Best of The Best CMA Fest!

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Every CMA Fest, I try and listen to new music I wouldn’tnormally listen to and find new and upcoming artists. For each of these musicians I included them based on their music, performance, fan base, or personality. Tell us who else you would like to see on our best of the best!

Striking Matches:

Their live show sounds just as good, if not better than their recordings.  You probably have heard of this duo for performing on Nashville On The Record, you’re sure to hear more of them soon!

Dan and Shay:
With only a debut album out, this duo has left their mark on the country music industry.  The duo has pitch perfect vocals and runs and a undying gratitude for their fans.

Charlie Worsham:

Charlie has the vocals, guitar power, and writings of the next country legend.  After opening for Taylor Swift, Charlie has begun to grow a loyal fan base and created a great record.  He will sure to be headline stadium tours in years to come!

Florida Georgia Line:

After interviewing Tyler and Brian last year, I grew a strong appreciation for all of the hard work to get to the point they’re at today.  Their live show is in one word; energetic.


The living legend graced Riverfront stage this year and boy did she rock it.  She shows the newer country stars just how it’s done with her classics combined with confident stage presence.

The Band Perry:

The Band Perry shows a love for their fans unmatched by any other band I’ve seen.

Hunter Hayes:

His talent is far beyond his years.  With his sophomore album under his belt I already can’t wait for the next album.  He even did a pop up show during CMA Fest for the non- LP field concert-goers.

Gwen Sebastian:

You may recognize Gwen from The Voice or being featured on Blake Shelton’s new single My Eyes. Gwen sure can sing, and her own solo music is further proof that she can pave her own way in the country music industry.

2Steel Girls:

A personal favorite, the mother daughter duo bring their own flavor to the music industry.  Their debut album and live show showcase vocals you can’t ignore.

Cassadee Pope:

Cassadee has a ray of sunshine following her wherever she goes.  Her live show and music has an aura of happiness and emotion.

Brantley Gilbert:

Brantley brings the Southern rock charm to Country.  If you haven’t downloaded his music go do so now.

Luke Bryan

Self-explanatory, it’s Luke!

Jamie Lynn Spears:

She has the voice, the drive, the determination, and the fan base.  She sounds better live than on her recordings!

LoCash Cowboys:

You know know these two as the masterminds behind Tim McGraw’s Truck Yeah! They also have infectious personalities and harmonizing voices.

Josh Thompson:

I’m not sure how he isn’t a household name by now.  Josh brings country to it’s feet and reminds us what it’s all about; story telling.

Natalie Stovall and The Drive:

They will be the next big thing, guaranteed! With chemistry and a female lead this group can do no wrong.

Blake Shelton:

It seems like every time he performs he gets a little better, his interactions with the crowds and fans are spectacular. Make sure to follow his twitter.

Charles Esten:

The most humble musician I’ve ever met.  He can do it all; comedy, acting, and music!

Casey James:

His new music is a far cry from his American Idol days, His fans donated to Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital in his honor, dedication and kindness at it’s finest.

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.