Jessie Ritter Bests More Than 800 Artists to Win 2018 “Nash Next” Competition

Jessie Ritter Bests More Than 800 Artists to Win 2018 “Nash Next” Competition

After a four-month-long competition that featured more than 800 artists from around the country, Jessie Ritter has been named the 2018 Nash Next champion.

(from left) Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, Jessie Ritter, Elaina Smith and Shawn Parr

Jessie, a Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native, bested nine other finalists during the Nash Next finale at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon on Oct. 11. As winner of the fourth annual competition, Jessie will receive a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella and substantial radio exposure on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.

“I’m very excited and blessed for this opportunity,” said Jessie. “God has given me patience and strength throughout this entire process and I’m humbled to be crowned the Nash Next winner. This is where I’m meant to be, and I can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead.”

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Dustin Lynch & MacKenzie Porter talk about “Thinking ‘Bout You”

Dustin Lynch & MacKenzie Porter talk about “Thinking ‘Bout You”

Dustin Lynch recalls the exact moment during the writing of “Thinking ‘Bout You” when they thought it could work as a collaboration, “We realized, after we got to the chorus, wait a second, this is the duet moment we’ve been looking for. We can have the girl on the other end of the line, and her come in on the second verse, and now it’s a conversation. And I do think that’s why it’s so approachable and people relate to it and those phone calls can be life changing sometimes.”

As the song is knocking on the door to the number-one spot on the country music airplay chart, MacKenzie Porter shares that she and Dustin haven’t had a lot of opportunities to perform the hit song together, “The crazy part is like, we’ve actually probably sang it separately, more than we’ve sang it together, because our touring schedules are different. So then when we do get to do it together, it’s like oh yeah this is how, this is how it’s supposed to go, I’m not supposed to sing Dustin’s first verse, which I do in my own show. It just feels so natural.”

Photo Courtesy of Dustin Lynch & MacKenzie Porter