Who’s Poised To Be The Next Female Country Megastar?

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My dad is not a country music fan.

Apart from his love of Ronnie Milsap, he doesn’t listen to anything country except when I go home and force it upon him. But he had a great question recently that’s had me thinking…

“All you hear about is Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, when is there going to be a new female country superstar?”

That… Dad… is a great question.

It’s no secret there’s plenty of female talent today in country music, but it’s also no secret that the Country Music Industry doesn’t do a good, or at times even remotely acceptable, job at promoting these women.

Now, I am a HUGE Miranda fan. The Marfa Tapes are an incredible look inside the raw side of her music and her Wildcard album might be the best music she’s ever put out.

Carrie Underwood is an incredible, incredible vocalist (maybe the best on the planet) and there is no denying her rockstar like fame and ability to sell out almost anywhere she goes. But the two of them have pretty much been the only superstar faces of “Women in Country Music” for well over a decade now.

I could go into their history or complain about the industry stifling the up and comers, but this is not the time for that. Now is the time to get some possibilities for who’s next.

Here are my picks:

Ashley McBryde

We’ve said it until we’re blue in the face at this point, but Ashley McBryde continues to be one of the most underrated artists in all of Country Music.

She’s a vocal powerhouse, fantastic songwriter, great performer and has the best combination of a “you can’t tell me shit” and “I love everyone” attitude I’ve ever seen.

Her latest album was top to bottom incredible, and she’s currently on her first headlining tour that runs through May of next year. She’s got it all and I can’t wait to watch the years and years of hard (and at times strange) work pay off in a huge way.

While Ashley McBryde is the favorite in my eyes to vault to the superstar tier, there’s no shortage of other female artists also capable and ready to make the jump.

Carly Pearce

Carly’s 29 EP was a major stepping stone for her and showed the world that she’s ready for the spotlight. Fresh off her Opry induction and new album announcement, there’s no doubt she’s positioned herself for a hell of a career, and I cannot wait to watch and listen to it happen.

Also, she’s got a song with Ashley McBryde on that upcoming album called “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” which excites me to no end.

Lainey Wilson

Lainey impressed the hell out of me with her album Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin this year and made me think it might be time for bell-bottoms and rhinestones to be the face of country music again.

Songs like “Things A Man Oughta Know” show her songwriting talent, while “LA” (which is my JAM) shows her ability to get the people moving. Big things are coming Lainey’s way quickly.

Morgan Wade

Morgan is extremely young in her career, but the potential is unquestionable. Her debut album Wilder Days blew away most people’s expectations with a great blend of indie instrumentation, mainstream production and deep, powerful songwriting. She’s currently playing as many shows as she can (including many opening dates on Ashley McBryde’s tour), building her fan base, signing publishing deals and, (I’m sure) writing new songs for her next release, whenever that may be.

It may be a few years before Morgan has the name recognition of the top-tier, but she’s doing everything right to get there one day.

*Kacey Musgraves

Putting Kacey on this list (with an asterisk) may annoy a few groups of people, but hear me out.

Yes, she’s already a megastar in her own right, but the Golden Hour explosion appears to be primarily among pop music fans. Yes, her sound bounces back and forth from pop to country, but either way, Kacey Musgraves has talent and draw that most artists can only dream of.

Hearing her upcoming album “has more of a foot in country than Golden Hour peaked my interest and makes me think there’s a small chance she still might commit to a more country sound long term. Granted, she didn’t get much love from the country music industry, especially the radio, when she was making country records, so why would she go back?

Of course, Carrie Underwood has plenty of pop sound as well, so there’s precedent for the balancing act working extremely well, but my own bias really wants to see her go back to the Same Trailer, Different Park that first brought us in.

So is Kacey a megastar already? Yes. Is she a country music megastar? No, not really. Would I like her to be? Yes.

Make sense?

Those are my picks for next female megastar, who else do you think it could be?

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