2018 is about to come to a close, and that means it's time to look forward to what the new year has to offer, which includes plenty of brand-new country music.
From classic country to Southern rock to pop-heavy tracks, these artists can offer something for everyone, with many poised to make a major splash in the music industry next year. Many of these artists have already written for or collaborated with big names in the industry, and it's a safe bet that you'll be hearing more than a few of them on your radio in the coming months.
Read on to check out our picks for country artists to watch in 2019.
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Solar's Cajun roots are evident in his music, which infuses Southern rock and plenty of soul and has helped him earn a reputation as a live performer, opening for acts like idols Lynyrd Skynyrd, Old Dominion and The Cadillac Three.
Solar has released multiple EPs and also spent time as a songwriter, co-writing hits like Morgan Wallen's "Up Down" and songs by Jerrod Niemann and Justin Moore.prevnext
HARDY initially scored major success as a songwriter, joining Solar on Wallen's "Up Down" and helping pen Florida Georgia Line's "Simple", but now he's striking out on his own with his EP, This Ole Boy, which features four twangy earworms that will have you singing along in no time.
Next year, he'll join Wallen on his friend's If I Know Me Tour, which kicks off in January.prevnext
Ashton's unique blend of R&B, country and soul has been earning her rave reviews, thanks to her searing and honest debut single "California, Missouri," which she wrote with Nashville hitmakers Shane McAnally and Luke Laird and paints a picture of the hometown Ashton loves but also loves to leave.
Ashton is currently working on her major label debut album, though Keith Urban fans may have already caught her this year as a guest on the singer's track "Drop Top."prevnext
Clare Dunn made a major impact this year with her single "More," a sweet love song that finds Dunn fully expressing her feelings to a partner. Come to one of her live shows, though, and you'll hear a full-throttle set complete with powerful vocals, skilled guitar playing and a serious dose of girl power that's fueled with selections from her previous EP.
Next year, Dunn will head out on CMT's Next Women of Country Tour with Cassadee Pope and Hannah Ellis.prevnext
After rocketing onto the airwaves with his single "Drunk Me," Tenpenny followed the song's success with his debut album, Telling All My Secrets, which arrived earlier this month.
Known for his striking vocals, Tenpenny grew up in Nashville and was able to watch as his grandmother, Donna Hilley, a major player in publishing, guided the careers of prominent songwriters. She also introduced Tenpenny to the writing world and helped ignite his passion for music.prevnext
Wammack made waves in 2018 with her self-titled EP, showcasing her honest songwriting and ethereal voice, which infuses plenty of soul into her piano-driven performances. This year, Wammack hit the road with Brett Young on his Here Tonight Tour, impressing audiences with her powerful pipes.
Wammack is a member of CMT's Next Women of Country 2019 class.prevnext
Lay made his debut with the 2017 single "Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers," which he wrote alongside Shane McAnally and Luke Laird. He followed that with "Yada, Yada, Yada," which showcases his country-pop leaning in a smoothly-rolling single that espouses the upside of a night in.
Serving as an opener on Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun tour over the summer gave him major crowd practice, and he's currently working on his debut album.prevnext
After making his name as a songwriter and earning cuts with artists like Dan + Shay, Justin Moore and Miranda Lambert, Hambrick released a single, "Rockin' All Night Long," a wistful reflection on his younger years that showcases his laid-back style.
Hambrick's diverse influences, which include Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, John Mayer and The Foo Fighters, are easy to hear in his music, and the singer is currently in the studio working on his debut album.prevnext
Jacqueline is an artist poised on the brink of her big break, following her 2017 album Side A with the release of her Side B EP. Jacqueline has a pure, instantly recognizable voice, and brings a softer side to country music and versatile sound, which ranges from pop-country to floating folk and several variations in between.
This year, Jacqueline opened for Kip Moore on his After the Sunburn Tour, and will hit the road starting in January alongside Devin Dawson. She also scored an assist from Keith Urban on her new song, "If I Were You."
Photo Credit: Getty / Erika Goldringprev