The Country Radio Seminar has unveiled the five artists who will be part of its New Faces of Country Music lineup in 2021: Ashley McBryde, Travis Denning, Matt Stell, Tenille Arts and Hardy will participate in a virtual showcase that will close out the final day of CRS 2021.
CRS’ New Faces program, which began in 1970, has become a rite of passage for virtually every artist who goes on to become a superstar. Each year, the seminar brings together radio programmers, labels, artists, journalists and more members of the country music industry, offering a chance for artists to preview the music they’ve got planned for the year to come.
McBryde scored her first Top 10 hit at U.S. country radio in 2020 with “One Night Standards,” the leading single off her sophomore major-label album, Never Will. The song also topped country charts in Canada.
Denning, meanwhile, notched his first No. 1 hit on Billboard‘s Country Airplay Chart with “After a Few,” a song that also made history at the time as the chart’s longest climb to the top. At 65 weeks, it also broke a record as the single spending the longest time period on the chart.
Arts has found an extra boost of success from a surprising place, as her songs “I Hate This” and “Somebody Like That” both soared up the iTunes digital song sales charts after she performed them, on two separate occasions, on the ABC reality show The Bachelor. In January, “Somebody Like That” broke into the Top 10 of iTunes’ all-genre song sales chart, and climbed up to the No. 2 spot on the country chart.
Hardy is the songwriter-turned-artist who got a big stamp of approval in 2019 when Blake Shelton cut “God’s Country,” a song that he co-wrote, and took it to the top of the country charts in record time. His collaboration with Devin Dawson and Lauren Alaina, “One Beer,” recently became his first No. 1 hit as an artist.
The final CRS 2021 New Faces member, Stell, has two No. 1 hits to his name. He notched his first with “Prayed for You” in October of 2019 and his second with “Everywhere But On” in November of this year.
The 2021 CRS New Faces of Country Music event is set for Feb. 19, the final day of the four-day event. Those who register for CRS’ virtual 2021 event will be able to attend the showcase. Tickets are available now and retail at $199 per person; standalone tickets to the New Faces of Country Music show are also available for purchase at $49 per ticket.