Country's Rising Sound
These artists have the talent, the stories, and the sound to become the next big thing in country music. And we’re bringing them into the limelight, in a way that only the Opry can. Meet the NextStage Class of 2023 and find your new favorite artist with live performances and digital broadcasts. Years from now, you’ll be able to tell your friends that you’ve been a fan since the beginning.
THE CLASS OF 2023
Opry NextStage finds the up-and-coming artists on their way to superstardom and brings them center stage (literally).
This is the place to find country's rising sound.
An emerging artist blending pop and country influences and writing from the heart, Ashley Cooke is on repeat for young country fans from Florida to California. Despite being relatively new to the industry, Cooke has climbed the charts with “Never Til Now” with Brett Young, toured with hitmakers like Cole Swindell and Jordan Davis, and has built an adoring TikTok audience. Inspired by artists like Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, and Kelly Clarkson, her lyrics sound like they’re coming straight from the pages of her journal, and you’re going to love her for it.
Known for their bold, soulful sound and electrifying live performances, Chapel Hart isn’t the type of band to ask for your attention – they demand it. Comprised of sisters Danica and Devyn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle, Chapel Hart blends traditional country with rock, blues, and R&B influences to create an infectious sound that's turning heads in the industry. They've shared stages superstars like Keith Urban and Brantley Gilbert have already become a fan favorite at the Grand Ole Opry.
ERNEST, Nashville's most unpredictable hitmaker, has been making waves in the music industry as an artist and songwriter. Blending influences from artists like Eminem to George Jones with his one-of-a-kind verse style has earned him eight (yes, eight) number one hits, and he’s just getting started. With a sold-out headlining tour and one of 2022’s best albums of the year, according to the Tennessean, ERNEST is on a fast track to country music superstardom.
Wyoming’s Ian Munsick has graced country audiences with his plainspoken honesty, distinct voice, and vibrant stories of his cattle ranch upbringing on his new album White Buffalo. His single “Long Live Cowgirls,” with Cody Johnson, has earned him almost 100 million global streams. Weaving inspiration from Native American culture and his western roots into each song, Munsick is creating the cowboy country we’ve all been missing.
Today, nobody does old-school outlaw like Jackson Dean. The gritty, lyric-driven “modern-day Country rambler,” according to Taste of Country, is on pretty much everyone’s radar as a force to be reckoned with. In 2022, with the release of his first single “Don’t Come Lookin’,” Jackson became the youngest solo male Country artist to reach the top of the charts with a debut. He has held his own on tour with the likes of Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Kane Brown, Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, and others. This is one bandwagon you’re going to want to get on…
Classic ‘90s country fans, this is your guy. Kameron Marlowe came from North Carolina to Nashville with the southern sincerity and modern swagger required to create music that resonates with true country fans – and boy has it resonated. His debut album We Were Cowboys is chock full of powerful vocals, relatable lyrics, steel guitar, and undeniable charisma. Marlowe is creating the kind of down-to-earth, quality country music that’ll have you slow dancing by a bonfire, singing along with the windows down, or getting rowdy on Broadway. And at the end of the day, that’s what country music is all about.
Heavily influenced by classic country, southern rock, and her Georgia upbringing, Megan Moroney is the southern girl bringing the heat to country music right now. Her conversational lyrics, natural knack for storytelling, and her distinct voice (it has the best rasp to it!) landed her a spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 with her hit debut single “Tennessee Orange.” Currently on her first SOLD-OUT headlining tour, Moroney’s got the talent, style, and tenacity to go the distance in Nashville – good thing the self-proclaimed Emo Cowgirl is on the fast track to becoming a household name.
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