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Nashville's Top Music Makers

Meet the musicians, producers, and talent seekers who are rocking the music world.

Written By:  Nashville Lifestyles

Photographers:  Various

The Free Spirit: Luke Bryan
With an official fan club called the “nut house” and hit songs like “Country Girl (Shake it For Me)” and “Drunk On You,” it’s clear that Bryan is a fun-loving guy. Check out his headlining tour, “Dirt Road Diaries,” in 2013.
The Wordsmith: Thomas Rhett
The Hendersonville native and son of Rhett Akins hit the road this summer with Toby Keith; up next, he’s on tour with Jason Aldean, who sold out his upcoming Fenway Park in seven minutes.
The Soulful Spirit: Molly Reed
As one half of the duo City Harbor, Reed has been making her own waves as a songwriter; this spring, she’ll write for Amy Grant’s forthcoming album.
The Bloomer: Angel Snow
This talented singer-songwriter wrote “Lie Awake” for Alison Krauss, who quickly took the blooming star under her wing. Look for her third album to be released in 2013.
The Newcomer: Chancellor Warhol
Electro-rap extraordinaire has been pushing boundaries alongside artists like Wallpaper, LL Cool J, and Questlove and will release his album, Paris Is Burning, next year.
The Muse: Dan Auerbach
The lead singer of the Black Keys is also making waves for his production talent, specifically for coaxing out raw talent from young artists like Jeff The Brotherhood and Hacienda. This summer he and band mate Patrick Carney drew a crowd with their secret video shoot in Nashville, watch “Little Black Submarines” filmed at the Springwater Supper Club and Lounge.
The Revivalists: Ben Folds Five
As the owner of a studio on Music Row, and a vocal supporter of all things Nashville, Ben Folds is beloved in this now. He’s now back together with his band, Ben Folds Five and released the album The Sounds of The Life of The Mind in early 2012.
The Breakouts: Florida Georgia Line
These Belmont grads were snapped up by Big Loud Shirt publishing early in their career and this month, they release Here’s To The Good Times. No mater what time of year, we love the song "Hell Raisin’ Heat of the Summer".
The Ryan Seacrest of Nashville: Storme Warren
The host of GAC’s Headline Country and Sirius XM show Music Row Happy Hour has interviewed all of country’s greatest names—and takes the stage on December 31 to host “Bash on Broadway.”
The Champion: Robert Deaton
Deaton is the multi-talented architect of dozens of live shows, including the CMA Country Christmas special and the CMA Awards; he gets kudos from country’s biggest stars for his stellar work.
The Showmen: Todd Mayo and John Walker, co-founders of Music City Roots
Longtime friends Mayo and Walker have built their weekly variety, Music City Roots, into a nationally known institution. The show, which appears at the Loveless Barn every Wednesday night, was recently picked up by PBS.
The Independents: WRLT, Lightning 100
This locally run and operated radio station is fiercely dedicated to independent Nashville music and involves its entire staff as well as its listeners in the process of showcasing new music.
The Songstress: Katie Herzig
This folksy singer songwriter is fresh off a tour for her latest album, The Waking Sleep and has plans to get back to the recording studio early next year.
The Jack-of-all-Trades: Billy Ray Cyrus
For 20 years, Cyrus has entertained fans of his own gospel-tinged country and this past fall, released his 30th album, Change My Mind.
The Flowering Bud: Caitlin Rose
This sweet singer songwriter who grew up just outside of Nashville has a new album set to drop March 2013.
The Icons: Kings of Leon
They may be on hiatus but these local rockers have been busy on side projects like their label, Serpents & Snakes, and bassist Jared Followill’s two-piece project, Smoke & Jackal. Look for a new album to be released later in 2013.
The Groundbreaker: Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Label Group
Superstars Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw can thank Borchetta for the deal he recently inked with Clear Channel, which will pay artists royalties on digital and terrestrial air play and likely pave the way for deals like this across the industry.
The Charmer: John Esposito, CEO Warner Music, Nashville
Having harnessed the power of Blake Shelton, Espo, as he’s known in the industry is known for pulling together a stellar arsenal of talent at WMN.


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In our annual Music Issue, we feature Nashville’s hottest musical talent—both on stage and behind the scenes. For in-depth profiles on each, pick up a copy of Nashville Lifestyles, on stands now. This month we're sharing a host of great playlists from our Spotify page (a free download on your computer to live stream music). Curated just for you with the best artists in Nashville — from the most well known to the up-and-coming!

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