Rising singer-songwriter Conner Smith has been tapped as the latest addition to the Grand Ole Opry’s NextStage Class of 2022. Smith will make his NextStage artist debut at the Opry on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Tickets for the evening’s show are available here.
Smith, who signed to BMI at the age of nine, has penned most of his recorded songs, including five of the six tracks on his debut collection, Didn’t Go Too Far, released via The Valory Music Co. The project features his first top 40 hit, “Learn From It,” and virial smash “I Hate Alabama.” Named one of Spotify’s Hot Country Artists to Watch for 2022 and Amazon Music’s 2022 Amazon Artists To Watch, the 22-year-old was the only country act named to Pandora’s all-genre Artists To Watch 2022: The Pandora Ten list.
“I have been so blessed to see a lot of my dreams come true this year but there has not been a moment comparable to my Grand Ole Opry debut,” Smith shares. “Standing in that circle, as a kid from Nashville, I truly felt the weight and history of the Grand Ole Opry in all its depth. To be even more accepted by the Opry as a NextStage Artist means more than I can say.”
Opry NextStage collaborations include live performances, strategic marketing support and short-form documentary-style storytelling created by Opry Entertainment’s content team. Opry NextStage presents rising artists who are making standout music at the forefront of their careers through the Opry’s marketing platforms, which are set to deliver more than 100 million impressions.
Smith is the sixth act to join the 2022 class that includes Breland, Callista Clark, Restless Road, Elvie Shane and Morgan Wade. The two previous NextStage classes have featured Parker McCollum, Lainey Wilson, Riley Green and Tenille Townes, who all went on to earn ACM New Male and Female Artist of the Year trophies. NextStage launched in 2019 with an inaugural class that included Green, Tegan Marie, Townes and Travis Denning.
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