Best Country Breakout

Photo: Harper Smith

In the opening line of her song “Ten Year Town,” country songsmith Hailey Whitters sings, “I’m 12 years into a 10-year town,” lamenting the many trials and tribulations faced by artists trying to make it in Nashville. Her debut album The Dream is the product of those 12 years, which included plenty of frustration but also landed Whitters high-profile cuts with artists like Little Big Town. The album deserves all the fanfare and acclaim it’s received, and then some. With The Dream, Whitters proves she’s earned a spot among the highest echelons of country songwriters. BRITTNEY McKENNA

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