Social media platform TikTok has signaled trends in country music since at least 2018 when it introduced the masses to Lil Nas X and "Old Town Road." This year alone, such established stars as Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett boot-scooted their way through potential dance crazes in short-form videos, while Kalie Shorr and other respected singer-songwriters have shared tunes and spilled tea on the app.
For a glimpse at how an up-and-coming acts' TikTok presence can fast-track career goals, meet the talents behind these popular and influential accounts.
Austin Burke (575.1K Followers)
Your next potential breakout star from TikTok went all in when sharing "Wet Dream," a double entendre-filled fishing song. Fans first heard it the day it was written (July 30) in a video capturing Austin Burke's grandma's first-time reactions to lines that could be about lust or the lake. They've also watched Burke unleash the song on both parents and his unsuspecting neighbor, Debbie.
Burke's ditty about his dingy won over enough new fans to justify its Aug. 10 release on streaming services. He co-wrote it with Joe Fox and Zack Dyer.
Spencer Crandall (1.8M Followers)
Spencer Crandall has a million-dollar smile and over 22 million streams for "My Person": a math equation that equals social media influencer status. "My Person's" popularity got a TikTok boost through videos like Crandall's surprise performance at a bachelorette party, which he calls "one of my favorite things I've ever done."
Alexandra Kay (2.1M followers)
You might recognize Alexandra Kay via the true and benevolent ruler of country music TikTok, Randy Travis. The Country Music Hall of Famer's endorsement and subsequent duets with Kay pointed even more ears to her already-popular originals and her Coffee Covers tributes to past country hits.
Restless Road (1.9M followers)
When the pandemic brought touring to a screeching halt in March 2020, Restless Road members Zach Beeken, Colton Pack, and Garrett Nichols used TikTok to stay in touch with established fans and win over new listeners by showing off their personalities and senses of humor beyond what you'd glean from on-stage banter or meet-and-greets.
What amounts to three buddies cutting up on camera kept momentum rolling for a group formed in 2013 to compete on The X Factor and signed in February by frequent tour mate Kane Brown's record label, 1021 Entertainment.
Georgia Webster (252.2K Followers)
TikTok exposure catapulted Georgia Webster's status from high school student in tiny Hampden, Mass. to rising Nashville star. She first shared the song "Tell Ur Mom" on the app in July 2020. One year and a ridiculous number of online followers later, Sony Music Nashville issued Webster's debut EP, First Goodbye. Though writing and singing from the heart--a skill the 18-year-old started harnessing at age 9--would've eventually earned her a following without the benefit of TikTok, social media clout unquestionably (and deservedly) moved her to the front of the acts to watch line.