This year's Grammy Awards set out to show the strong sides of today's Country music. Both Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris were nominated for "Best New Artist,' and there were performances from Carrie Underwood with Keith Urban, Maren Morris with Alicia Keys and Kelsea Ballerini.
It's easy to say women in Country (or at least Ballerini and Morris) killed it this year. Every year since 2013, CMT has hosted a "Next Women of Country" online series which aims to draw attention to undiscovered or rising female artists in the genre. Not only is there a live series with amazing performances online, but the series has called eyes and ears to women such as Jana Kramer and Jennifer Nettles in the past.
Country is often saturated with male voices, but there are a herd of up-and-coming female performers to keep an eye on in 2017.
Kree Harrison adds in jazzy horns while belting out impressive vocals in "This Old Thing." In Maggie Rose's "Looking Back Now," especially at the beginning, she fits right in with LeAnn Rimes and Faith Hill. Mickey Guyton is effortlessly fun and has an exciting energy in "Heartbreak Song." Natalie Stovall and The Drive contrast soft vocals with an edge of rock in the anthemic "We Are."
These songs are diverse in meaning and sound, but still maintain the country twang. Whether pop, rock or bluegrass is melded in, the women in this playlist are worth giving a listen.