#BETTERNEWCOUNTRY: Artists to Watch in 2014
Here are at least 5 country artists to watch in 2014...
5) DAN + SHAY
Warner Music Nashville’s new duo Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) meeting in December of 2012, Dan and Shay quickly hit it off with their musical similarities. The two began writing together and from those sessions their relationship grew to include performing together. From there, the duo discovered an infectious original sound all their own, mixing country rock/pop seamlessly throughout intimate power-ballads and stadium-worthy hits.
Born and raised in Natural Dam, Arkansas, Shay has been singing since he was a young child. At 14-years-old he fell in love with songwriting and at 16 began learning the guitar. He officially moved to Nashville last year but grew up frequently visiting and recording in Music City. Musical influences include Rascal Flatts, Dave Matthews Band, Usher and Kenny Chesney.
Dan was born and raised in suburban Wexford, Pennsylvania and has been writing and playing music since the age of 12. A Nashvillian since 2010, Dan has been on the local songwriting scene for several years. Musical influences range from Ryan Adams and Tom Petty to Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss.
4) LUCY HALE
Lucy is an American born actress and singer. She is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. She started out as a singer, appearing on American Juniors (2003) in a search for band members. She successfully won her place in the band. The group disbanded in 2005. Lucy turned to acting. She is best known for roles in TV shows Privileged (2008) and Pretty Little Liars (2010).
She has stated that music is her first love and, in June 2012, she has signed a record deal with Hollywood Records. Lucy's debut single "You Sound Good To Me" was released 1/7/2014.
3) COLE SWINDELL
Bronwood, Georgia's Cole Swindell, a country singer and songwriter who often adds hip-hop touches to his songs, was a member of the same Sigma Chi fraternity at Georgia Southern University as fellow Georgian Luke Bryan, the two often playing shows together, and after Bryan made his move to Nashville, Swindell followed. Six of the songs on Bryan's Spring Break... Here to Party album were written by Swindell, and his own single, "Chillin' It," broke out in 2013 without the aid of a major label, a situation rectified when Swindell signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records on the strength of the single.
2) CHARLIE WORSHAM
For the last seven years, singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham has devoted himself to honing his musical vision by collaborating with many of the most innovative musicians in Nashville, working as both a session player and writer, while serving as a central member of a high-profile band of players. Now, the 27-year-old multi-instrumentalist is gearing up to release his debut album – via Warner Bros. Records – which not only reveals his refined musical talent, but announces Worsham as a country artist of uncommon ingenuity, substance, and soul.
1) THOMAS RHETT
Georgia-born singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett, the son of award-winning country crooner Rhett Akins, didn’t seriously start considering following in his father's footsteps until his senior year in high school. Raised on a steady diet of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, Rhett inked a publishing deal with EMI just two years into his college career, and landed a song ("I Ain't Ready to Quit") on fellow country rocker Jason Aldean's 2010 release, My Kind of Party. Like Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, and Justin Moore, Rhett splits the difference between slick, contemporary country and rowdy good-time rock & roll, an equation he put to the test on his 2011 debut single "Something to Do with My Hands." An EP, simply called Thomas Rhett, appeared early in 2013.