Saturday, January 30, 2016

She Thought She Could And So She Did: Nikki Briar

The daughter of two aspiring musicians and the first female drummer at her school, Nikki Briar has always known she was destined to be the next great musician this country has ever seen. Her father, a Motown drummer, and her mother, a piano player, taught Nikki how to talk at a young age through their combined love of music. Listening to Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson, Briar grew up familiar with every genre of music. Taught by her father and brother Nikki picked up the art of the drums before moving onto learning the guitar, the instrument she most often uses today. The next step for Nikki took place in New York City where she took singing lessons, modeled, and found herself in on and off Broadway musicals. After college Briar took a job as an elementary school music teacher and married a soldier who soon took off to Iraq. His absence forced Nikki to place all her attention towards her music career and inspired her song “Soldier’s Princess.” After some radio time and a positive response to her new song, Nikki became determined to continue sharing her story through music.
Not one who likes to categorize music, but a fan of the instruments and storytelling of country, Nikki declared herself a country music artist. She loves interacting and connecting with her fans and she hopes to perform at the CMA’s, something Next Women of Country would love to see as well. Along with the CMA’s Nikki plans to take her music international, adding to her fan base and doing what she loves for as many people as possible.
Next Women of Country is so grateful for this amazing artist and excited to feature her new album “Ain’t Just For the Boys” which showcases both the hard work and talent of so many women of country artists. Nikki can be found via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and on her website at

Sunday, January 24, 2016

5 Songs to Check Out This Week

1. Letter -Mary Kate Farmer
2. Careless -RaeLynn
3. Sweet By and By -Miranda Lambert
4. Little Bit Small Town -Kaylee Bell
5. Unknown Soldier -Nikki Briar

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

You May Like Jordyn Stoddard But I'll Tell You Why You Should Love Her

Jordyn Stoddard, a young talent more successful than most at the age of seventeen, has recently caught my eye.  Jordyn currently resides in Jackson Beach Florida and has caught the attention of many, winning Local Artist of the Year in 2013 for her single “Sayonara” and repeatedly strumming her turquoise guitar on local radio and tv stations in the Jacksonville area. Jordyn’s journey all began with the help of Kenny Chesney and her father. At the age of four Jordyn attended her first concert alongside her dad, where she got to hear Kenny Chesney sing, even getting a chance on stage with him. After that impacting experience Jordyn knew her future was in the music business. She began taking piano lessons and at the age of twelve she tackled the art of the guitar. Wanting a symbol to represent her music and success Jordyn started searching for blue guitars. Now Jordyn is known to many of her fans as the girl with the blue guitar.

From Taylor Swift to Kacey Musgraves and Lorde, Jordyn has looked up to many country and pop artists, placing herself in the both the country and pop genres of music. And of course Jordyn has her parents to thank for her success as well.

Through considering entering a singing competition show, such as The Voice or American Idol, Jordyn being too young decided to take her career as an independant artist instead. Her previous highlighting moments include performing alongside Montgomery Gentry, The Gatlin Brothers, Easton Corbin, Matt Stillwell, Sunday Best and headlining for the PRS Rodeo Tour.

During the summer of 2014 Jordyn began working on her first album teaming up with Grammy Award winner David Hall. With several co-writes on the album as well as songs from Nashville’s top songwriters who have a combined 35 #1 singles, the album proved to be of the most anticipated independent releases of 2015. Her album includes 11 songs and her single “Like Me Til' You Love Me.” Jordyn’s album “Southern Tide” earned a spot on Next Women of Country’s “15 Albums You Have to Check Out” and without a doubt deserves her spot on that list alongside Carrie Underwood and Cam.

In the future Jordyn plans to go off to college, most likely attending Belmont College in Nashville taking a major in music business. Jordyn also hopes to keep pushing her music out into the country music scene and is touring currently to spread her music to country fans across the nation.

