Music Row heavyweights and CMT executives came together today at an event to recognize female artists who are making an indelible impact on country music. CMT announced Big Machine Records artist Danielle Bradbery would be the newest addition to its NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY franchise, joining 15 other females whom CMT promotes on-air and online throughout the year. The network will grow the franchise to include more than a dozen taped performances with Next Women artists throughout the year, which will air on CMT, CMT Pure and CMT.com. In addition, CMT will highlight Bradbery and Brandy Clark as part of its upcoming LISTEN UP series, a multi-platform franchise that showcases artists on the verge of breaking out.
“Many of country music’s most memorable voices belong to its strong women, and I’m honored to stand behind the rising stars like the talented ladies present today,” said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music Strategy, CMT. “Signed and unsigned, these women are making their careers happen on their own terms, and CMT is proud to introduce them to a new generation of fans through our growing Next Women franchise.” The small industry crowd was treated to performances by Bradbery (@DBradbery), Ashley Monroe (@ashleymonroe), Holly Williams (@hollywilliams1) and Lauren Alaina (@Lauren_Alaina). Among the guests were Entertainment Weekly writer Grady Smith, along with label executives Scott Borchetta, President and CEO, Big Machine Label Group; John Esposito, President and CEO, Warner Music Nashville; John Grady, President, I.R.S. Nashville; and Mike Dungan, Chairman and CEO, UMG Nashville; along with several other members of CMT’s NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY franchise, including Cassadee Pope (@CassadeePope), Jana Kramer (@kramergirl), Kacey Musgraves (@KaceyMusgraves), Kelleigh Bannen (@kelleighbannen), Kristen Kelly (@KristenKelly), Lauren Alaina, Angaleena Presley (@guitarleena), Rachel Farley (@rachelfarley), Rose Falcon (@RoseFalcon) and Sarah Darling (@_SarahDarling). CMT first announced its NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY initiative in January of this year, a franchise dedicated to showcasing the new generation of signed and unsigned female artists across CMT platforms and at Nextwomen.CMT.com. CMT’s current video playlist is nearly half female, with a handful of emerging artists from the NEXT WOMEN franchise including Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark (@TheBrandyClark) and Holly Williams.