NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) –—The Country Music Association announced that Kassi Ashton, Travis Denning and Jameson Rodgers were the recipients of the first-ever CMA KixStart Artist Scholarships.
As part of the program, the CMA and its staff will provide support for the three artists, including help in making professional connections in the industry and opportunities to participate in CMA-related events during CMA Fest, CMA Awards and C2C: Country 2 Country festival in the U.K.
The scholarship program is the brainchild of artist managers and 2017 CMA Board Artist Relations Committee Chair Marion Kraft (ShopKeeper Management) and Vice Chair Mary Hilliard Harrington (Red Light Management) and the first year saw more than 100 hopeful artists through their hats into the ring via the application process. 48 eligible finalists were selected, with three ultimately receiving scholarships.
On Tuesday evening, Denning and Rodgers performed for CMA board members during a private dinner held at BMI, while Ashton is currently overseas, participating in the CMA Songwriters Series U.K. tour.
Ashton, who hails from Missouri, signed to UMG Nashville in conjunction with Interscope Records, has already earned critical praise in the press, with the Nashville Tennessean describing her “distinct husky, powerful voice and self-assured take-me-or-leave-me attitude put her in her own lane in country music.”
A native of Warner Robins, Georgia, Travis Denning has signed with Mercury Nashville and has already released debut single “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs.”
Raised in Batesville, Mississippi, singer-songwriter Jameson Rodgers fuses country and rock on his debut self-titled EP which he released earlier this year. This year, Rodgers also received the AIMP (Association of Independent Music Publishers) Nashville Rising Artist-Writer of the Year nomination for the third annual AIMP Nashville Awards.