Three inductees into CMT’s Next Women of Country class of 2016 performed alongside alumna and other newcomer artists and during the network’s fourth annual celebration, held Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 1) at City Winery.
Surprise co-host Brandy Clark performed “Two Kids No Husband” before CMT Sr. VP of Music Strategy and Talent, Leslie Fram, surprised her with the first annual CMT Next Women of Country Impact Award.
“We started the [Next Women] franchise because of Brandy Clark,” said Fram after Clark detailed how a promise of support from the executive led her to spend her savings on a video for “Stripes.”
Martina McBride made a surprise appearance to announce her Love Unleashed Tour will be amplified by CMT’s Next Women series and feature special guest Lauren Alaina.
“CMT’s Next Women of Country is a movement that I truly believe in—throughout my career I’ve championed women,” said McBride. “Mentoring and passing along any lessons or knowledge we’ve learned to the new generation is really important and I’m learning from them. For women, when one of us wins, we all win and we’re stronger when we support each other. I’m thrilled to be a part of this!”
Kicking off the first round of performances were Aubrie Sellers (“New City Blues” and a cover of The Kinks’ “All Day And All Of The Night”), Maddie & Tae (“Somebody Will,” written for their upcoming album), Maggie Rose (“More Dreams Than Dollars,” a new title and was announced as a recent signee with Narvel Blackstock), Mickey Guyton (“What I’ve Yet To Find,” a Lady Antebellum-written song she found before getting signed), and Tara Thompson (“A World Without Willie,” co-written with Alex Kline, Erin Enderlin, Leslie Satcher).
Alaina led the second round of performances (“Road Less Traveled”) with additional artists Lindsay Ell (“All Alright”), Lucie Silvas (“I Really Loved You”), Margo Price (“Hands Of Time”), and RaeLynn (“Love Triangle”).
“Four years ago we identified a gaping hole in the industry,” said Fram. “[We tried to find a way] for women to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, support each other, and grow female voices in our industry. So much has happened in the last few years, we’ve had a tour going into its third year, a digital franchise, 20 artists in the CMT studio, and our next class.”

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