NASH Next 2016 Begins Search For America’s Newest Country Star

NASH Next 2016 Begins Search For America’s Newest Country Star

Beginning today, you or someone you know can start down the road of becoming America’s newest country star. The NASH Next 2016 competition officially launches today, bringing unknown talent, a major record label—Big Machine Label Group—and the power of country radio [Cumulus] together.

NASH Next is a national search competition aimed at discovering and releasing music from talented newcomers.

Aspiring artists can enter right here at or through your local Cumulus country stations (see list below). Contestants will be judged by Cumulus listeners and local music industry professionals in their communities. Finalists, and the 2016 winner, will be decided by country luminaries, Scott Borchetta, founder, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, Kix Brooks, of Brooks & Dunn and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, as well as one lucky Cumulus listener (To be determined).

Reba McEntire with Kix Brooks Photo courtesy BMLG
Reba McEntire with Kix Brooks
Photo courtesy BMLG

NASH Next offers something different for competitors because the competition is led by Cumulus Media, radio’s dominant source for country music. “Internet, Twitter and everything else put together doesn’t equal what country radio does for us as artists, and as an industry,” said Kix Brooks.

The overall winner of this four-month-long national competition will be announced by country’s favorite redhead, Reba McEntire, and will receive a major label record deal with Big Machine Label Group as well as substantial radio play on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.

“Radio has been an essential — and joyous — part of my musical career for over four decades,” says Reba. “Cumulus is synonymous with country, so it’s the pitch perfect vehicle for this search. I’m honored to add my voice to this great project that will help usher in the next generation of country.”

How the Competition Works:

Beginning today, local artists may enter the competition via the NASH Next website ( and will be judged on three challenges, by three local music industry professionals, as well as listeners in their communities. First, artists will be asked to submit an original song. Next, contestants will be charged with adapting a popular song, with a new style. For the third challenge, contestants will be provided a phrase and tasked with writing a verse and chorus, using that lyric. Local markets will either host live events or select their finalist by judging the contestants from a video performance of an original song.

Local winners from each market will move on to the national challenge, submitting a live performance video showcasing their best original song. Of those, the top ten finalists are selected by country music legends and a lucky Cumulus listener. Those10 national finalists will then compete in a live concert event in Nashville, in late fall, where the NASH Next 2016 winner will be selected by the celebrity judging panel.

If you want to take part, or know of an act that deserves a shot at being America’s newest country star, enter today and let your journey to stardom begin.

Here is a list of participating stations and sites:

Market City/State  Call Letters        Website

Abilene, Texas        KBCY-FM 
Albany, Ga.             WKAK-FM
Albany, Ga.             WNUQ-FM
Albuquerque, N.M.  KBZU-FM 
Albuquerque, N.M.  KRST-FM 
Amarillo, Texas        KARX-FM
Ann Arbor, Mich.      WWWW-FM  
Appleton, Wis.          WPKR-FM
Atlanta, Ga.              WKHX-FM
Beaumont, Texas     KAYD-FM
Blacksburg, Va.        WPSK-FM
Bloomington, Ill.        WBWN-FM
Boise, Idaho              KQFC-FM
Charleston, S.C.       WIWF-FM
Chattanooga, Tenn.  WOGT-FM
Cincinnati, Ohio        WNNF-FM
Colorado Springs, Co. KATC-FM
Columbia/Jefferson,Mo. KBBM-FM
Dallas/Ft.Worth,Texas KSCS-FM
Des Moines, Iowa      KHKI-FM
Des Moines, Iowa      KJJY-FM
Detroit, Mich.             WDRQ-FM
Erie, Pa.                     WXTA-FM
Fayetteville, Ark.        KAMO-FM
Flint, Mich.                 WFBE-FM
Florence, S.C.            WHLZ-FM
Fort Smith, Ark.          KOMS-FM
Fort Walton Bch.,Fla   WYZB-FM
Fresno, Calif.              KSKS-FM
Grand Rapids, Mich.   WTNR-FM
Green Bay, Wis.         WPCK-FM
Harrisburg, Pa.           WHGB-FM
Harrisburg, Pa.           WZCY-FM
Huntsville, Ala.           WWFF-FM
Indianapolis, Ind.       WFMS-FM
Knoxville, Tenn.          WIVK-FM
Kokomo, Ind.              WWKI-FM
Lafayette, La.             KXKC-FM
Lake Charles, La.       KQLK-FM
Lake Charles, La.       KYKZ-FM
Lexington, Ky.            WLXX-FM
Lexington, Ky.            WVLK-FM
Macon, Ga.                WDEN-FM
Melbourne, Fla.          WHKR-FM
Memphis, Tenn.         WGKX-FM
Montgomery, Ala.       WLWI-FM
Muncie, Ind.               WMDH-FM
Muskegon, Mich        WLAW-FM
Nashville, Tenn.         WKDF-FM
Nashville, Tenn.         WSM-FM
New Orleans, La.       WRKN-FM
New York, N.Y.           WNSH-FM
Oxnard-Ventura, Calif. KHAY-FM
Pensacola, Fla.          WXBM-FM
Peoria, Ill.                   WFYR-FM
Reno, Nev.                 KBUL-FM
Salt Lake City, Utah   KUBL-FM
Stockton/Modesto, Calif. KATM-FM
Toledo/Monroe, Ohio  WKKO-FM
Toledo/Monroe, Ohio  WMIM-FM
Topeka, Kan.               KTOP-FM
Tri-Cities, Tenn.           WKOS-FM
Tucson, Ariz.               KIIM-FM           http://www.kiimfm
Wichita Falls, Texas    KLUR-FM
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.        WSJR-FM
Wilmington, N.C.         WWQQ-FM
Worcester, Mass.         WORC-FM
Youngstown, Ohio        WQXK-FM

If you live in a city that does not have a participating radio station, you can enter and vote here at or at one of these stations:

Daily Dose

Thomas Rhett Will Never Take Touring for Granted

Thomas Rhett Will Never Take Touring for Granted

Thomas Rhett is ready to hit the road and Bring The Bar To You in 2022!

Starting in June, Thomas will kick-off his Bring The Bar To You tour with back to back shows in Gilford, New Hampshire with openers Parker McCollum and Conner Smith.

After going through the last two years, Thomas says, “I’ll never take for granted being able to come see y’all and I’m so fired up to play some of these new ones that were made with these nights in mind. I have a feeling things are going to get loud – I’m counting down the days already!”

Photo Courtesy of Thomas Rhett