“Class of 2020” to retain status for annual CMT franchise
CMT has unveiled the 16 up-and-coming artists previously named to its highly acclaimed 2020 Listen Up list will all receive an extended tenure into 2021 with continued promotion across all CMT platforms for the next year. The news of the program extension was revealed to each of the artists by CMT’s Cody Alan.
Adam Doleac, Avenue Beat, Blanco Brown, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Caylee Hammack, Gabby Barrett, Hailey Whitters, Madison Kozak, Marcus King, Niko Moon, Parker McCollum, Payton Smith, Sam Williams, Sykamore, Tiera and Walker County will all retain their 2020 Listen Up status into 2021.
Country music’s most promising newcomers will continue to receive full cross-brand support for their music and videos across CMT and CMT Music channels, CMT Radio (250+ channels), CMT Hot 20 Countdown, CMT.com and CMT social media channels, in addition cross-promotional opportunities across ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group.
“Our CMT Listen Up program holds a special place in my heart, as our brand continues to be a staunch advocate for rising artists,” says CMT’s Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President of Music & Talent. “As the music industry is still grappling with the lack of touring and live events, we decided to make sure this incredible list of emerging talent received the full extent of CMT’s support with video airplay, content rollout, social support and more. We are so thrilled for our audience to see more of this diverse group of newcomers and continue to provide them with a platform to share their music and stories. Now more than ever, it’s essential we come together through music!”
Since 2011, CMT’s Listen Up franchise has introduced new artists to the network’s passionate fan base and has helped launch the careers of superstars including Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce, Dustin Lynch, Jon Pardi, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Midland and RaeLynn, among others.
CMT’s Listen Up announcement comes on the heels of a successful three-month run of “CMT Next Women of Country Goes Live,” the much-anticipated weekly livestream series on CMT’s Facebook page in support of the brand’s other widely-acclaimed initiative: CMT Next Women of Country. Caylee Hammack, who is part of both franchises, served as host and connected virtually to other artists weekly to swap stories, perform songs and interact with fans via the CMT platform. Hammack, along with Avenue Beat, Gabby Barrett, Hailey Whitters, Madison Kozak, Sykamore, Tiera and Walker County are all members of CMT Next Women of Country’s class of 2020.