2019 MusicRow Awards Category Profile: Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Following the recent announcement of this year’s nominees for the 31st annual MusicRow Awards, we take a look at the Breakthrough Artist of the Year category. This category is voted on by MusicRow’s subscribed members to honor a Nashville artist who achieved significant career progress for the first time.

The MusicRow Awards will be presented at a private ceremony on June 26. See the full list of MusicRow Awards nominees.

Winners are determined solely by MusicRow Magazine subscribers. Voting closes on May 21 at 5 p.m. If you do not have a subscription, you may subscribe to receive a ballot.

2019 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Nominees:

Jimmie Allen is nominated for MusicRow Breakthrough Artist for his success as a recording artist, and Breakthrough Artist-Writer as a co-writer of his single “Best Shot.” The song made history as the first time a black artist took their first-ever single to No. 1 at country radio, and the first time since 2012 a debut single spent three weeks at No. 1. Allen’s follow up, “Make Me Want To,” is now making its way up the charts. He will spend the summer on the road with major tours headlined by Chris Young and Rascal Flatts.

Jordan Davis took his debut track, “Singles You Up,” all the way to No. 1 and followed that hit with another chart-topper, “Take It From Me.” The Louisiana native co-wrote all 12 tracks on his album Home State. He is currently on the road with Old Dominion and will then join Rascal Flatts on tour in July. In 2018, Davis was nominated for MusicRow Breakthrough Artist-Writer for co-writing “Singles You Up.”

Russell Dickerson has earned two No. 1s with his hits “Yours,” and “Blue Tacoma,” both of which he co-wrote. He is following that success with his latest single “Every Little Thing,” which is climbing country radio charts. He was a 2018 nominee for Breakthrough Artist-Writer for co-writing “Yours.” Dickerson joins Thomas Rhett on the road for the Very Hot Summer Tour, kicking off this month.

Cody Johnson‘s traditional sound has been attracting fans in his home state of Texas for years. Now he’s made the jump to the national stage via his partnership with CoJo Music/Warner Music Nashville. Johnson’s first major label single “On My Way To You,” is climbing at radio and earned a nomination this year for MusicRow Awards Song of the Year for co-writers Brett James and Tony Lane.

Ashley McBryde had an incredible year, driven by her album Girl Going Nowhere, and single of the same name. She earned a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album with the only debut album in the category. McBryde is also nominated for MusicRow Awards Song of the Year as a co-writer of “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” and her collaborator Jay Joyce is up for Producer of the Year. Coming up, McBryde will tour with Miranda Lambert.

Morgan Wallen scored his first No. 1 as an artist with “Up Down,” and followed that with current hit “Whiskey Glasses.” Up next for the Tennessee native is a nationwide stint on Florida Georgia Line’s summer tour, followed by a fall run as direct support for Luke Combs. Wallen was a 2018 nominee for MusicRow’s Breakthrough ArtistWriter as a co-writer of “You Make It Easy,” recorded by Jason Aldean.



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

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