Jordyn can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and at

Monday, January 18, 2016

Carrie Underwood Pushes for Gender Equality in Country Music

Women do not often get the same recognition and opportunities that men have, but things may soon change in the country music industry with Christian singer Carrie Underwood trying to do something about it.
Underwood and her team are helping plan the annual ACM Party For A Cause festival. Whenever Underwood's input is sought, the singer would often push for more female singers to be included in the list of performers"Whenever we were approached to do it, they were like, 'Well, who do you want to have on the bill?' I was like, 'Can we just ask girls?' I just personally think that's a more interesting bill because everybody is unique," Underwood told CMT. "Everybody has their own sound, their own look, their own kind of music, their own voice."
This issue has been hounding Underwood since her "American Idol" days. She has noticed that the industry is more partial to males because females often do not get their time under the sun.
"I felt it from the beginning," she shared. "When we would start talking about potentially playing different shows, other people would talk about, 'Oh, well, we kind of already have a girl on our roster.' Or, 'We already have a girl at the show so we can't have another one.' We've always been outnumbered by the boys."
For Underwood, this is such a waste because women are equally talented as the men. "There are a lot (of women) right now just waiting for their chance," Underwood said, adding, "I refuse to believe that women don't want to hear women."
The ACM Party For A Cause will run for three days on April 1 to 3, 2016. Underwood would headline the first event, followed by Dierks Bentley and Kenney Chesney on the second and third events, respectively.
Ong, Czarina. "Entertainment." Christian Singer Carrie Underwood Pushes for Gender Equality in Country Music. N.p., 18 Jan. 2016. Web. 18 Jan. 2016. <>.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

5 New Songs to Check Out This Week

1. If You Ask Me To -MacKenzie Porter
2. My Church -Maren Morris
3. Roots and Wings -Miranda Lambert
4. Why Baby Why -Mickey Guyton
5. After the Storm Blows Through -Maddie and Tae

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Merritt Whitley

Sweet, courageous, talented, beautiful- only four of many words to describe Next Women of Country’s next featured artist, Merritt Whitley. Born on September 16, 1991 in Kansas City Missouri, where she currently resides today, Merritt has never been a southern country girl. Believe it or not Merritt grew up as an athlete, picking up her first tennis racket at age four and invited to play professional tennis at the  age of 13. In fact, though always in love with music, Merritt kept her music secret from her parents until high school. When she began to share her songs, Merritt received much positive feedback and found the confidence in herself to fully pursue music.

Taking the college tennis path, rather than the professional one, gave Merritt the time to record her first album in 2010. Merritt was offered a full ride scholarship to Eastern Illinois University for tennis and majored in journalism, taking public relations and advertising as a minor. Unfortunately Merritt's scholarship forced her to put aside music for awhile. Merritt was told that if she wanted to keep her scholarship that she would have to give up her music promotion, due to a NCAA rule stating while under contract an athlete can’t have their photos associated with anything other than their sport. Eventually Merritt graduated with a bachelor's degree and began pursuing her music again with the support of her friends and family.

From movies to just life in general, Merritt finds inspiration for her music everywhere. Merritt strives to stay true to herself similar to artists Tori Kelly and Colbie Caillat, who Merritt looks up to as she continues to further her music career. Merritt writes her songs to follow a story, something women in country do best. Recently Merritt released her second album “Wait for Me” and she hopes to simply keep making music with a goal to heard.

Merritt is an inspiration to dream chasers and all the artists out there scared of sharing their music with the world. She advises to just “be who you are, and never compromise that for anyone. I think it's important to realize that not everyone is going to support your dream, or even like the music you make, and that is okay. It doesn't mean that you don't have talent, it's just part of life! Music is subjective, and people will find ways to discourage your dreams. Don't let them. Believe in yourself, and believe in what you are doing. Also, be good to people. Be nice, and responsive to the people that do support you! These are the people you need to remember, and thank regularly!”

