The 2023 CMT Music Awards performers were announced earlier this month, and included Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson, & Lainey Wilson, just to name a few. A second lineup for the event was unveiled yesterday – six additional artists set to take on the Ram Trucks Side Stage throughout the show, a tradition historically reserved for up-and-coming breakout acts.
The added group consists of Avery Anna, Chapel Hart, Jackson Dean, Lily Rose, Megan Moroney and Nate Smith. And unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of most of them, so you know this is some serious talent. If you haven’t, consider this your chance to get to know ’em before the CMT Awards next weekend.
Avery Anna might have the most unique “backstory” of any young artist out there. Her claim to fame is none other than TikTok, where she shared videos of herself singing in the bathroom and quickly went viral. As a first time CMTA nominee, Avery Anna is a contender for “Breakthrough Female Video of the Year,” securing the nomination with her top-streaming track “Narcissist.” The song was topping charts as soon as it was released in late 2021 and became RIAA certified gold in November 2022.
This trio is an independent vocal group made up of sisters (and songwriters) Danica & Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle. Chapel Hart got their start on “America’s Got Talent,” where they debuted their now top-streaming song “You Can Have Him Jolene.” They’ve since been recognized as CMT’s Next Women of Country in 2021 along with a handful of other accolades. As they shared in a Tweet today, the ladies of Chapel Hart “are really starting to feel like the hard work is paying off.”
Jackson Dean is one of the hottest newcomers in country music, and has quickly taken off in just a year’s time. Thanks to his debut single “Don’t Come Lookin’,” Jackson Dean became the youngest solo male country artist to reach No. 1 with a debut song. Joining the Side Stage as another first time CMTA nominee, Dean has a chance to win “Breakthrough Male Video of the Year” at next week’s upcoming awards.
She didn’t score any nominations this time around, but Lily Rose doesn’t seem disappointed in the least. The “Villain” and “Whatcha Know About That,” singer took to Instagram to celebrate the news with an all-caps-caption, clearly excited for her debut award show performance on the CMT Side Stage.
An intro almost feels unnecessary for the “Tennessee Orange” artist, considering her recent catapult into country stardom. As one of twenty-one first time nominees at this year’s 2023 CMT Awards, Megan is in the running for “Digital-First Performance of the Year” and “Breakthrough Female Video of the Year.”
Rounding out the list of Ram Trucks Side Stage performers is another nominee for “Breakthrough Male Video of the Year,” Nate Smith. Breaking onto the scene less than four years ago with his 2019 song “Wildfire,” Smith is still a fairly new artist, but already a well-known name thanks to social media. (TikTok in particular, much like Avery Anna.) The California native’s now-platinum single “Whiskey On You” went viral on the platform last year, and will be the first track featured on his forthcoming record, out April 28th.
Catch these six rising stars on the Ram Trucks Side Stage of the CMT Music Awards, live from Austin, TX Sunday April 2nd.