CMT has revealed 16 new artists named to its “CMT NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY” franchise, kicking off a special 10 year anniversary celebration of CMT’s storied program and long-running effort to support and promote developing female talent. This year’s group of participants marks the largest class in NWOC program history.
The news was revealed tonight at City Winery Nashville in front of an invitation-only crowd of industry and VIP guests who feted the new class alongside special guests including NWOC alums Brittney Spencer (2021), Brooke Eden (2015), Caitlyn Smith (2017), Ingrid Andress (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2015), Maddie & Tae (2015) and Mickey Guyton (2015), along with acclaimed songwriter-artist-producer Nicolle Galyon.
The brand’s flagship series CMT Hot 20 Countdown, hosted by Cody Alan and Rissi Palmer, will again air a dedicated Next Women of Country three-hour special episode, filmed from tonight’s event, introducing the class of 2023 with exclusive interviews and performances from each new inductee. The special episode is slated to air Saturday, February 11th at 8a/7c with an encore on Sunday, February 12th at 9a/8c on CMT.
The “CMT Next Women of Country” Class of 2023 includes:
O.N.E The Duo
“Each year, it’s extremely gratifying to welcome a new wave of fiercely independent females to our Next Women of Country program, all of whom are blazing their own paths and playing by their own rules”, said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music & Talent, CMT. “Tonight we’re introducing our largest class of inductees ever as we celebrate with the return of our first in-person event in over three years – and this group of accomplished artists is absolutely worth the wait!”
“Reaching this historic 10th anniversary milestone with CMT Next Women is a testament to the hard work of those gatekeepers in our industry who have locked arms and worked tirelessly toward a level playing field for women. I’m so proud of this franchise for continuing to be at the forefront of this imperative dialogue and look forward to continuing our fight toward greater progress and true equity for all underrepresented voices in country music.”
Over the next year, the new CMT NWOC class will receive cross-brand support for their music and videos on CMT, CMT Music, PlutoTV’s ‘CMT Equal Play’ channel, CMT Hot 20 Countdown, CMT.com and @CMT social channels, in addition to cross-promotional opportunities for Paramount Media’s MTV Entertainment Group brands with live events, the Paramount Times Square NYC Billboard and more.
As part of the brand’s CMT Equal Play initiative, a dedicated effort to elevating all underrepresented voices in country music, CMT also provides its NWOC access to social impact and artist advocacy opportunities designed to assist them in supporting charitable causes and social issues. These resources will continue to be provided by Nashville-based social impact firm, The Change Agent·cy for a third consecutive year.
Additionally, CMT will partner with City Winery Nashville to continue a series of fan-focused showcases featuring NWOC throughout the year. CMT has a long history with City Winery that was revived last Fall with three showcases spotlighting current and past NWOC members, including a special showcase tribute to the late Loretta Lynn.
A staunch advocate for country music’s female artists, CMT first launched its “Next Women of Country” campaign in 2013 as a substantial, meaningful effort to support and expose developing female talent, both signed and unsigned, in a male-dominated format. The initiative has grown significantly since its inception, showcasing emerging female artists across all CMT screens, including CMT and CMT Music, various digital series, and seven tours anchored by superstar acts including Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Tanya Tucker and most recently, Maddie & Tae.
This year’s 2023 class marks a total of 111 female acts that have been named as part of the program, including notable alumni of the franchise who have achieved both commercial and critical acclaim: Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Brittney Spencer, Brooke Eden, Caitlyn Smith, Carly Pearce, Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell, Madeline Edwards, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Morgan Wade, Miko Marks and Tenille Arts, to name a few.