himself known. At this point, Beathard has a Top 10 country hit under his belt and we predict that in 2017, he will continue to “Rock On” and make an impact on the genre.