Working with Merritt myself and hearing her perform live has shown me that this girl has a big future in front of her and I can’t wait to see Merritt go all the way. For all those who haven’t heard Merritt’s music yet, you can find her songs available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and on her website at

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ten Songs to Check Out This Week

1. Dance Hall -Emily Brooke
2. Outta My Head -Alexandra Demetree
3. Sayonara -Jordyn Stoddard
4. Pop That Bottle -Jana Kramer
5. Games -Kylie Mac
6. Clock Don't Stop -Carrie Underwood
7. Peter Pan -Kelsea Ballerini
8. Loaded Gun -Lauren Davidson
9. Raging River -Kaitlyn Baker
10. Should Have Known Better -Aileeah Colgan

Monday, January 11, 2016

Everything You Need to Vote for Emily Brooke on this season of American Idol

At the age of 16 myself I am so excited to feature this amazing young talent and American Idol top 24 season 15 contestant, Emily Brooke. Emily began pursuing her career in country music five years ago and ever since has performed at various venues and events including sharing the stage with country music chart toppers Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean. Through from the town of Wellington, Florida, Emily feels right at home in the country music’s living room, Nashville. Partnering with producer Billy Yates in Nashville, TN Emily released her first album entitled “Here Right Now” in 2012. Emily Brooke earned herself Texaco Country Showdown winner for the State of Florida in 2011 and was the local winner for four year in a row. Emily takes pride in her music and charity efforts as a member of  “Tunes for Tot’s”, anorganization that raises money for children’s charities.

Last year Emily auditioned for American Idol’s season 14, stunning the judges with her unique vocals and relaxed stage presence even being called “pretty great” by Jennifer Lopez herself. Emily’s audition created much buzz among the American Idol viewers gaining her fans from all across the country. Unfortunately Emily was struck having to battle a case of food poisoning directly before presenting herself to the judges who, despite her obvious talent had to cut her dreams short in Hollywood. But nothing can stop Emily from achieving her dreams and she walked away from season 14 exclaiming that her American Idol experience was “the most amazing experience” of her life.

Now she’s back for the farewell season of American Idol, season 15, with improved confidence and a spot in the top 24. This season features 13 female competitors and 11 male ones. Though there is so much talent each night on the American Idol stage I and so many more are ready to see Emily Brooke become the next American Idol.

Emily Brooke can be found at and on Twitter @emilybrookestar

Stay tuned for more Emily Brooke and the farewell season of American Idol every wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.

By Nicole Marchesi

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Women of Country Has How Many Sara(h)'s?

Recently posting a picture of new found talent, Sarah Hobbs, I discovered an abundance of Sarah's previously featured on the account and wondered how many were there in country music. There are so many more, I am sure of it, but from my account alone I found five, yes five Sarah's. 

Currently women of country features women with unique, yet beautiful names. From Miranda to Jana, Merritt and Cam their names are something one may have to think twice about when writing who their favorite artist is. But there's no doubt that common names such as Brittany and Carrie are also found among the artists. In fact Next Women of Country has featured four Brittany's, three Hannah's, three Laura's, three Lindsay's, three Maddie's, four Mary's, and so many more artists with a name shared by others. But some may say it's all about the last name, such as found in Jana Kramer's username "kramergirl". Sharing one's last name allows these artists to present themselves as an individual thus making it easier for fans to find them and their music online. 

