NN_2017_LogoNASH Next 2017 led by Cumulus Media, #1 in country and radio’s dominant source for country music, kicks off its third annual grassroots national search for the nation’s newest star today in over 62 markets across the United States including Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville. Beginning today, local artists may enter the competition via the NASH Next website

The winner of this five-month-long national competition, announced by seven diamond award winner and the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks, will receive a record deal with NASH Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group, home to such superstars as Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and the reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Thomas Rhett. The NASH Next 2017 winner will receive substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  While television boasts several talent competitions, no other contest  — on any platform — has ever offered its winners a similar opportunity for coveted radio play, which is the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career.

“I can’t think of a better way to inspire and discover up and coming talent than through local Country radio,” said Garth Brooks.

Seventy-nine NASH/Cumulus stations in 62 markets will conduct local searches, with significant national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated country shows.

With 99 million fans, Country has become the #1 most popular music genre and Cumulus’ NASH Next 2017 competition pays tribute to the great tradition of radio as a launch pad for country music’s most beloved artists. The NASH Next 2016 winner, Todd O’Neill, released his debut single “Love Again” in April and broke the top 50 country charts in early May and his single continues to climb the charts.

“This whole experience has been truly incredible,” remarked Todd O’Neill, NASH Next 2016 winner. “There is honestly no way to describe what it’s like when you hear your first single played on the radio or when you see your name on the Country music charts – It’s what makes this program stand out from all others.”