2017 MusicRow Awards: Breakthrough Artist Nominees


Voted by MusicRows subscribed members to honor a Nashville artist who achieved significant career progress for the first time.

Lauren Alaina (UMG Nashville)

Lauren Alaina celebrated her first No. 1 song in April 2017 with “Road Less Traveled.” She had double reason to toast her success because she also co-wrote the song. It took the rising star five singles and six years of hard work to earn the hit, which she says made victory that much sweeter. Road Less Traveled is the title of her sophomore studio album, which is also home to her new single, “Doin’ Fine.” She recently wrapped the CMT Next Women of Country Tour with Martina McBride.


William Michael Morgan (Warner Music Nashville)

William Michael Morgan went straight to the pinnacle of the charts with his debut single, “I Met A Girl,” a love song that showcases his traditional sound. Morgan’s debut album, Vinyl, was produced by Scott Hendricks and Jimmy Ritchey. Now the singer is working his follow-up single “Missing.” The Vicksburg, Miss. native recently wrapped a tour with Lee Brice and Justin Moore.


Maren Morris (Sony Music Nashville)

Maren Morris’ first major-label album broke through in a major way. Hero yielded the Platinum single “My Church,” and the follow-up hit “80s Mercedes.” The Arlington, Texas native racked up trophies including a Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance, CMA New Artist of the Year, and ACM Album and Single Record of the Year. Now she’s singing her new ballad “I Could Use a Love Song.” Morris is busy on her sold-out headlining tour for the rest of the year.


Jon Pardi (UMG Nashville)

Jon Pardi scored back-to-back No. 1 hits during the last year, with the tunes “Dirt On My Boots” and “Head Over Boots,” the latter of which he co-wrote. The songs are representative of his brand of traditional country, drawing influences from ‘90s hitmakers and genre icons including George Strait. Pardi’s current album, California Sunrise, is named for his home state and opened at No. 1. It is the follow-up to his 2014 debut, Write You a Song, which yielded the Top 10 “Up All Night.”


Brett Young (BMLG)

Brett Young notched two No. 1 songs from his self-titled, debut album; the upbeat “Sleep Without You” and the sensitive ballad “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Both of the tracks have been certified Gold by the RIAA. The California native co-wrote these hits and all but one song on his album. The self-titled debut project was helmed by star producer Dann Huff, who is nominated for MusicRow Producer of the Year.


The MusicRow Awards will be presented at a private ceremony. 

See the full list of nominees. 

Winners are determined solely by MusicRow subscribers. Voting closes on Tuesday, May 30 at 5 p.m. If you do not have a subscription, you can subscribe to receive a ballot.


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Category: Artist, Awards, Featured

About the Author

Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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