Yes a name is just a name, but when you want to make it big a name is so much more. So help me and Next Women of Country get these women's names out to the public and onto the country music charts by tagging @sxmthehighway and your local country music stations when posting about your favorite new female artist. And remember to follow Next Women of Country on Instagram and Twitter for more women of country news. (Links above) 

5 Sara(h)'s...

1. Sara Evans
2. Sara Beth
3. Sarah Darling 
4. Sarah Hobbs
5. Sarah Ross 

Maddie and Tae Spend the Holidays Helping Children

Country duo Maddie & Tae teamed with the Nashville Predators, the Country Music Association and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to encourage the hospital’s young patients, families and their caregivers by doing something many people do after the holiday season anyways — writing letters.
The two bro-country fighting singers helped launch Shine Bright, a letter-writing campaign that encourages members of the community to write notes to the children admitted to the hospital. The campaign will have letter stations set up at various community events through the end of January to make it easy for Middle Tennesseans to write and send letters to the hospital’s patients.
“Writing a letter to provide encouragement to a sick child or express appreciation for their caregivers is a small act, but means so much to the people who receive them. When we can lift up a child who’s struggling, or show someone who works tirelessly how much they matter, that’s a pretty big deal — and the Shine Bright Campaign makes it all the easier to do just that.” -Tae Dye

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

American Idol v. The Voice

With American Idol on it's final season and The Voice still going strong, I wanted to compare the success of women in country artists who have appeared on one of the two competition shows. Of course American Idol has had it's fair share of impressive artists over the years. With Carrie Underwood being American Idol's number one success story, as shown from her appearance on Dick Clarke's New Year's Rockin' Eve and with new comer Lauren Alaina American Idol hasn't stop producing good artists, but The Voice is making American Idol fans find artists another way. 

Recently premiering the show in 2011, The Voice has already launch the careers of five women in country music and so many more successful artists into the scene of every music genre. Differing from American Idol with spinning chairs and judges as coaches, people are intrigued. Blake Shelton as country's only representative on the judges panel has done phenomenally well. Winning four of the nine seasons including female country artists Danielle Bradbury and Cassadee Pope. His most recent women of country artist, Emily Ann Roberts, didn't do so bad either. Though falling behind Adam Levine's Jordan Smith, Emily received the runner up award and has showed America her impressive talent and charm. 

We are all sad to see American Idol go, but with The Voice on the rise I have no doubt more women of country will rise from the popular show. American Idol has one last season and with the return of Emily Brooke, women of country still has a chance to be the final winner of American Idol and to have the next Carrie Underwood.

Check out American Idol and The Voice's most successful women of country artists below...
American Idol 
1.Carrie Underwood
2. Kelly Clarkson
3. Kellie Pickler
4. Lauren Alaina
5. Britnee Kellogg
6. Emily Brooke

The Voice
1. Danielle Bradbury
2. Cassadee Pope
3. RaeLynn
4. Emily Ann Roberts
5. Gwen Sebastian 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

10 New Artists To Look For In 2016

1. Emily Ann Roberts
2. Megan Fowler
3. Alexandra Lee
4. Sarah Spencer
5. Abby Logan
6. Apryl Evans
7. Brittany Marie
8. Emily Brooke
9. Lainey Wilson
10. Merritt Whitley

Carrie Underwood Ends 2015 With A Bang

Carrie Underwood kicked 2016 off with a bang by performing a headlining set in New York City, and she shared the experience with her fans via a series of posts to social media.
Underwood performed a set of older hits and new songs from her current Storyteller album as part of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest. She headlined an all-star lineup that included fellow country star Luke Bryan, as well as Demi Lovato, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. The annual year-end extravaganza airs live from Times Square every New Year’s Eve, culminating in the iconic ball drop that signals the beginning of the new year.

In the photo above, Underwood posed with her band after their smashing performance, with the caption, “Best. Band. Ever.” In other posts to Instagram and Twitter, she shared her view from the stage, looking out over the estimated crowd of a million people who crowded the streets in NYC, and also shared photos from backstage, hanging out with the other stars on the bill, walking through Times Square, sound check and more.

The singer performed her current single, “Heartbeat,” on the show, which she admits is very personal, as she was thinking of her husband, Mike Fisher, when she recorded it. She also shared a sweet throwback photo of the couple’s first date, which took place on New Year’s Eve in 2012, with the caption, “Our lives were forever changed from that night on. I wouldn’t change a thing! I love you baby!”