Rossville's Lauren Alaina was one of four singers asked to perform Monday night for CMT's Next Women of Country gathering in Nashville.
The party was to celebrate the induction of Danielle Bradbery - the reigning champion of "The Voice" - into the group. However, CMT has announced it will highlight Alaina, Bradbery and Brandy Clark as part of its "Listen Up" series, a multiplatform franchise that showcases "artists on the verge of widespread success."
CMT launched its Next Women of Country promotion in January with 10 female singers that network executives handpicked as "powerhouse voices ... the rising generation of signed and unsigned female superstars."
Alaina was one of that inaugural class along with Ashley Monroe, Holly Williams, Jana Kramer, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Sarah Darling, Rose Falcon, Rachel Farley and Kelleigh Bannen. Other artists such as Laura Bell Bundy and Angaleena Presley have been added throughout this year and Bradbery is the 16th to be included.
CMT has promoted these women throughout this year on its network, CMT Pure and CMT.com.
"We want to recognize, support and expose the next wave of authentic female artists ... who are writing, recording and making it happen on their own in a crowded, male-dominated format," says Leslie Fram, senior vice president of Music Strategy, CMT, in a news release.
Alaina sang "Same Day, Different Bottle" at Monday's party. After her, Monroe sang "Like a Rose," Williams performed "The Highway," and Bradbery closed the event with her new single, "Heart of Dixie"
The performance gave the local singer some high-profile attention since the party was attended by industry heads such as Mike Dungan of Universal Music Group, John Esposito of Warner Music Group, John Grady from Crush Mangaement and Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records.