Coming up the Ranks: Female Country Stars to Watch

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Female country music crooners like Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood may dominate the airwaves, but there’s plenty of rising talent to admire as well. Here are five female singers who are just starting to get the name recognition they deserve.

Kacey Musgraves

The first time most country music fans saw Kacey Musgraves was during her brief stint on “Nashville Star.” She finished seventh, but it only took a few years for her to regroup and show fans she was star material. Musgraves’s single “Merry Go Round” earned her favorable comparisons to Loretta Lynn and an opening act on Kenny Chesney’s 2013 summer tour. Her 2013 album “Same Trailer Different Park” earned lots of accolades and a few Grammy nominations, as well. With such an auspicious beginning, it won’t take long before Musgraves will be headlining her own tour.

Ashley Monroe

In 2011, Ashley Monroe teamed up with Miranda Lambert and Angeleena Presley to form the Pistol Annies. The resulting acclaim from their group efforts caused Ashley Monroe to release her solo album, “Like a Rose.” Unlike her first solo album, which had to fight for a release date, “Like a Rose” debuted to favorable reviews from critics. Billboard listed her album as the best country album of 2013, so don’t expect this country rose to fade any time soon.

Maggie Rose

When RPM Management decided to expand into country music, it picked Maggie Rose to be its flagship artist. Her first mainstream country single, “I Ain’t Your Mama,” showcased a new voice that was significantly wiser than her years. Although her singles from “Cut to Impress” haven’t yet broken into the country top 25, she’s still managed to impress the right people, including Willie Nelson’s producer, James Stroud.

Amber Hayes

If you’re a fan of “Hart of Dixie,” you’ve already heard several songs off of Amber Hayes’s second album, “Any Day Is A Good Day.” The grateful message of her album’s first single has resonated with country audiences and has led to her first Top 30 record. In the upcoming year, you can look for more singles off her hit album.

Brandy Clark

Brandy Clark is already a successful songwriter who’s penned tunes for Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and the Band Perry. However, at age 38, she decided to release her own album. The resulting record, titled 12 Stories, received significant acclaim from writers at Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and other national magazines. Listeners love her classic country songs, which focus on storytelling and characters, rather than the party songs that have dominated the radio. However, as she achieves more popularity, be prepared to hear Clark’s unique voice on the radio as well.