A new year brings with it a renewed sense of hope, promise and resolve, both personally and professionally. 2019 could be the year for any number of up-and-coming artists -- but The Boot staff is placing bets on these men, women and groups.
The Boot's 2019 Artists to Watch are a diverse group: Some lean to the poppy side of country; others are as traditional-sounding as they come. They all, though, have cultivated a style and sound that is all their own, and they're demanding fans' attention.
Country newcomer Kelleigh Bannen's song, "Happy Birthday," is incredibly relatable, and the accompanying music video is the same. She says in a press release, “There’s something about birthdays that are so nostalgic… even if it’s just in an ‘I wonder how they’re doing’ kind of way. The details of this song are really personal, and I think that is why this song has connected with so many people. It’s just a really truthful song.”
On the night of the CMT Artists of the Year festivities, while many of her country music friends were sitting in sparkly gowns with glasses of champagne in their hands, Kelleigh Bannen was sitting in a 12-passenger van towing a U-Haul trailer, on the way home from a show in Kentucky.
Karen Fairchild naming names at the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony wasn't just a moment, it was themoment. The Little Big Town singer used her time for an acceptance speech to spotlight new female artists in country music.
It borrows the title of a celebratory song sung around the world on a daily basis, but Kelleigh Bannen’s “Happy Birthday,” as depicted in the Nashville native’s melancholic new video, isn’t aiming to get the party started.