The holiday season means the end of another year. As the door to 2018 closes and the one to 2019 opens, expect to hear some new country music voices coming through the other side. Here are the country artists to watch in December 2018.
We plucked two members of the 2019 CMT Next Women of Country class for this list, including a powerhouse vocalist who got her start on The Voice. Some of this month's acts have already gained success as songwriters, while others have been a part of the Nashville industry for several years. Travis Denning was an important one to include on our December must-watch list, as his debut single "David Ashely Parker From Powder Springs" is making its way up the charts. One of these promising young singers actually got her start as a child actress on Barney & Friends in the '90s!
"David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs" is one of the most unique songs to come out of country music in 2018, and Travis Denning is the artist responsible for the quick-witted words. Before Denning landed this soon-to-be hit, he was writing songs for Jason Aldean, Justin Moore and Chase Rice. Fans love the grit in his voice on songs like "Red White and Blue," his modern country songwriting in "After a Few" and his sensitive side on the Michael Ray cut "Her World or Mine." After a recent debut on the Grand Ole Opry and tour dates scheduled with Lanco, expect Denning to really capture hearts in 2019.
The Voice stans already know the leaps and bounds Lauren Duski is capable of — especially with that voice — and she’s ready to make a big splash in country music. Duski captivated a national audience during Season 12 of the show. Since stepping off the reality stage, she's been proving a gift for storytelling in her own words. Duski delivered the haunting "Costume Party" at a time when the world needs it most — a vulnerable message about stepping out from behind the facade we feel we need to present in order to be accepted. Watch for this Next Women of Country inductee to be one of the breakout voices country music needs in 2019.
In the comment section of Lacy Cavalier's candid lyric video for "Cheating on U," a fan writes: "this song is going to change your life." That's probably a safe bet. Cavalier's "uncomfortable, honest" conversation she had with herself and turned into a powerful song has already racked up more than half a million views in one month. The 21-year-old star caught the eye of Chase Rice in 2016 and he invited her to open his tour, and that was only the beginning for the distinctive singer. Cavalier brings a suave, vivacious presence to country music, as evidenced by the jazz-inspired “Every Time It Rains” and the heart-wrenching track that lets her voice shine, "Put You Down."
Listen to any of Adam Hambrick's acoustic sessions and you'll understand why he’s one of the most promising young country artists. Hambrick already has two noteworthy hits as a songwriter in Dan + Shay’s "How Not To" and Justin Moore’s "Somebody Else Will," and he’s now making a graceful pivot into the spotlight as an artist. There's a sense of purity in his songs, as demonstrated by his gentle debut single "Rockin' All Night Long," the lyrics of which are made for country radio. Taste of Country first took note of Hambrick with his opening set during Brett Young's Ryman Auditorium debut in 2018, and he won us over. He'll get you, too.
Stephanie Quayle is the epitome of hard work and dedication. The rising star's devoted fanbase has embraced her talent for many years, and her recent induction to the 2019 CMT Next Women of Country Class is a symbol of the work she's put into the Nashville establishment for a decade. Her passion for the craft is reflected in "Selfish," a simple, soulful ballad that shows off her polished voice. The song even made the Billboard charts as an independent release. "Winnebago" is a free-spirited number that captures her lively personality, and "Ugly" is a message of empowerment to women who've endured unimaginable struggles. Quayle hasn't just worked for the spotlight all these years, she practically invented it.
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