Introducing Roberta Lea

We are in an unprecedented moment. There are many people shining a light on all of the places in music that black people have been told we may not go. We are locking arms and walking in. Just weeks ago Roberta Lea was grappling with the idea of whether or not country music was hers to make. She was already making brilliant music, but felt shut out of a genre that she felt naturally inclined to. I am so pleased to share that because of the light we have all been holding into this space, Lea has stepped into it and gifted us with a remarkable debut country single, “Remarkable Lady.”

You’ve Never Heard The Spice Girls Like This

Recently, we introduced you to our friend Jett Holden. The multi talented singer songwriter has a particular knack for taking any song you can think of and giving it a rockin’, moody, outlaw country twist. We challenged him with the most unlikely thing we could think of, The Spice Girls (because who doesn’t love the spice girls), and he came back with this.

Is there anything this man can’t do? We don’t think so.

Tiera

Alabama-native, Tiera was raised on country music and R&B and describes her style as a
mix of the two.

 

Tiera released her self-titled EP in early 2021. The project is a mix of positivity, summer vibes, and good music. Her song “Found It In You” was featured on the Hot Country Playlist on Spotify and has surpassed 5 million streams on the platform.

 

Before releasing her EP, Tiera covered songs like “Be Kind” by Marshmello and Halsey and “Need You Now” with BRELAND by Lady A. Tiera and the country-trap singer followed up this cover by teaming up on a song called “Miles” featured on Tiera’s EP.

 


Tiera  was inducted into CMT’s Next Women of Country, Class of 2020.
Apple Music decided to highlight her talent by giving her her own radio show on Apple Music Country.

Big Joe Walker

Texas native Big Joe Walker is known for hitting the stage and bringing down the house. His sound is as strong as his stage presence and he weaves many different influences into his music, including country, rock, gospel, and disco.

 

Big Joe Walker has released one EP, “I Am Big Joe Walker” , and one full length album, “True Story”. Currently, Walker can be found performing in venues across Texas.

Tae Lewis

Tae Lewis is a singer songwriter from North Carolina. Raised in his grandfather’s church he grew to love music and that experience heavily influences his music today.

 

Lewis says that he “never wants to stray away from his background”. He released his first EP, “The Introduction…” in 2020. The same year, he released popular single “Good Luvin”. His most recent single “Good Friend Jack” was released in April of 2020.

Camille Parker

A student of Charlie Pride, The Pointer Sisters, and Linda Martell; Durham native, Camille Parker, is part of the influx of Black women embarking on careers in country music.

Parker recently released her first single, “The Flame”, which quickly garnered over 500,000 streams on Apple Music. She was named to Color Me Country’s Class of 2021 Artists, one of the first 5 to ever achieve the honor.

Stephanie Jacques

Stephanie Jacques is more than just a singer-songwriter; she is a story teller. She has also taken on the role of a social activist, advocating for diversity in country music.

 

Jacques has released 3 singles, “Fly”, “Rock You”, and her latest “Favorite Part” released on April 30th, 2021. 

 

Jacques is the co president of the Nashville Action Committee and the creator of “Jaqcues Talk” where she hosts “conversations for elevation.”

Ganessa James

Ganessa James got her start in Brooklyn and has over 20 years of experience as a singer/songwriter.


“I think I was born loving music,” James said.


For her, it’s not just about the music. She uses it as a vessel for fellowship with other artists and to support her work around social justice. You can often find James working with Toshi Reagon, or with her twin sister Tiffany James on their project Onliest. James has released a solo acoustic EP titled “Believer”.

CMT Music 12 Pack Countdown Includes Unprecedented Level of Diversity

There’s no doubt that we’ve got a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity and equity within the country music industry. But for the first time ever, strides are being made. People are doing the work. Though it’s small now, a shift is happening.

 

The journey we’re on is a long one and in order to keep ourselves going, it’s important to acknowledge the wins along the way. One particular win that I noticed this week is the unprecedented level of diversity in CMT Music’s 12 Pack Countdown.

 

The CMT Music 12 Pack allows fans to vote for their 12 favorite videos each week. Videos with the most votes are aired on CMT Music, Fridays at 9/8C. This week the options include THIRTEEN Black acts/artists, which we’ve listed below.

Click HERE to cast your vote.

Amythyst Kiah – “Black Myself”

 

Allison Russell – “Nightflyer”

 

Chapel Hart – “You Can Have Him Jolene”

 

Kären McCormick – “Congratulations”

 

The Kentucky Gentlemen – “Vibin”

 

Lathan Warlick ft Raelynn – “Roots”

 

Mickey Guyton – “Black Like Me”

 

Parmalee and Blanco Brown – “Just The Way”

 

Sacha – “Standards”

 

Shy Carter – “Good Love”

 

Tiera – “Shut It Down”

 

Willie Jones – “American Dream”

 

Valerie June – “Call Me A Fool”

Toshi Reagon

Toshi Reagon brings rock’n’roll to the blues party in a smooth culmination of genres that she dishes out to fans with her band, “BIGLovely”.

 

She describes her career as “grass-roots, see something, grab ahold of it, make a way.” At 17, Reagon toured the world opening for Lenny Kravitz. Since, she has released 12 studio and live albums. She’s also had over five compilation albums and worked on four albums as a producer. 

 

Reagon has accepted several awards including:

The New York Foundation for the Arts – Music Composition (2004)

Black Lilly Award for Outstanding Performance (2007)

Out Music Award (2009)

 

In 2015 she was a fellow for the Ford Foundation Art of Change. In 2017 she debuted a rock-opera, “Parable of the Sower”, based on the novel by Octavia Butler. We can’t wait to see what Toshi Reagon does next.