While country music has had its fair share of powerful female stars like Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, or Taylor Swift, the industry has always been relatively male dominated. In recent years, however, this trend has been changing as up and coming female country artists gain more popularity and wider audiences and have begun to break away from the sometimes narrow mold they’re put in. So far, 2017 does not disappoint when it comes to strong women taking over country music. Breakout stars like Claire Dunn and Carly Pearce have gained success with multiple singles, and Marren Morris’s fresh, alternative style got her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. If you’re a fan of country and need a little extra girl power in your life, here are 5 artists to look out for in 2017.
Racheal Lynn Woodward, better known as RaeLynn, gained initial success on season 2 of The Voice, and later for her 2014 single God Made Girls. After a few years spent making music and a switch in labels to Warner Music Nashville, RaeLynn is finally releasing her first debut album Wildhorse this June. Listen to Love Triangle, the first single from her new album!
With a perfect mix of talents and a sound reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks, vocal trio Runaway June is the perfect example of female artists breaking the mold. Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland, and Jennifer Wayne bring a new sound to country music that’s a fusion of their individual styles. Their smooth three-part harmonies are sure to give you the feels, as can be heard in their first single Lipstick, which was the first record by an all-female trio to break Top 25 in over 10 years.
Bailey Bryan is off to a strong start in 2017. After releasing her first single in January and being nominated for the Grammy’s Artist of Tomorrow by Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott, Bailey is currently on tour with fellow country artist Dan + Shay. Bailey’s girly, upbeat sound will have you dancing alone in your car and is exemplified in her 2017 single Own It.
Though Caitlyn Smith has gained recent fame after a series of strong 2016 releases, she is no newcomer to country music. Caitlyn spent years in Nashville songwriting with an impressive list of country stars including Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and Cassadee Pope. Now focusing on her own music, Caitlyn exemplifies empowerment with her strong vocals and raw sound, as can be heard in Before You Called Me Baby off her 2016 EP Starfire.