Brett Eldredge has been hanging around Country Radio Seminar (CRS) for several years hoping to get into the convention’s most popular event, the always sold out New Faces Show, to no avail. This year, with a No. 1 single under his belt, he’ll not only get to attend the Feb. 21 show, he’s one of its five performers, all of whom were hand-picked to perform by country radio personnel.
In an interview with Billboard
, Brett says, "I've been going to CRS the last few years. I always wanted to go to the New Faces Show, but I literally couldn't get in. I wasn't cool enough. I would walk up, and I didn't have the right pass or whatever.
"I guess the best way to get on it is to get voted on it," he adds. "To be able to be thought of as one of the top newcomers in country music, and to have the opportunity to get up in front of the industry and play, it's a very cool feeling."
He’ll be joined on the show by fellow performers Tyler Farr, Cassadee Pope, Thomas Rhett and Charlie Worsham.
The New Faces Show began in 1970. Among the future superstars who played it early in their careers are: Alabama (1980), George Strait (1982), Vince Gill (1985), Randy Travis (1986), Dwight Yoakam (1987), Brooks & Dunn (1992) and Martina McBride (1993). The 1994 show included Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Toby Keith, and may have been the first time Faith and Tim met. Brad Paisley and Keith Urban shared the stage in 2000. Rascal Flatts and Blake Shelton were part of the class of 2002. Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan and Jake Owen shared the billing in 2008.
After struggling for a few years to find a hit, Brett landed his first No. 1 last summer with “Don’t Ya.” The follow up, “Beat Of The Music,” is currently in the top 20 and climbing Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
"I'm working on our second hit right now, and country radio gave me the opportunity to have the first one,” he tells Billboard. “I want to do this for a long time, and be able to get my songs out there for years to come. It's my job, and I owe it to them to do my best. I want to play them songs that they want to hear."