Country Column: 5 of country’s brightest rising stars

Photo Courtesy of Billboard

Story by Tayhlor Stephenson / Staff Writer

Hey, country music fans. This week we’re doing things a little differently. While we love the country music greats who make headlines each week, we thought you might enjoy something new.

As Nashville is the ultimate country music scene, it’s home to thousands of dream-seekers pouring their hearts out in local honky-tonks every day and night, only hoping to make a lasting impression on anybody in the crowd who’s a somebody. Sometimes, though, especially in the case of these five ambitious artists, that nitty-gritty, giving-your-all attitude proves successful.

So, read on to discover the five country music newbies you should totally add to your radar and playlist:


We know her as a Season 2 contestant on “The Voice” who didn’t quite make it to the finale, but this breakthrough country music artist is making a name for herself — a name to remember.

Blake Shelton, RaeLynn’s coach on “The Voice,” has taken the 23-year-old under his wing, and he continues to aid her in sharing her journey along with her heartfelt lyrics. From touring with Shelton to singing backup for him, RaeLynn caught the attention of music-lovers all over the south.

RaeLynn released her debut album “Wildhorse” back in March. Her 12-song collection includes her recently released single, “Love Triangle,” a relatable song making a home in thousands of young girls hearts every day.

The album reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s All-Genre Album Sales Chart and No.1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.

Check her out.

Drake White

Photo courtesy of Taste of Country.

This Alabama native not only preaches in his music, but he also performs in such a way that speaks to your soul. It is impossible to listen to White’s music without tapping your foot to the beat or shouting his lyrics aloud.

White has had somewhat of a slow start in the country music industry (he released his first single, “Simple Man” in 2013), but his debut album titled “Spark,” which was released in August 2016, is continuously proving to be the key that unlocks the door to success. Upon its release, “Spark” charted at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums chart.

What sets White apart from the others is his rich tone and undeniably high performance level. His latest single, “Making Me Look Good Again,” perfectly showcases his vocal talent. And if you’ve never seen him live, add it to your bucket list.

Check him out here.


Caitlyn Smith

Photo courtesy of Elle.

The name Caitlyn Smith may be as foreign as the second language you were supposed to learn in high

school, but her work is not. In fact, Smith is one of the more prominent songwriters in Music City.

Smith has written for Garth Brooks, Meghan Trainor and Cassadee Pope. Though her lyrical writing has been picked up by big-name artists, it’s the music on her five-track EP “Starfire” that bleeds emotion. Her full album has yet to be released, but it’s likely full of hits-in-the-making.

Smith’s voice is one of those that can hush a jam-packed audience. It’s the kind that demands standing ovations. It’s a gem, and a very rare one at that so be on the lookout for her full album later this year.

Check her out.


High Valley

Photo courtesy of Metro Lyrics.

Who knew country music needed a Canadian male duo? Turns out the diversity these two bring to Nashville’s music scene is worthy of praise, that’s for sure.

It’s no secret that male duos are the hot trend in country music right now, but the brothers that make up High Valley (Brad and Curtis Rempel) seem to hold their own against other male duos, such as Dan+Shay and Brothers Osborne. Each group brings something different to the country music table, but High Valley uniquely serves as country music’s breath of fresh air that has been so desperately needed for quite some time.

High Valley’s debut album, “Dear Life,” is available now, and it is worth every listen.


Check them out.


Walker Hayes

Photo courtesy of Walker Hayes.

If you don’t know the name Walker Hayes, get to typing it in your Google engine and listen away. From his

comedy hits such as “Pants” to his newly released single “You Broke Up With Me,” a pleasant surprise is in store with this guy.

Check him out.



To contact Lifestyles Editor Marissa Gaston email

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