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ACN's Top 10 Country Artists To Watch In 2023

In the past year, as the COVID-19 global pandemic fades away, country music returns to live stages. With the increased performance opportunities comes an influx of emerging talent in the genre. Artists who began as TikTok viral singers have transformed into bonafide rising stars. The next crop of talent has begun to play historic dream venues and open for their biggest inspirations. With that, here's ACN's list of new artists to keep an eye on in 2023.

Ashley Cooke

2022 has served as a landmark year for the rising star. From the hard-hitting "dirt on em" to the reflective "it's been a year," Cooke showcases her exceptional vocals and storytelling in her craft. She has accompanied Cole Swindell on tour, is set to open for Brett Young, and recently made her Opry debut. Her undeniable talent and easygoing approach make her one of our favorite newcomers.

Avery Anna

This Arizona-born artist wears her heart on her sleeve, through raw lyrics and heartfelt vocals. The poignant, charged ballad entitled "Narcissist" put her on the map. Her techniques echo those of Gracie Abrams and Kelsea Ballerini. Next year, she will accompany Spencer Crandall on his Western tour.

Conner Smith

In 2021, "I Hate Alabama" shook the SEC football atmosphere, and more profoundly put the breakout star on country music's radar. Smith has built on that success with his Didn't Go Too Far EP, multiple Opry performances, and an opening slot on Thomas Rhett's Bring The Bar To You tour. The 22-year-old singer shows immense promise as the next household name in country music.

Megan Moroney

The Douglasville, Georgia, native recently inked a hybrid label deal with Sony Music Nashville and New York-based Columbia Records as SMN sends “Tennessee Orange” to country radio where it debuted at No. 60 for Billboard’s Country Airplay chart dated Dec. 3. The heartfelt ballad, about being so smitten with someone that you’re willing to temporarily trade her University of Georgia red and black hues for their beloved University of Tennessee orange, took TikTok by storm! We can't wait to see what is next!

Bailey Zimmerman

The Illinois-born singer recently scored his first #1 hit with "Fall In Love," and will accompany superstar Morgan Wallen on tour next year. His rock-infused, raspy approach to country music renders his art irresistible and truly special. There's no doubt that big things are coming for him in the new year.

Jackson Dean

This newcomer's cutting-edge vocals closely resemble Chris Stapleton's. Quickly climbing with his newest release, "Greenbroke," Dean brings the classic country back to the mainstream. Pandora has included him in their Top 10 Artists To Watch, a list that covers all musical genres.

Erin Kinsey

The quickly rising singer/songwriter allows her driven, revealing lyricism, as well as her outstanding belt, to shine in her music. The sentimental "Hate This Hometown" stands out not only in her catalogue, but in all of 2022's new releases. Opening for Dylan Scott on tour, she continues to introduce herself to new audiences.

Lily Rose

Blending influences from 60s rock, soul, Americana, and classic country, Lily Rose brings a unique charm to her music. The release of her captivating single, "Whatcha Know About That," served as a highlight of 2022. A member of CMT's Next Women Of Country, her authentic perspective provides a breath of fresh air.

George Birge

Often letting his authentic southern upbringing inspire his craft, Birge could be described as a Texan version of Morgan Wallen. This past year, he toured with fellow rising acts, Matt Stell and Gary Allan, and made his Grand Ole Opry debut. He stuns in his recent single "Mind On You," as well as a plethora of unreleased gems that he has been teasing on social media.

Jake Worthington

First seen on Season 6 of The Voice back in 2014, Worthington's music is finally gaining the recognition it deserves. His vocals remind us of George Strait's signature croon, and his storytelling embraces the themes of classic country songs. His 2022 comprised touring with ERNEST, and his 2023 will undoubtedly be even bigger.

Undoubtedly, 2022 has blessed us with some promising new talent in country music. We feel so lucky to get to witness their journeys in the industry. Here's to their continued success in 2023; we can't wait to see what they'll do next!

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