2019 MusicRow Awards Category Profile: Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year

Following Monday’s (May 13) announcement of this year’s nominees for the 31st annual MusicRow Awards, we take a closer look at the Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year category. Voted by MusicRow’s subscribed members, the category honors a Nashville songwriter and artist who for the first time wrote or co-wrote a Top 10 song.

The MusicRow Awards will be presented at a invitation-only ceremony on June 26.

See the full list of nominees.

Winners are determined solely by MusicRow 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-Writer of the Year nominees:

Jimmie Allen co-wrote his No. 1 single “Best Shot” with fellow MusicRow Awards nominees Josh London and JP Williams. 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. Following that success, Allen’s “Make Me Want To” was most added at country radio in its first week. It’s the second single off his debut album Mercury Lane.

Seth Ennis is nominated in this category for co-writing “Hooked,” with fellow nominee Morgan Evans, and 2018 nominee Lindsay Rimes. Dylan Scott’s recording of the song went to No. 2 and is certified Gold. Ennis is multi-talented—he co-wrote, co-produced and played all the instruments on his own debut single, “Woke Up In Nashville.” For his current single, “Call Your Mama,” Ennis collaborated with fellow 2019 MusicRow Awards nominees Michael Hardy and Jordan Reynolds.

Morgan Evans was co-writer of two big country hits during the eligibility period: his own U.S. debut single “Kiss Somebody,” and “Hooked,” recorded by Dylan Scott. “Hooked” was written with fellow Breakthrough Artist-Writer nominee Seth Ennis, and 2018 Breakthrough Songwriter nominee Lindsay Rimes. Australian-born Evans penned his No. 1, “Kiss Somebody,” with Chris DeStefano and 2019 Male Songwriter of the Year nominee Josh Osborne. Evans followed that success with currently rising single “Day Drunk.”

Riley Green is nominated for co-writing his Top 5 hit “There Was This Girl.” He penned the song with Breakthrough Songwriter nominee Erik Dylan, and they also collaborated on Green’s other recently-released tune “Bettin’ Man” alongside Jonathan Singleton. Green also co-wrote his brand new single “In Love By Now.” He is an Alabama native who built a following by touring the Southeast and will continue on the road this summer with Brad Paisley.

HARDY charted two No. 1s as a songwriter during the eligibility period: “Simple” recorded by Florida Georgia Line, and “Up Down,” recorded by Morgan Wallen ft. FGL. HARDY wrote “Simple” with FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley along with 2019 Breakthrough Songwriter nominee Mark Holman. For “Up Down,” HARDY collaborated with fellow nominees Brad Clawson and CJ Solar. HARDY’s own debut single “Rednecker” is on the charts, as is his co-write, “God’s Country,” recorded by Blake Shelton.

CJ Solar co-wrote “Up Down” with fellow 2019 nominees Brad Clawson and HARDY, and the recording by Morgan Wallen ft. Florida Georgia Line became a No. 1 hit. While experiencing success as a songwriter, Solar also scored as an artist. His singles “Airplane” and “American Girls” reached No. 15 on the MusicRow Chart, helping him earn the MusicRow CountryBreakout Award for Independent Artist of the Year. Solar also has credits on singles by Jerrod Niemann and Kyle Park.

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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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