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2018 Highlights: MegaCountry’s Top Five New Artists Of The Year

  • MUSIC

  • GALLERY
  • |
  • December 20, 2018

Get familiar with these new faces and let us know which ones were your all-time favorites of 2018!


This has been a year full of talented musicians trying their luck in one of the music industries greatest genres. While we could talk on and on about the plethora of artists we discovered and loved in 2018, we decided to compile a list featuring five of our favorites. 

Get familiar with these new faces and let us know which ones dropped your favorite new tunes this past year!

1. Caleb Lee Hutchinson 

Caleb Lee Hutchinson stole America’s country-music-loving hearts while he competed on the reality completion American Idol. The 19-year-old from Dallas, Georgia, was the runner-up on Idol and is now a fast-rising country music star.

Before competing on Season 16 of American Idol, Hutchinson tried his luck on NBC’s The Voice, but was eliminated from the show. Idol, along with the help of celebrity judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, helped to make his dreams come true. Hutchinson told The Country Scene that, “Singing’s always been my dream as long as I can remember. I never wanted to be the president or astronaut – I always wanted to be Johnny Cash.”

Hutchinson released his first single, “Johnny Cash Heart,” shortly after the show ended as well as joined the American Idol Live! 2018 Tour.

2. Joe Lasher 

Joe Lasher’s latest song, “Nothing Better to Do Friday Nights,” is the perfect breakout single for this rising star. The single was written by Warner Music Nashville’s Michael Ray, alongside Chris Stevens and Jeremy Stover. The singer has been captivating audiences in his home town of Asheville, North Carolina, for years, incorporating musical influences such as Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line and Luke Combs.

Lasher told the Asheville Citizen Times, “It really did happen faster than I expected. I started at an open mic and now I’m playing every weekend. It took a lot of hard work and God. He’s been on my side.” Music runs in the family for Lasher. His dad, Joe Lasher Sr., played in a 1990s North Carolina rock band called Mother Soul. His rock background, intertwined with his country roots, is reflected in Lasher’s music and sound.

To learn more about Joe Lasher visit his website.

3. Rachel Wammack 

With her warm, soulful voice and sassy but sweet Southern spirit, Rachel Wammack is taking on country music with a unique sound and lively personality. Originally from Muscle Shoals, Wammack grew up listening to an array of old and new music idols, such as Otis Redding, Carrie Underwood, Sam Smith, and Adele. She describes her music as “the trifecta of Country, Pop, and Soul.“

Wammack wrote her first song at 12 years old. Five years later, Sony Music Nashville discovered Wammack at one of her shows in Muscle Shoals. At 23, Wammack signed her first record deal with Sony and recently released her debut EP, Rachel Wammack. The self-titled EP features four tracks dealing with love, heartbreak, and finding strength. If you’re interested in learning more about the women behind the songs, you definitely need to tune in to her new video series, This is Rachel Wammack, featured on her VEVO channel. Wammack shows viewers around her hometown and gives them a glimpse behind the scenes of her EP. She’s definitely an old soul. 

The up-and-coming country star was hand-selected as one of the opening acts for the 2018 CMT on Tour: Here Tonight by headliner Brett Young, which wrapped on December 16 in Kansas City, Missouri.

4. Lacy Cavalier

Louisiana native, and country singer-songwriter, Lacy Cavalier is another shining star that got her start with the help of a famous friend. Cavalier, having toured with Chase Rice after catching his attention, is now aspiring to share her music with country music fans everywhere.

When reminiscing on opening for Chase Rice, Cavalier said, “I was standing in some store when a random number started calling me. Usually I’d let it go to voicemail, but for some reason that day I decided to pick up and I’m extremely glad I did. I heard, ‘Hey, this is Chase.’ I replied with the expected, ‘Chase, who?’ I quickly realized what ‘Chase’ in particular it was that was calling me. I started pacing around the store with the biggest smile on my face. We talked for a second and then he told me he loved my song ‘Put You Down’ and that he wanted me to open for him on tour.”

Cavalier’s wrote her most recent single, "Every Time It Rains,” inspired by her ex-boyfriend, with Cary Barlowe and Autumn McEntire. She told Sounds Like Nashville, “I was sad, I was missing my ex, and all this stuff. I sent this text message to him and was just like, ‘I miss you.’ So, the next day I was walking into the write with my head down, just regretting this text message and whatever.”

To learn more about Cavalier, visit her website.

5. Carlton Anderson 

Another favorite new artist of ours is Texas native, Carlton Anderson. Anderson, who refers to Willie Nelson as “his drug,” and fell in love with country music at a very young age.

While attending Belmont University, he began playing at honky-tonks and bars in downtown Nashville. Billboard described Anderson as a new country star who’s sound is reminiscent on “old-school” country, but Anderson just describes his music as, “If I’ve lived it, I can sing about it. If I haven’t lived it, I’m not a good faker.” His most recent single, “Drop Everything,” is a sentimental song that Anderson describes as “a long song about a guy speaking up for the girl that he wants and taking a chance” (Drop everything, your plans, your man / I don’t see a ring on your pretty little hand / Drop some plastic on the tab, my Chevy into gear / Drop your keys by my door, your coat on my floor / And we’ll go from there, drop everything).

To learn more about Anderson, visit his website.

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