Raised in sunny Orange County, California Brett Young never planned to be a country singer. Despite putting out a prolific run of four albums between 2011 and 2013, Brett found himself without a record contract and at odds with his local SoCal music scene. All that changed in 2015 when he packed his bags and relocated to Nashville where he netted a recording contract with Big Machine Label Group. Making his Music City debut in 2016, Brett won over legions of fans with the soul-infused, Top 10 hit “Sleep Without You.” In February 2017, he released his self-titled debut album, featuring the single “In Case You Didn’t Know” which soon became the songwriter’s second song to be certified Gold in the U.S.
Kane Brown had an unconventional start to his country career after being discovered through cover videos he would share on Facebook. To date, his most famous video still remains his viral performance of George Strait’s “Check Yes or No.” Making the transition from covers to composing original material was easy for Kane as an artist with a knack for songwriting and a classic country voice. His eponymous debut album was released in December 2016 and debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. The album features previous singles “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” and “Thunder in the Rain” as well as his current hit “What Ifs” featuring Lauren Alaina.
A cappella quintet Home Free has become a fixture on the country charts over the past few years, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that there’s not a lick of guitar, banjo, or harmonica to be heard on their albums. The group blends barbershop harmonies with country twang and hip hop beatboxing, using nothing more than the human voice to deliver a unique blend of Nashville standards, pop hits, and soulful originals. Nearly 10 years after forming, the group took the world by storm when they won Season Four of NBC’s The Sing Off. Their country flavor has allowed them to collaborate with legends like the Oak Ridge Boys and Charlie Daniels, but now they’re poised to make their own leap into the spotlight.
Tucker Beathard wasn’t just bound to be big, he was born to be. Tucker’s father is none other than country hitmaker Casey Beathard, who has written songs for the likes of Kenny Chesney and Eric Church. Following in his prolific footsteps, Tucker, a self-taught guitarist and drummer, broke onto the scene in 2016 when his debut single “Rock On” shot to the top of the country charts. An admittedly reserved person, Tucker finds his outlet when he’s performing his songs. Says Tucker, “Expressing yourself onstage and putting your emotion into each song is a feeling that is tough to match. It’s your way of letting the world know who you are.”
If you’re a fan of country music, you’ve probably heard one of Ryan Hurd’s songs before – you just may not have realized it. Before stepping into the spotlight as a solo star, the Kalamazoo, Michigan native penned songs that were recorded by the likes of Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, and Jake Owen, among many others. Hurd is one of many young country artists whose music isn’t afraid to blur the boundaries between genres. With songs that incorporate rock and pop influences, if not for the soulful twang of his voice, you might not even at first think of him as a country artist. His well-received debut EP features the songs “City Girl” and “Hold You Back,” and has set the stage for his debut album, expected for 2017.