Although 2020 has been a terrible year, these country music newcomers are ready to take over 2021. Check out these country artists to watch in 2021.
Newcomers With Traditional Country Music Influence
The Wyoming native has an unforgettable falsetto that will blow you away. Ian Munsick truly brought the Rocky Mountain style to Nashville’s country music scene. Munsick’s beginnings consisted of working at a ranch while still performing shows. This year he signed with Warner Music Nashville and is gearing up to release his debut album, Coyote Cry. The record will consist of songs he wrote with both Western and modern influences like Chris LeDoux and Post Malone.
For fans of: Aaron Watson
Tyler Booth’s baritone voice will leave you speechless. He kicked off his music career in high school after he grew up watching his father perform in a rock band. He joined Moorehead State University’s Traditional Musical Studies program where he met his professor Scott Miller. Miller was a friend of famed songwriter Phil O’Donnell (George Strait, Craig Morgan) who became a mentor to him.
Now, Booth is ready to take Nashville by storm with his brand new music. He is also featured on Brooks & Dunn’s REBOOT album on the track, “Lost and Found.” During quarantine, he has been performing numerous live streams and launched an Open Bar Acoustic Series on YouTube.
For fans of: Trace Adkins, Randy Travis
Who could say no to Merle Haggard? Amy Jack was his protegee and produced her album, Introducing Amy Jack. You may recognize some of her music that has been featured on the United States Olympic Committee’s “Road to Rio” Tour along with features on ESPN and Fox Sports.
For fans of: Merle Haggard
Fans may recognize James Dupre from The Voice Season 9 on Adam Levine’s team. He also starred in the 2015 movie The Price alongside one of his inspirations, Randy Travis. He was even the frontman for the Randy Travis Tour and has even appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Dupre recently released his record Home and Away.
For fans of: Randy Travis
Zach Bryan is the epitome of country soul. He first went viral for his original song “Heading South.” He released his self-recorded album, DeAnn, in 2019. The independent artist was later offered record deals from major labels but turned them all down to stay true to who he is. The best part? He wrote a song about the ordeal, “Me and Mine.”
For fans of: Luke Combs
John Moreland is on his fifth record and is ready to become a household name. The Oklahoma native is able to translate both emotions and stories into his music. Almost every single review of his latest record was positive and critics and fans alike were astounded by his stripped back sound that has been revamped with help of producer Matt Pence.
For fans of: Ruston Kelly
Songwriter Extrodinares With Promise as Solo Singers
You may now know Shy Carter’s name as an artist, but he has written hit after hit in country, pop, and R&B genres. Some of his credits include Keith Urban’s “When God Whispered Your Name, Kane Brown’s “Worldwide Beautiful,” and Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue.” Carter’s sound is hard to label as his different influences shine and his vocals soar. If you like any of his previous songwriting credits, you’re sure to enjoy his original work.
For fans of: Sugarland meets Keith Urban
Kylie Morgan first snagged a deal with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne’s SMACKSongs publishing and has now launched her own solo career. Her songwriting style is a bit sassy mixed with honest and vulnerable stories. She began her career at just twelve years old and has quite literally perfected her craft. She is currently hard at work creating her debut album with McAnally and Ben Johnson.
For fans of: Tenille Townes
Curt Chambers flips country music with out of this world runs and subtle hints of influences from a variety of genres like soul, R&B, and rock. Chambers is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-guitarist that has worked with acts like Eminem, Dr. Dre, Rihanna, Travis Barker, Tyler Rich, and Jay-Z. His smooth voice invites the listener in while his guitar skills shine, all while his music gets stuck in your head.
For fans of: Kane Brown and Florida Georgia Line meets multi-genre influences
Up-And-Coming Country Music Bands
Who doesn’t love a good harmony? After the group competed on The X Factor in 2013, they went through a lineup change and hiatus before emerging refreshed. Kane Brown has been mentoring Zach Beeken, Colton Pack and Garrett Nichols and signed them to Sony. The trio collaborated with Brown on “Take Me Home” off of their debut self-titled EP.
For fans of: Rascal Flatts
Jesse Denaro and Luke Healy officially launched Lakeview in February and have already made a splash in music. The duo racked up over a million YouTube views in less than a year and have been releasing content consistently throughout the pandemic. Denaro and Healy served as cowriters and coproducers on the five tracks they debuted. Take a listen to their new spin on country music.
