Performers Revealed For 17th Annual MusicRow Country Radio Meet & Greet And CountryBreakout Awards

CJ Solar, Chance McKinney

MusicRow Magazine, Nashville’s leading music industry publication, is proud to reveal performers for its 17th Annual Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards in February 2019. The event’s presenting sponsor is business manager Vaden Group/Elliott Davis. Sea Gayle Records’ CJ Solar will take the stage alongside independent artist Chance McKinney.

The private event is open to MusicRow Magazine subscribed members, including country radio broadcasters and industry affiliates ahead of the 2019 Country Radio Seminar (CRS). Invitations were sent Jan. 10, 2019.

“CJ Solar and Chance McKinney are two rising talents we are proud to present to radio at MusicRow’s 17th Annual Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards,” said MusicRow Magazine Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. “MusicRow’s reporting panel of stations for the CountryBreakout Chart represent the best in secondary radio. This year we are proud to have business manager Vaden Group/Elliott Davis as Presenting Sponsor of one of MusicRow’s flagship events.”

With a blended musical blueprint that incorporates country music, Southern rock and Delta blues, Baton Rouge, Louisiana native Solar’s music has resonated with fans, garnering more than four million streams on Spotify. His hard-driving “American Girls” peaked at No. 15 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart. The song’s accompanying video featured a cameo from country star Jerrod Niemann. “Airplane,” another track from his 2017 EP Get Away With It, also reached the Top 15 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart. Solar co-wrote all five tracks on the Sea Gayle Records release, alongside writers and artists including Bob DiPiero, HARDY, Michael Hobby, and Andrew DeRoberts. As a songwriter, Solar earned his first No. 1 hit with Morgan Wallen’s “Up Down,” featuring Florida Georgia Line. Solar has also co-written singles such as the Top 40 hit “Blue Bandana” with Jerrod Niemann, and Kyle Park’s Texas Chart No. 1, “What the Heaven,” in addition to album cuts with Justin Moore and Texas artist Mike Ryan. When not headlining his own shows, Solar has opened for such artists including The Cadillac Three, Old Dominion and Lynyrd Skynyrd with 38 Special and Hank Williams, Jr.

Transcending blue collar or white collar, cultural heritages and upbringings, McKinney’s music delves into relationships and how we perceive the act of making a living with his most recent projects, I and  . Coined “industrialized country,” McKinney describes his musical blend as country lyrics and vocals mixed over a bed of metal guitars and a keen pop structure. His motivation to create comes from his stance against a type of bullying, as he sees it—someone telling him what he can’t do. The Montana native excelled in academics and athletics in school, but it wasn’t until 2009 when McKinney submitted an evocative piano ballad, “Be Real,” to CMT’s Music City Madness competition. McKinney won the contest, earning more than one million votes from across the country. The victory brought McKinney larger concert bookings, including slots opening for Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Dwight Yoakam, Creedence Clearwater and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others. On his latest EP, I², McKinney forges his own musical path, built atop passion, determination and an unwavering commitment to his craft.

The event is set to reveal the 2019 CountryBreakout Award winners, tallied from chart performance on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart in 2018. Categories include Male Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Group/Duo of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Independent Artist of the Year, Label of the Year and Songwriter of the Year for writing the most No. 1 songs on the Chart. Reporter of the Year will be selected by MusicRow from its weekly reporting panel of over 80 country stations in the secondary radio market throughout the United States. Concurrently the winners will be profiled in the 2019 Country Radio print issue.

The 2019 print issue is mailed to subscribers, and available at the event as well as throughout CRS week at the Omni Nashville Hotel. In addition to winner profiles, the annual issue will highlight how secondary radio continues to help country star Granger Smith reach his fans. The magazine will also profile incoming CRS leader R.J. Curtis in addition to outgoing leader Bill Mayne. Elaina Smith from NASH Nights Live talks how she has made her platform available for those women who want to hear women on country radio. CMA Award-winning radio maven, Becca Walls, is also profiled alongside MusicRow chart reporter Arnie Andrews (WCOW-COW97, Sparta, Wisconsin), discussing how his station is seeing the highest revenue in its history.

Subscribed members will receive their copy of the MusicRow Country Radio issue by mail. To be added to the mailing list and to receive your invitation to the 2019 event, subscribe to MusicRow Magazine at


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Category: Artist, Awards, Exclusive, Featured

About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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