MusicRow Awards 2022 Category Profile: Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year
Following the announcement of this year’s nominees for the 34th MusicRow Awards, we look at the MusicRow Category Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year. The revolutionary artist-writer of the year is elected by MusicRowto honor a Nashville songwriter and recording artist who first wrote or co-wrote a Top 10 song during the eligibility period of June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022.
The winners of this year’s honors will be announced online at all MusicRow platforms on Tuesday August 30. Presenter of the 2022 competition MusicRow Prices are City National Bank.
Click here to see the full list of MusicRow Award nominees.
Winners are determined solely by MusicRow Magazine subscribed members. Voting is now open and closes July 29 at 5:00 p.m.
To receive a ballot at MusicRow Rewards, become a MusicRow member here.
Priscilla Block co-wrote his first hit single, “Just About You”, with Emily Kroll and Sarah Jones. The moody breakup track went viral in late 2020, landing a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and a record deal with UMG Nashville. She released her first major label album, Welcome to the block party, in early 2022. With 12 tracks all co-written by Block, the charming singer-songwriter has made a name for himself with songs such as “My Bar”, “Thick Thighs”, “I Bet You Wanna Know” and ” Peaked In High School.” Block scored his first No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart with “Just About Over You” in August. Block is also nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year this year at the MusicRow Price.
BRELAND, also known as “The Pen Point Guard”, has been disrupting Nashville writers’ rooms for the past few years with its genre sound. First making waves with his platinum debut “My Truck”, BRELAND impressed members of the industry with his boundless creativity on songs such as “Cross Country”, “Throw It Back (feat. Keith Urban) and “Praise The Lord (feat. Thomas Rhett). He signed his first-ever publishing deal with Reservoir in early 2021, and went on to score his first No. 1 with his collaboration with Dierks Bentley and HARDY on “Beers On Me”. BRELAND recently announced that his debut album Bad Realm Records / Atlantic Records / Warner Music Nashville, Cross countryarrives this fall.
Martin Johnson comes to country music with an impressive resume of pop success. As the frontman of pop-punk band Boys Like Girls, Johnson wrote the band’s signature songs such as “The Great Escape”, “Thunder” and “Love Drunk”. With his alternative new wave project The Night Game, he released his second album dog years in 2021. Johnson, a Warner Chappell writer, has also co-written songs for Jason Derulo, Flo Rida, Gavin DeGraw, Avril Lavigne, and more. He broke through as a successful country songwriter this year with Lady A’s No. 1 hit “Like A Lady” and Elle King’s chart-topper with Miranda Lambert, “Drunk (And I Dont Wanna Go Home)”. Johnson’s country credits also include songs recorded by Dan + Shay, Hunter Hayes and Warren Zeiders.
John Morgan achieved a double this year, scoring his first two hit songs in MusicRowqualifying period. Morgan first hit the top of the charts with Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood’s “If I Didn’t Love You” in October 2021; he was back in May 2022 with Aldean’s “Trouble With A Heartbreak”. Morgan impressed Aldean so much that the country star signed him to his new publishing house, Triple Play Music, and his label with BBR Music Group, Night Train Records. Morgan released a sample of his own music with “Coldest Beer in Town” in 2021 and “Right In The Middle” in 2022.
Elvie Shane burst onto the scene with the loving tribute to her stepson, “My Boy.” Since its release, “My Boy” has taken on a life of its own, going viral on TikTok, reaching the top of the national charts and being certified Platinum. Shane released his first full album, Recidivist, on Wheelhouse Records in October 2021. Warner Chappell and Rome writer Phrey co-wrote 14 of the album’s 15 songs. Shane’s new single from Recidivist, “County Roads”, was one of the most added songs on country radio in its early days and continues to climb. Shane is also nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year this year at the MusicRow Price.
Lainey Wilson brought his signature “Bell Bottom Country” to his studio album say what i think in early 2021 via Broken Bow Records. With Wilson as co-writer on all tracks, the album produced his hit “Things A Man Oughta Know”. The tune took off, reaching the top of the charts, being certified Platinum and winning Song of the Year at the 2022 ACM Awards. Likewise, Wilson became an industry favorite, being named to multiple artist lists at to watch. At the start of 2022, Wilson once again rang the bell atop the charts, this time alongside Cole Swindell for their fiery duet, “Never Say Never.” The Sony Music Publishing writer is currently climbing the charts again with her new single “Heart Like A Truck,” a song she co-wrote with Trannie Anderson and Dallas Wilson. The singer-songwriter won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award last year MusicRow Awards, and is also nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year this year.