January 21st, 2022
Jenna Paulette, Lily Rose, and more joined the ranks of CMT Next Women of Country. Today, January 21st, CMT announced the ten talented women that make up the class of 2022.
Amethyst Kiah, Callista Clark, Camille Parker, Julia Cole, Laci Kaye Booth, Madeline Edwards, Miko Marks, and Morgan Wade join Paulette and Rose on the diverse roster.
"We are so excited to welcome our newest class of ultra-talented female artists into our beloved CMT Next Women of Country franchise," said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music & Talent at CMT, in a statement. "Each is boldly blazing their own spirited path on their own terms, destined to make a lasting impact on country music. We celebrate this diverse group of women and look forward to supporting their work and their careers in 2022 and beyond."
First on the list is Amythyst Kiah, the Chattanooga native and Grammy-nominated artist. Kiah developed her sound in part through her studies at East Tennessee State University and as a member of Our Native Daughters, a group comprised of women of color. Her song, "Black Myself," written for the group, earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best American Roots Song and was awarded Song of the Year at the Folk Alliance International Awards. Her debut album, Wary + Strange, combined Kiah's musical passions: iconoclastic alt-rock and the roots/old-time-music scene she discovered in recent years. Kiah's melding of genres brings something new to country music and marks her as a unique up-and-coming talent.
Callista Clark, the 18-year-old signed to Big Machine Music Group, is the youngest member ever named to the CMT Next Women of Country list. The young Georgia native has had a whirlwind year, releasing her first EP and making her Grand Ole Opry debut. Real To Me, her debut project utilizes her unbridled talent and emotional honesty to create a powerful collection. Clark's debut single, "It's 'Cause I Am," quickly became a Top 20 hit at country radio and made her the most successful artist debut of 2021.
Next up: Camille Parker. Durham, N.C. bred Parker is an inaugural member of Rissi Palmer's "Color Me Country" Class of 2021. Raised by her Jamaican grandmother and African American step-grandfather, Parker's sound was influenced by the Hayti Heritage Center and annual jazz festivals she attended growing up. She melded this influence and the inspiration she found in artists like The Chicks and Whitney Houston to create her own unique style of country music. Her debut single "The Flame" earned more than 1.5 million streams and charted in the Top 10 of Apple Music's country charts in over 17countries. She is in the process of recording her debut EP with GRAMMY-winning producers Chris McClenney and David Phelps. Parker joined Next Women of Country alumn Brittney Spencer on her recent tour.
Texas. Country. Jenna Paulette brings her western roots and love for storytelling to the country music scene. Paulette, a Lewisville, TX native, grew up moving cattle on her family's ranch in Oklahoma and took inspiration from artists like George Strait, who highlighted the western experiences in their music. A self-proclaimed cowgirl, Paulette credits her get-the-job-done upbringing with her success in Nashville. After earning her marketing degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Paulette moved to Nashville to pursue her dream. Releases like "Country In The Girl," "Pretty Ugly," and "Bless Her Heart" show off Paulette's artistic and storytelling abilities. The singer/songwriter has grown her fan base by promoting herself on TikTok and Instagram, and she recently signed a publishing deal with Brad Paisley's Sea Gayle Music.
Julia Cole is a viral sensation with over 55 million streams and more than 13.5 million views of her song, "SidePiece," on TikTok. The Texas native and sports fan got her to start performing the National Anthem before her volleyball games before working her way up to performing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at NGL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, INDYCAR, and ESPN events. Cole has used her passion for sports to raise thousands of dollars for 'Tennessee's Boys & Girls Clubs' sports programs and to advocate for women's athletics and empowerment. Since signing to CAA, Cole has toured globally, opening for acts including Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Kane Brown, The Chainsmokers, Dierks Bentley, Chase Rice, Lee Brice, Jon Langston, Eli Young Band, Chris Lane, Michael Ray, Jake Owen, Rhett Akins, LANCO, Tracey Lawrence, Tyler Farr, Love and Theft, Thompson Square, David Nail, Hunter Hayes, Canaan Smith, Jonny Lang, Kevin Fowler, Runaway June, Clare Dunn & more.
Laci Kaye Booth is a reality singing competition veteran, making it to the Top 5 on the 17th season of "American Idol" before moving to Nashville and singing with Big Machine Records. Booth recently released her 8-track self-titled debut collection. Booth's sound blends her raw-velvet-like voice with country influences to create a unique "dreamy country" sound. Booth is listed as a co-writer on every song on her EP, including "Shuffle," now on country radio.
Lily Rose has quickly risen to popularity. Her debut song, "Villain," earned a gold certification from the RIAA. The Georgia native is an advocate and supporter of the LGBT community and seeks to represent the community's experiences in her music. Her seven-song EP Stonger That I Am came out in 2021. The project was hailed for its fresh perspective and forward-looking sound and its lyricism and distinctive language. Rose is currently on tour with Chris Lane.
Madeline Edwards is fresh to the country scene. Edwards is known for incorporating jazz, soul, gospel, and country influences into her unique sound. She recently performed on the CMA Awards with Mickey Guyton and Brittney Spence. She also appeared on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way tribute record with Maren Morris' group The Highwomen, NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, and secured opening slots for Jordin Sparks and Grammy Award winner Raphael Saadiq. She is currently working on her debut album. Her latest single, "The Road," has garnered over 1 million streams.
Miko Marks has made her return to country music after a 13-year hiatus. Marks released her album Our Country in March and shortly followed up the project with her EP Race Records. Early in her career, she felt like an outsider in Nashville, but she returned with a message of compassion, unity, and an unapologetic outspokenness for blackness in country music. She does not define herself with a singular genre and seeks to create art without borders.
Morgan Wade rounds off the list. Wade has never defined herself by the status quo and has embraced her unique and unabashed style. Taking influence from the bluegrass music of her native Floyd, VA, and blending it with the pop and punk music of her youth, Wade began singing first for herself, making music that reflected her lived experience. Wade's full-length debut Reckless is a bold rock-and-roll record described as a modern take on country. The project produced by Jason Isbell has achieved notoriety on TIME, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Stereogum, FADER, and Rolling Stone Country's various Best Album and Songs of 2021. Her track "wilder Days" climbed to No. 1 on SiriusXM Highway, and the acoustic version titled "Days" is currently sitting on country radio. Wade is set to join Luke Combs' stadium shows in 2022.