An air force brat born in Fort Worth Texas, Lauren Flynn aspires to embrace the journey. From New York to Southern California then Colorado and back to So Cal, Lauren has experienced many different environments and support systems. As a child Lauren looked up to her grandfather, who has recently passed, for his love of country music and adventure. Not afraid of taking risks, Lauren began hosting an open mic night. There she would perform covers of her favorite songs adding a bluegrass tempo to each rendition.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Lauren is enjoying the sunshine along with the strong support system LA has to offer. More recently Lauren released a new EP titled ‘Bad Decisions in the Daylight’ which shares of Lauren’s personal experiences as “the cheated on, the cheater, and the other woman.”
With a love for performing and expressing herself Lauren hopes to tour more and embrace all parts of herself. You can find Lauren’s new EP ‘Bad Decisions in the Daylight’ via iTunes or by clicking here.
And the 2016 Artist of the Year is…. Lauren Alaina
Born in Georgia, Lauren Alaina found her stardom on season 10 of American idol. While on the show she captured the hearts of many with her powerful vocals and charming personality. Following the release of her self-titled EP and with a large following of devoted fans, Lauren has earned herself a rightful spot as Next Women of Country’s 2016 Artist of the Year. Lauren co-wrote every song on her new EP including her most recent empowering hit “Road Less traveled.” Lauren’s music can be heard on country music radio stations across the country and she has been nominated for several Teen Choice and CMT Music Awards this year as well. Currently Lauren is on tour with Alan Jackson and regularly appears on the Grand Ole Opry Stage. Lauren’s music video for ‘Road Less traveled” is featured as our 7th best Music Video of 2016!
Paulina Jayne, though she grew up in Detroit, is no stranger to the music industry. Raised by artistic parents, Paulina has been singing and composing her own music since she was nine years old. Paulina’s music reflects her own personal views on the social issues we are dealing with today and sends a message. Recently Paulina, with the help of songwriters Trey Bruce and Hailey Steele, released her song ‘Love’s Gonna Always Win’ to remind us that we can be greater than the hatred in this world. Paulina’s strong support system and clear talent got her to the final round in determining the 2016 Artist of the Year, so make sure to check out her music if you haven’t already.
From musical theatre to dance classes and singing lessons, Lauren Davidson knew she was destined to entertain. Though Lauren’s childhood was driven by musical theatre, her passion for music took her down the path to becoming an independant artist. Lauren’s sound includes elements from both pop and country music. Her songs are personal and convey both her own experiences and emotions. This year Lauren released her EP Hear Me which features five songs Lauren hopes “inspires all to go after their dreams and fly”. With an “I can do it” attitude and a unique sound Lauren has made it into the final round and her EP Hear Me is listed as the 9th best Album of 2016.
What began in the summer of 2012, the trio Maybe April are known for their unique sound and strong stage presence. After meeting in Nashville at a weeklong music industry camp, the three girls quickly became friends. Later collaborating for just a few short hours they wrote their first single “Loving You Still” putting them on the map. This year they came out with their newest single Blush which earned the 3rd spot on our Top Ten Singles of the Year list. As one of the best country music trios, it’s no wonder Maybe April landed a spot in our final round for Artist of the Year as well.
1. Olivia Lane
2. Jordyn Mallory ‘Jordyn Mallory’
3. Morgan Dawson ‘This Ain’t War’
4. Karianne Jean ‘Don’t Miss’
5. Jillian Jacqueline
6. Kelsey Hickman ‘Gypsy’
7. Megs Mclean ‘Out of School’
8. Paulina Jayne
9. Lauren Davidson ‘Hear Me’
10. Jenna McDaniel ‘Puzzle’
From the Grammy’s to the Country Music Association Awards, women are found being discriminated against in the country music industry. Last year of the 135 nominees at the Grammy Awards women didn’t even make up a third of the total nominated and the sexism doesn’t just end there. Take a look at the charts for example, in 2015 only 15 women made Billboard’s top 100 list and only a year ago two leading ladies, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, represented all women on the country music charts.
So that’s why I am supporting women in the music industry, but what will it take for us all to hear more female voices on the radio?
The main thing a fan can do is (legally) download music from the artists they like to send a message to music labels and radio stations that by supporting those artists they could attract a larger audience.
What if there’s nothing you like on the radio — get engaged, get involved, call your local radio station and ask for what you want. In the meantime, instead of complaining about the lack of women on the radio, let’s focus on the fact that female artists are already making a difference in the country music industry and celebrate the fact that we as fans get to access that work online.
See we’re lucky to be living in an age and time when we don’t have to sit around waiting for a song we like to come on the radio — we can go find whatever we want, whenever we want, and if that winds up providing enough financial support for those artists to make a good enough living to continue doing what they’re doing I say it's a win win situation.