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CMT's Next Women of Country Celebrates Female Empowerment with a Dynamic and Diverse Class of 2024 Induction Ceremony at Nashville's City Winery

by Rich and Laura Lynch

CMT's Next Women of Country: Class of 2024 was revealed on January 23, 2024 in front of an invitation-only crowd of VIP industry and media at Nashville's City Winery. CMT's Leslie Fram was joined by co-host Kimberly Perry and artist Colbie Caillat to make the announcement. The prestigious event included a meet and greet at noon where the women and NWOC alum were mingling while chatting up their music. Next, was three impressive writer's rounds in which each artist talked about and played one of their songs. The audience remained attentive for all.

The 2024 class was revealed in front of an invitation-only crowd of VIP industry and media.

CMT's Next Women of Country: Class of 2024 are Anne Wilson, Denitia, Ella Langley, Emily Ann Roberts, HunterGirl, Karley Scott Collins, Kylie Frey, Lauren Watkins, Madeline Merlo, Mae Estes, Tanner Adell, The Castellows, Tigirlily Gold and Twinnie.

New this year, NWOC will join forces with female singer-songwriter collective Song Suffragettes for a first time, year-long partnership, as announced on-stage by Fram and industry changemaker Todd Cassetty. Together with Change The Conversation and The Change Agentcy, the joint effort will pursue industry education opportunities together in a continued effort to advance women in country music. In celebration of this collaboration, NWOC will host an upcoming showcase with Song Suffragettes at City Winery on Tuesday, Feb. 27th. Ticketing info, lineup and additional details to follow.

The Castellows have had a quick rise in Music City.

Again this year, CMT's flagship series CMT Hot 20 Countdown, hosted by Carissa Culiner and Rissi Palmer, will dedicate an entire three-hour special episode to celebrating the new class of CMT Next Women of Country, introducing the class of 2024 with exclusive interviews and performance clips from each inductee. The special episode is slated to air Saturday, Feb. 10th.

"It's an honor and a privilege to welcome this latest group of artists to CMT's Next Women of Country," said Leslie Fram, SVP, Music & Talent, CMT. "For the past 10 years, this franchise has represented the best and brightest new talent in all of country music and this year is no exception. From the UK and Canada to California and the deep South, these women all have their own unique stories to tell and we can't wait to introduce them to CMT audiences in creative and meaningful ways."

Christian singer Anne Wilson is making a big leap of faith into the world of country music.

Fram continued: "And in the spirit of providing greater opportunities and visibility for female voices in our format, we're thrilled to join hands and partner with our friends at notable singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes, to work together towards our collective goal: greater parity for underrepresented female voices in our format. We look forward to collaborating with Todd Cassetty and his team to ensure that more talented women like these are given the opportunities they deserve to be seen and heard worldwide by our industry and fans."

At the meet and greet we talked with Caillat about her recent projects. We also spotted mentor and musician Matthew West who was there in support of Anne Wilson. Anne has enjoyed success in the Contemporary Christian World and is now hoping to do as well in country. HunterGirl of American Idol fame was making the rounds as were the other stars.

The musical portion of the program started with a shout out to the City Winery and their staff for hosting this celebration. Opener Lauren Watkins presented strong songcraft in "Cowboys on Music Row" as did Madeline Merlo who shared her truths in a tune that was crafted as a form of therapy.

HunterGirl, Emily Ann Roberts, Kylie Frey and Ella Langley in Nashville.

Denitia mentioned being obsessed with country music with her showcase reflecting that passion for the genre. The Castellows are three sisters who have been playing together since they were in their teens. They gave us a compelling version of "Cowboy Kinda Love".

Two more quality rounds followed. Mae Estes choose a heavier number called "Good Ol' Boys" that was enhanced by a fiddle in accompaniment. Emily Ann Roberts looking very pretty in pink bestowed a visual piece of family and faith. Kylie Frey also had a sweet song that honored a relative. HunterGirl's story alluded to struggles in the industry countered by the idea of not giving up. Ella Langley added to that concept as she shared some of her journey in her music.

Tigirlily Gold an impressive duo presented a relatable life song. Twinnie from the U.K. had a personal tale too. Her twist was to celebrate even when grieving a breakup from a long-term relationship. Karley Scott Collins talked about being from the South where divorce is frowned upon so her tune was about a friend wearing "Heavy Metal" as she stays married to someone that she should have known better before saying I do.

Lauren Watkins, Madeline Merlo, Mae Estes and Denitia in Nashville.

Tanner Adell paid a tribute to the music of "Luke Combs" with the suggestion that you could switch the name out for another artist if you were not a fan but the song showed how people influence each other's creativity. Closing out an afternoon of fine music was Anne Wilson who said she was raised on God and Dolly Parton. Her first country single would premier on CMT later in the week so she treated us to a sneak preview of "Rain In The Review".

Congratulations to CMT's Next Women of Country: Class of 2024. We look forward to seeing and hearing more from this talented group of ladies. Shout out to CMT who knows how to throw a fun graduation party that empowered and entertained.

Launched back in 1983, CMT (Country Music Television) was the premier channel devoted to country music, country music videos, concerts, specials and biographies of the genre's stars. In time, CMT's programming expanded to include lifestyle/reality TV, sitcoms, and more. For more than a decade, CMT's Next Women of Country: Class of 2024 has been an ongoing commitment to prompting country music and shining a spotlight on formable female artists.

Tigirlily Gold, Karley Scott Collins, Tanner Adell and Twinnie in Nashville.

The City Winery was founded in New York City in 2008 by Michael Dorf who wanted to combine culinary and cultural experiences. They now have a number of locations throughout the U.S. including the one in Nashville which operates as a restaurant, venue and wine bar.

The City Winery can be booked for special events such as CMT's Next Women of Country: Class of 2024 and they host a wide range of performances throughout their calendar year.

Our hosts: CMT's Leslie Fram, Kimberly Perry and Colbie Caillat.

Related Links: For more information on CMT NEXT WOMEN OF COUNTRY and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - | City Winery Nashville


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