The Opry has unveiled its 2023 NextStage Class of rising stars, with the likes of Ernest, Megan Moroney, Ian Munsick and more all being featured as part of the specially curated group.
Also being spotlighted by the Opry is Jackson Dean, Corey Kent, Ashley Cooke, Chapel Hart and Kameron Marlowe.
To properly anoint this year's roster of country prodigies, the Opry is holding a live concert on May 10 in Colony, Texas. All eight of the chosen artists will take the stage and showcase just why they were selected as some of the most exciting new voices in the genre.
The event, which will take place at Texas’ Lava Cantina, will also help the country world prepare for the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards, which are being held the following evening in nearby Frisco.
While each member of the Opry NextStage Class of 2023 is quickly expanding their fanbase, Megan Moroney's ascent over the past six months has been particularly noticeable, following the immense popularity of her smash hit 2022 single, ‘Tennessee Orange’.
The Georgia native is currently readying her debut full-length album, Lucky, for May 5, which will include much-loved singles such as ‘I'm Not Pretty’ and the titular honky-tonk anthem.
Ernest is another Opry NextStage selectee who has surged to the forefront of the genre in recent years. His recent deluxe album, Flower Shops (The Album): Two Dozen Roses, was released to widespread acclaim and has spawned fan-favourites such as ‘Miss That Girl’ and ‘Burn Out’.
Ian Munsick continues to add to his rapidly burgeoning group of listeners after dropping his new album, White Buffalo, on which he zeroes in on his distinctive, neo-Western sound. In addition, Florida's Ashley Cooke recently impressed on her recent visit to London to perform as part of the 2023 C2C Festival.
Jordan Pettit, director of artist relations & programming strategy of the Opry Entertainment Group, highlighted the Opry's continuing status as one of the key tastemakers in modern country, “Opry NextStage is a testament to the Grand Ole Opry’s longstanding reputation as a trusted curator in country music and its commitment to nurturing and showcasing exceptional new talent, as it has done for almost a century”.
Previous Opry NextStage classes have spotlighted a variety of artists that have since gone on to become high-profile names in the genre, such as Lainey Wilson, Riley Green and Parker McCollum.
For the full Grand Ole Opry 2023 schedule so far, see below: