10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: July 2016

From a British singer-songwriter to an Internet-born firebrand

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Kane Brown
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Kane Brown

Sounds Like: Country's own Justin Bieber, complete with tattoos and piercings

For Fans of: Chris Young, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line

Why You Should Pay Attention: Like the Biebs before him, Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, native Kane Brown rocketed from virtual obscurity to viral sensation by posting videos of himself singing popular (mostly country) songs. Fans were still eager for more when Brown released his independent EP Closer and he was quickly snatched up by Sony Music Nashville. His major-label debut single "Used to Love You Sober" proved he was no fluke, selling over 250,000 units and showcasing his rich baritone. This summer, he's got a primo opening spot on Florida Georgia Line's Dig Your Roots Tour.

He Says: "[Social media is] kind of like my own little radio. Any other artist, I don't think [the label] would let them do it. But since that's how I got started and Sony sees that, they're very lenient on letting me do what I want to do. They've never had anybody like me so they don't want to mess anything up. Because it's working. Why try fixing something that ain't broke?"

Hear for Yourself: Brown just released the summer anthem "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," an assemblage of stuttering drum loops and gleaming guitars that should make any office drone daydream about miles of white sand and tank tops as acceptable public attire. Jon Freeman

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