Names You Know Will Transform Into Superstars, and Names You May Not Know… You Will in 2013
2012 was full of excitement in country music, especially for new and emerging artists. We watched artists such as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Eric Church emerge as the next wave of superstars. We also saw new artists such as Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert, and Jana Kramer become household names.
So who will it be in 2013? We’ve got some ideas, some very obvious, and some that you really need to pay attention to.
Here we go… the artists to watch in 2013:
First, with a few obvious choices.
No brainer. His Tailgates and Tanlines album went platinum with four charting singles, two of which were number one on the US Country Chart. He toured with Jason Aldean, garnering one of the biggest tours of the year, and he’s now a bonified headliner. Luke will be embarking on his first headlining Dirtroad Diaries Tour from now until OCTOBER. We know he’s funny, sexy and full of energy, but now he’s on top of the ticket. What’s more, expect to see some new music coming out this year.
Hunter burst on the scene fast and hard last year. Wanted was a smash hit, he toured with Carrie Underwood, and he even earned a Best New Artist GRAMMY nomination! With new music sure to come in 2013, Hunter is poised to be an international superstar… before the age of 22.
Jake has been on the verge of superstardom for quite sometime. He’s always putting out great music and always in the conversation of great male artists. But I think it’s time he broke through. Sure, Barefoot Blue Jean Night will probably go down as his flagship song, but why stop there? Last year he got married, had a kid, headlined CMT On Tour, and won the American Country Award’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year. A new album and another headlining tour have to be on the to-do list for 2013.
Although a string of hit singles, awards, and NBC’s The Voice have launched Blake into the stratosphere, he’s going to keep it coming in 2013. He’s already released a new single Sure Be Cool If You Did, and recently announced a fall tour! No slowing down for Team Blake!
Now, some new artists you best keep your eye on:
You’ve probably heard Kacey’s hit single Merry Go ‘Round by now (if not, climb out from under your rock and turn on the radio). She also co-wrote the song Undermine, which landed on the Nashville soundtrack. She’s even caught the ear of Kenny Chesney who is bringing her out on his No Shoes Nation Tour. Pretty impressive, considering she just signed with Mercury Records last year! Her debut album will be out in 2013, and from what we’ve heard so far (in my opinion) she is a breath of fresh air, not just for country, but for music in general.
As one-third of the Pistol Annies, Ashley is off and running already. She’ll release her new album, Like A Rose, produced by Vince Gill, on March 5th, so we are excited to hear this traditional country gal shoot up the charts! 2013 is going to be the year you remember Ashley’s name for good.
Jana Kramer and Brantley Gilbert
2012 was a huge year for both these newcomers. Jana’s single Why Ya Wanna was a monster hit, and Brantley’s debut album produced two number one singles. We’ve known them as a couple for a few months, but now the plot thickens… THEY’RE ENGAGED! Both artists are set to have a great year in 2013, but now they get to enjoy the fruits of their respective success together.
Maybe it’s cheating to tell you that the winner of a major TV singing competition is going to be huge… no surprise there. Or maybe I’m just wasting my time, because you’ve already made her huge. Sure she won Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, but allow me to give you more reasons why 2013 will be the year Cassadee Pope shines… especially if you’re a country fan:
Team Blake: Enough said. Blakes going to remain on top through this year (see above) and she is his newest prodigy. Expect collaborations both in the studio and on tour.
Republic Nashville: It was announced last week that Cassadee signed on to Republic Nashville. That’s right, she’s coming to the 615! Although she’s certainly not traditional country, expect the label that also houses Martina McBride, The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, and others to get her a ton of spins on country radio.
She’s already a country star: While still on The Voice, her renditions of Cry (Faith Hill), Stupid Boy (Keith Urban), and especially Over You (written by Blake and Miranda Lambert and performed by Miranda) all charted on the US Country Chart! Imagine the excitement when she releases an original!
Maybe you know Jon’s name, maybe not. Hopefully you’ve heard his song Missin’ You Crazy, one of my favorite new songs. He’s opened for an impressive list of country stars including Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan. He may not have mainstream statistics to point at yet, but mark my words on this one. He’s got a tremendous team behind him at Capital Records, he’s a performing dynamo on stage and he’s got great songs to back it all up.
He’s had a couple singles do pretty well, including Let’s Don’t Call It A Night and Crying on a Suitcase, and had his self-titled debut album climb to number 2 on the US Country chart. The only reason I give Casey honorable mention is because 2013 isn’t going to be the BREAKOUT year for the American Idol alum. But I wanted to get on the record as saying he will be the next Keith Urban within a few years, so watch what he does in 2013.
Unless you’re extremely plugged into the Nashville music scene, you probably haven’t heard of the duo Striking Matches. Why I needed to mention them however, is because they are that stinking good! Still in their early twenties, Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis have already played the Grand Ole Opry, had a cut on the Nashville soundtrack (When The Right One Comes Along) and just released their self-titled EP. But what sold me from the beginning was hearing them play live. Both are geniuses on guitar with a harmony so perfectly matched that you can’t help but pay attention. So I’m calling 2013 the year the name Striking Matches goes mainstream.
There you have it: who to watch in 2013! Of course, I know there are going to be many surprises plus a new crop of emerging artists to get excited about. So stay tuned!
Who’d I miss? Leave your comments below!
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