For fans of: alt-country
Brent Rupard and Anthony Olympia make up Everette. The duo shows off their sense of humor in their music and not taking themselves too seriously. Their debut album, Kings of the Dairy Queen Parking Lot, shows off their “Southern storytelling” and remarkable performance capabilities.
For fans of: Midland
Viral Country Stars Who Surged to Popularity in 2020
Priscilla Block was an independent artist when she released “Just About Over You.” Her fans rallied around her by helping her finance the recording and made the single reach No. 1 on iTunes all-genre singles chart within twelve hours of its release. Block has now signed to Mercury Nashville and is working on music for her official debut project. Her music is unfiltered, unapologetic, and ready to jam out to.
For fans of: RaeLynn, Maddie & Tae
Andrew Jannakos is one of RCA Nashville’s newest signees. You may recognize Jannakos from Team Adam Levine on season 16 of NBC’s The Voice. The Georgia native released his single “Gone to Soon,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artist Chart and hit No. 12 on the Hot Country Songs Chart. The song originally went viral after he posted the song on TikTok. Jannakos has promised to release new music in 2021.
For fans of: Tyler Rich, pop-twang
If you’ve been on the internet, chances are you’ve run into Trey Lewis’ viral hit, “D–ked Down in Dallas.” The song has become a viral hit on all social media platforms with reaction videos and even sports teams getting in on the action. The track reached No. 1 on the iTunes all-genre singles chart. He didn’t let the pandemic slow him down, he went on a radio tour and is working on new music to follow up his smash sensation.
For fans of: HARDY
The Georgia native grew up as a diehard music fan, reading album covers from front to back. Hannah Dasher has now taken social media by storm with over half a million followers on TikTok. Her personality shines through her bold lyrics and impeccable vocals. Her sound bridges the classic vintage feel with modern beats and relatable storytelling. Dasher previously opened Hank Williams, Jr., The Cadillac Three, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
For fans of: country-rock
Popular Country Solo Artists to Watch in 2021
Lauren Morrow was best known for her work in the southern rock group Whiskey Gentry. Her solo music has the same lyricism but with vocals that show off her twang and make listeners hang on to every word. While it’s not simply her former Southern rock roots, it fits her perfectly. Her new venture explores the lines between country, bluegrass, and rock. However, each song has it’s own unique vibe.
For Fans of: country version of Whiskey Gentry, Cam
One of Sony Music Nashville’s latest signees, Joey Hendricks has a budding career in country. His debut single, “Yours Or Mine” reached over half a million streams so far. The Washington native moved to Nashville in 2017 for songwriting but was swayed by music industry executives to go the artist route. His music expands on the traditional country love songs with lyrics about childhood, nostalgia, restlessness, etc.
For fans of: Brett Young
Alana Springsteen may not be related to Bruce Springsteen, but her lyrics pack all of the punch of The Boss. Springsteen grew up singing at her church in Virginia. By 9 years old, she began writing songs and music. Her latest single, “Different When You’re 17” has hit home with countless women. 2021 is set to be a promising year for the songstress in the making.
For fans of: country Taylor Swift, Devin Dawson
Kären McCormick is nothing short of a superstar in the making. Her standout vocals and popular country production bring catchy tunes with classic stories to life. McCormick was born in the Congo and raised in Washington state and quickly found her love for country music storytelling. She recently released her debut EP, Retro which earned rave reviews.
For fans of: Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini
Walker Montgomery recently released his latest single “Bad Day To Be A Beer.” His last name may spark recognition as he is the son of John Michael Montgomery and the nephew of Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery. Vocals must be genetic as his voice sounds like something out of a classic 90s country time machine.
For fans of: Luke Combs
Gabrielle Mooney only has two singles under her belt, but she’s already won over fans. Mooney launched her solo project using her full name this year after she finally discovered the perfect time to release music under her name. Previously, she released music under a stage name to not be compared to her brother, Shay, half of Dan + Shay. However, Mooney has proven just how talented she is in her own right. Along with her unique vocals, she is also an excellent songwriter. She even co-wrote Walker Hayes’ hit “90s Country.” This time, it’s all about sharing her story with her own words and voice.
For fans of: Maren Morris