CMT Sets Dates for ‘Next Women’ Tour Pairing Tanya Tucker with Country Newcomers (EXCLUSIVE)

Tanya Tucker is very much a “next woman of country,” as far as the Grammys are concerned, as the 61-year-old singer was practically the only veteran shown any love in multiple categories in the most recent nominations, with four nods, including song of the year.

Now CMT is making it official, by putting her out as the headliner on a “CMT Next Women of Country” tour that will run in February through June of 2020 — although the idea is ostensibly that Tucker is the established artist who’ll act as bait to help expose the newcomers that are co-billed each night.

Each of the tour dates has Tucker sharing the stage with a current enlistee or recent graduate of CMT’s “Next Women” program. At least one of those artists, Brandy Clark, a member of the 2013 “Next Women” class, is already well known to many country fans, while some others are true frosh. Acts showing up along the route include Aubrie Sellers, Erin Enderlin, Hailey Whitters, Madison Kozak and Walker County.

Tucker’s friend and co-producer Shooter Jennings will also show up on at least one date, even though he fails the next and woman tests.

“We are honored to have the original woman of country, the Tanya Tucker, headline our biggest spring tour to date,” Leslie Fram, CMT’s senior VP of music strategy & talent, said in a statement. “We’re also thrilled to announce that some of the incredibly talented ladies from our Next Women of Country franchise will be joining Tanya on tour.”

The 2019 edition of the annual tour was much shorter and had Cassadee Pope presiding as the elder statesman, such as she was, over the newcomers on an 11-city tour. In 2017, Martina McBride was the headliner.

Giving a rave review to a Tucker concert in L.A. this fall, while she was out on tour promoting her now-Grammy nominated album “While I’m Livin’,” Variety said, “There was a nearly off-the-charts level of swagger. … Other than Willie, she’s about the best remaining exemplar we’ve got left of country’s ‘70s outlaw era. … Getting Tucker her stateswoman due ahead of schedule has its benefits: How many of us took Cash or Haggard for granted enough to pass up easy opportunities to see them on their last tours, but would pay thousands of dollars for the opportunity now? These are mistakes we have a chance to atone up for by seeing Tucker while she’s living. And strutting.”

More dates and artists will follow, CMT said. The gigs currently being announced, with tickets going on sale Friday at 10 a.m. local time:

Feb 5 – The Barns at Wolf Trap – Vienna, VA (with Brandy Clark)
Feb 6 – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA (Clark)
Feb 7 – Town Hall – New York, NY (with Clark and Aubrie Sellers)
Feb 20 – Graceland Soundstage at Elvis Presley’s Memphis – Memphis, TN (Clark)
Feb 21 – Gillioz Theatre – Springfield, MO (Clark)
Feb 22 – TempleLive – Wichita, KS (Clark)
Feb 24 – The Blue Note – Columbia, MO (Clark)
Feb 25 – Bourbon Theatre – Lincoln, NE (Clark)
Feb 27 – The District – Sioux Falls, SD (Clark)
Feb 28 – Fargo Theatre – Fargo, ND (Clark)
Feb 29 – Grand Casino Hinckley Event Center – Hinckley, MN (opening act TBA)
Mar 3 – River Run Centre – Guelph, ON (with Madison Kozak)
Mar 5 – FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre – St Catharines, ON (Kozak)
Mar 6 – Levon Helm Studios – Woodstock, NY (Kozak)
Mar 7 – Metropolitan Theatre – Morgantown, WV (Kozak)
Mar 26 – The Kessler Theater – Dallas, TX (with Erin Enderlin)
Mar 29 – The Heights Theater – Houston, TX  (Enderlin)
Apr 22 – The Fremont Theater – San Luis Obispo, CA (with Hailey Whitters)
Apr 29 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO (opening act TBA)
May 9 – Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center – Cherokee, NC (opening act TBA)
May 13 – Jefferson Center – Roanoke, VA (with Walker County)
May 15 – Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI (Walker County)
May 16 – Roxian Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA (Walker County)
May 17 – The WIlbur Theatre – Boston, MA (Walker County)
May 20 – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH (Walker County)
May 21 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON (Walker County)
May 22 – The Egg, Center for the Performing Arts – Albany, NY (Walker County)
May 30 – Beaver Dam Amphitheater – Beaver Dam, KY (with Shooter Jennings and Hailey Whitters)
Jun 4 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA (opening act TBA)
Jun 5 – Crest Theatre – Sacramento, CA (with Sellers)
Jun 6 – Carson Valley Inn Casino – TJ’s Corral Outdoor Amphitheater – Minden, NV (Sellers)
Jun 8 – State Theatre For THe Arts – Red Bluff, CA (Sellers)
Jun 10 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR (opening act TBA)
Jun 12 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC (Sellers)
Jun 13 – The Bing Crosby Theater – Spokane, WA (Sellers)
Jun 14 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA (opening act TBA)

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