Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Megan Moroney, Corey Kent, Dillon Carmichael, Conner Smith And George Birge Named New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024

Each year radio programmers and on air personalities from across the country come together for the annual Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2024 CRS event took place at the Omni Hotel in downtown Music City. During the week record labels and artists host events to share new music with Country Radio.

The culminating event of the seminar is the New Faces of Country Music dinner and performances that takes place on Friday evening. After three days filled with panels focused on radio and streaming, label luncheons, the conference wrapped up by showcasing five exceptionally promising new artists.

This year’s New Faces class featured Records Nashville’s George Birge, Riser House’s Dillon Carmichael, Sony Music Nashville/RCA’s Corey Kent, Sony Music Nashville/Columbia’s Megan Moroney and Valory Music’s Conner Smith.

The evening’s performances were sharply focused, featuring artists predominantly presenting their well-known breakthrough hits. They also provided sneak peeks into their upcoming songs that will be hitting country radio in the coming weeks.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Corey Kent

One of our personal favorites, Corey Kent was the first performer of the night. Before his performance a video played that highlighted the singer’s family in Texas. He spoke about moving away from Nashville and creating new music that ultimately hit #1 on the charts. Kent introduced his set with the song “Gold.”

“If you know anything about me, you know this. I believe tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and what you do today matters. What we do tonight is take a few risks … you either getting busy living or you’re getting busy dying.” He then offered his most recent radio single, “Something’s Gonna Kill Me,” one of our favorite songs of 2023.

Kent went on to play crowd favorites “Wild As Her,” and offered the crowd a preview of a new song, titled “This Heart,” which the singer noted will soon impact country radio.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

George Birge

Next up was George Birge who reaching No. 2 on the Country charts earlier this year with the hit “Mind on You.” Birge commanded the stage, delivering the hard-rock influenced track “Hard on the Bottle.” Birge then treated the audience to an early preview of his upcoming song “Damn Right I Do” before concluding the performance with the crowd-pleaser “Cowboy Songs.”

“Thank you for believing in me,” he told the audience. “I don’t take for granted for one second that I get to be up here on this stage and it’s because of you guys.”

New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Conner Smith

Nashville native Conner Smith took the stage for the third performance of the evening. Prior to Smith’s performance, giant screens displayed home videos capturing Smith as a young child. These videos showed Smith covering hits from Kenny Chesney and Montgomery Gentry. The presentation continued with footage of Smith receiving a standing ovation during his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2022.

Smith started his set with “Smoky Mountains,” the title track from his January-released full-length album. He also played “Heatin’ Up” from the new project.

Smith also thanked country radio for changing his life by making the revved-up “Creek Will Rise” a hit. “It’s like Luke Bryan says — rain is a good thing,” Smith said before launching into the careening, rock-fueled, slightly bluesy track. ”Long live country radio!” he said, exiting the stage.

New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Dillon Carmichael

Kentucky native Dillon Carmichael, who is currently out on tour opening shows for Cody Johnson, was up next and opened his set with the song “Raised Up Wrong.” Carmichael was all smiles on stage. He seemed so happy to be taking the stage at the event for the first time.

“What an opportunity this is. Thank you for giving us a chance,” he said, before leading into his breakthrough hit “Son of A.” “In order to even qualify to be voted for to be a new face, one of those qualifications is you have to have at least a top 25 at country radio, so I want to thank my team for continuing to push this song we are about to play … and for country radio all of you who kept playing it … it means so much.”

Carmichael concluded his set with his latest country radio hit “Drinkin’ Problems.”

New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Toby Keith Tribute

The night incorporated a poignant moment dedicated to honoring the life and career of the country legend, Toby Keith. The acclaimed artist passed away last month at the age of 62 after bravely facing stomach cancer.

CRS Board of Directors president Kurt Johnson noted that Keith had planned to perform during Country Radio Seminar this year. CRB/CRS executive director RJ Curtis stated that 30 years ago that night, Keith made his New Faces Show debut in 1994. The 1994 event footage from the show that was seen on the screens flanking the stage for the sold out audience showing a performance of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and a short interview clip of Keith from his New Faces debut.

Megan Moroney

Megan Moroney closed out the New Faces Show. She is one of the most-celebrated newcomers to Country music in 2023, thanks to her breakthrough hit, “Tennessee Orange,” and her debut album, Lucky.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

“Anybody feel lucky?” Moroney asked as she took the stage, dressed in one of her signature bedazzled fuchsia colored pink dresses to perform the title track to her album Lucky, as images of horseshoes, four-leaf clovers and boots appeared on the screen behind her on stage.

New Faces Of Country Music At CRS 2024
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Megan also played her cheeky “I’m Not Pretty” and new release “No Caller ID” for the crowd who was hanging on every verse.

“I have a lot of new music coming out this year that I’m excited for you to hear,” she said, later adding, “Thank you for your support of me and my songs. I love writing songs. I love to do this and I get to do this because of you.”

Since its inception in 1970, the New Faces of Country Music Show has put some of country music’s brightest new talents in the spotlight, with the members of the Class of 2024 joining the list of past New Faces performers including Tim McGraw, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert and Jelly Roll.

Latest

New Orleans Jazz Fest Insider Tips For A Safe and Fun Experience

The warm weather and sunnier days mean that Fest...

311 Caribbean Cruise Returns March 2025

311 and Sixthman have announced the 311 Caribbean Cruise...

Country Thunder Brings The Heat To Arizona With Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll And More

Country Thunder (CT) hosts festivals in Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida,...

BARK Launches BARK Air to Offer Premium Flights for Dogs

BARK, a leading global brand dedicated to keeping dogs...

Newsletter

Don't miss

New Orleans Jazz Fest Insider Tips For A Safe and Fun Experience

The warm weather and sunnier days mean that Fest...

311 Caribbean Cruise Returns March 2025

311 and Sixthman have announced the 311 Caribbean Cruise...

Country Thunder Brings The Heat To Arizona With Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll And More

Country Thunder (CT) hosts festivals in Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida,...

BARK Launches BARK Air to Offer Premium Flights for Dogs

BARK, a leading global brand dedicated to keeping dogs...

Coachella 2024 Day 3: Doja Cat Wins It All And J Balvin Is Abducted By Aliens

Coachella Sunday’s are always when it starts to feel...
Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

New Orleans Jazz Fest Insider Tips For A Safe and Fun Experience

The warm weather and sunnier days mean that Fest season is finally here. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is about to be...

311 Caribbean Cruise Returns March 2025

311 and Sixthman have announced the 311 Caribbean Cruise is returning for its eighth sailing March 26-31, 2025 aboard the Norwegian Gem. The voyage...

Country Thunder Brings The Heat To Arizona With Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll And More

Country Thunder (CT) hosts festivals in Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Bristol, Alberta, and Saskatchewan during the year. Country music has hit a momentous popularity throughout...