Pour yourself something strong and kick off your cowboy boots because Country Now is celebrating the devoted artists that have made an influential impact on Music City and throughout the country music genre in 2021 with the inaugural Country Now Awards.
For the first time ever, Country Now is recognizing signed and independent musicians that have scored high placement on the charts, released smash hits, held epic performances, and even the country newcomers who have placed their name on the map since January 1, 2021.
Music fans have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 Country Now Awards, as they now have the chance to scroll through all 14 categories and hand-pick their favorite artists, songs and albums.
Fans can start voicing their opinion with unlimited votes beginning on Monday, November 15 at 9 AM CT. The polls will close on Tuesday, November 30 at precisely 11:45 PM CT.
To support your favorite artist, head to countrynow.com/vote.
This award goes to an artist who gained notoriety by performing on a competition show in 2021.
Alex Miller (American Idol – Season 19)
In just a short amount of time, Alex Miller has come a long way since his exit from American Idol, as he landed his very first record deal with Music City-based label, Billy Jam Records. Following his life-changing career move – he released his debut label single, “Don’t Let The Barn Door Hit Ya.” The “fast-paced Western swing” produced by Jerry Salley and co-written by Bill Whyte, Paul Bogart, and Dan Wilson serves as a sneak peek into his upcoming 10-track album.
Carson Peters (The Voice – Season 21)
Imagine receiving four chair turns from Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Ariana Grande? Well, the 17-year-old country artist from a small town in Tennessee did just that with his remarkable blind audition of “Tulsa Time.” The young vocalist wowed the judges and the audience in such a short amount of time that all four were begging him to join their team. However, the fierce honky-tonk artist ended up trusting Shelton with his competition show destiny. Unfortunately, the rising star was eliminated during the knockout round against Lana Scott. Now, The Voice alum is taking his fiddle, big voice, and southern flare to climb the ranks in the country music space.
Chayce Beckham (American Idol – Season 19)
Former heavy machine operator Chayce Beckham received his golden ticket to Hollywood after crushing his rendition of “What Brings Life Also Kills” by Kolton Moore. Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry voted “Yes” and kick-started his music career right off the bat. Beckham dominated the competition and was crowned the winner of Season 19. Shortly after scoring the title, he released his sentimental song, “23.”
“I wrote it, and I kind of kept it in my pocket and played it for people here and there,” the winner shared with the San Bernardino Sun. “It was never anything that I was banking on, or I was like, ‘Hey, listen to this great song.’ People would tell me. ‘Man, that song is going to be on the radio one day,’ and I was like, ‘There’s no way,’ because I just couldn’t picture.” Well, that same song scored the No.1 spot on iTunes and was streamed over five million times.
Hunter Metts (American Idol – Season 19)
Even if you are not an American Idol fan, the name “Hunter Metts” still probably rings a bell. Shortly after receiving the golden ticket to head to Hollywood, the world fell in love with Hunter’s contagious sound and was captivated by his stage presence. His insane performances of “Chandelier,” “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “Skinny Love,” and even Disney’s “You’ll Be In My Heart” kept TV-goers voting ‘yes’ to keep him in the competition. Following a performance of an original track called “The River,” Metts was eliminated in the top seven. His sudden exit from the show did not stop his drive, as he embarked on a tour with singer-songwriter Francisco Martin and confirmed on social media that he has a ton of new content ready to be released.
Kenzie Wheeler (The Voice – Season 20)
Kenzie Wheeler was a member of Kelly Clarkson’s team, and with her guidance and support, the Florida native became the runner-up of Season 20 of NBC’s The Voice. During his time on the show, he wowed fans with his twangy vocals, blind audition of “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” a duet with Clarkson on “When You Say Nothing At All,” and of course, with his dirty blonde mullet. Following Wheeler’s exit from the show, he kept the momentum up by performing live across the United States and connecting with fans in person.
Kinsey Rose (The Voice – Season 21)
Kinsey Rose is a fierce vocalist with a compelling country twang. Throughout the competition show, Clarkson compared the influential artist to Alison Krauss and country music queen, Dolly Parton. The talented songstress made history on Season 21 during a battle round against Girl Named Tom – a coed trio. After the chilling performance of The Eagles 1969 hit “Seven Bridges Road,” Clarkson picked the trio over Rose. However, Rose was quickly saved from elimination – which marked a first in The Voice history as she received three steals and a save. However, her cover of “Strawberry Wine” during the first round of knockouts ended her time on the show. The budding singer-songwriter is currently performing live in Music City and working hard to produce original content in the studio.
Lana Scott (The Voice – Season 21)
Picture this… Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton are fighting over you! Well, this dream-like scenario was a reality for the budding songstress, Lana Scott. Her sassy rendition of “Hole In The Bottle” captured the attention of both hitmakers, which put Scott in a tough decision to pick between the country music legend or the genre-crossover artist. The 28-year-old rising star ended up choosing the “God’s Country” singer and made it to the Top 20 Live playoffs. Unfortunately, the strong vocalist did not receive enough audience votes to move on to the next round. However, Shelton quickly came in clutch and saved Scott for the second time. Lana Scott is currently still in the competition and dominating the stage with her refreshing country sound.
Rachel Mac (The Voice – Season 20)
Rachel Mac may be young, but her mature vocals put her ahead of several musicians who have been honing in on their craft for years. The Season 20 frontrunner scored a spot on Team Jonas after performing a beautiful rendition of “Let Him Fly” by Patty Griffin for her blind audition. While Jonas was the only hitmaker to turn his chair, Shelton confessed that he immediately regretted not hitting the red buzzer for the budding country star. The young vocalist made her way to the season finale and placed fourth overall.
Are you ready to cast your vote for Favorite Singing Competition Contestant? If so, head to countrynow.com/vote and pick your go-to rising star. Country Now readers have until November 30 to make their selection.