Cumulus Media announced today substantial year-over-year growth of their NASH Next franchise, including more than double the amount of registered artists. NASH Next, Cumulus Media’s national and grassroots search for America’s newest country star, recruited artists in 62 markets across the United States including Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville.
NASH Next 2017 has moved into the next phase of the competition – the Fan Rating period, where listeners are encouraged to rate the registered artists by Sunday, July 30th at 11:59 pm ET and can win the chance to attend the NASH Next 2017 finale in Nashville, TN. The top artists in each market will then compete to determine the one local winner who will proceed to the national challenge. Listeners can rate their local artists by visiting the NASH Next website.
“Our listeners know what music they like and who they want to hear on the radio and so the fan rating portion of this competition is extremely important to the program, giving our valuable listeners a voice in choosing the next country star,” stated Mike McVay, Executive Vice President, Content & Programming, Cumulus Media. Adding, “this competition provides our listeners a great radio experience.”
The winner of this five-month-long national competition, announced by seven diamond award winner and the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks, will receive a record deal with NASH Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group.
The NASH Next 2017 winner will receive substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide. While television boasts several talent competitions, no other contest — on any platform — has ever offered its winners a similar opportunity for coveted radio play, which is the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career.
Seventy-nine NASH/Cumulus stations in 62 markets conducted local searches, with significant national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated country shows.
Stellar Judging Panel
Cumulus listeners and local music industry professionals in their communities will first judge emerging artists. Finalists, and ultimately the 2017 winner, will be selected by a panel of country luminaries, including Scott Borchetta, founder, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the world’s #1 independent record label, Kix Brooks, half of Brooks & Dunn, one of country music’s most successful duos of all time, with additional celebrity judges to be announced at a later date.
How the Competition Works
Local artists entered the competition via the NASH Next website, participating local station websites and NashCountryDaily.com. Three local music industry professionals, as well as listeners in their communities will judge each competitor’s original song. Local markets will then host local live events or select their finalist by judging the contestants in a video performance of that original song.
Local winners will move on to the national challenge, submitting a live performance video showcasing their best original song, with the top ten artists selected by country music industry professionals. Those national finalists will then compete at a live concert event, hosted in Nashville in early November, where the panel of celebrity judges will select the NASH Next 2017 winner.