A little later this year, it’s time to announce the 10 hottest women in country music in 2023. For the third year in a row, we held a poll and asked our readings to rank the qualified women from 1 to 10. To qualify, each of these women had to rank on one of the year end billboard charts. These charts are made up of the top streaming, radio airplay, and purchased songs for the entire 2022 year. Then, we took all these women and put them on the list. In 2023, we had 18 talented women eligible for this list. I am happy to announce that 2023 was the record for votes in this poll. Thank you for everyone who missed Beats Beer Bonfires and thank you for coming back. Without further a due though, here is the list.
10. Carly Pearce
Let’s get the list started off very strong. Carly has been on the list all three years we’ve done it. She’s been all over the list, being as high as #2 and as low as #10. This just is based on how we do the voting, but being a mainstay says a lot about her looks… beautiful. As for her music, it’s still fantastic. She is still riding the divorce a little bit, and I’m hoping her next album is based on a new muse, but every song of her’s still hits hard. Carly has quietly become potential the biggest name in country music for a woman. I hope she stays close to her Kentucky roots in making great country music for years to come.
9. Katelyn Brown
Is Katelyn a country singer? Maybe not, but her and her husband Kane topped the country charts last year, so she qualifies for the list. Maybe Katelyn is a flash in the pan with a country career. Maybe she gets the Gwen Stefani treatment and pops up on more of Kane’s songs. Either way, Katelyn gets to make her debut on the hottest women in country list.
8. Ingrid Andress
Ingrid has had an up and down start to her country career. She brings elements of pop to her performances, as she started writing music in LA. Her debut album was a massive success and went double platinum. She hasn’t had much radio success since that album, but her fans have continuously shown out and listened to her music. In fact, she has multiple platinum selling songs that didn’t perform well at radio. I’m not sure what Ingrid has in store for her career, but with the fanbase she has, she will be around for a long time.
7. Hailey Whitters
The second of three newcomers to this list is Hailey Whitters. The 33-year-old from Iowa is riding the viral success of “Everything She Ain’t” all the way to #7 on this list. I had the opportunity to see Hailey perform a few months ago, and she’s an absolute force. I also made my TikTok debut when my girlfriend posted a video of me and my buddies dancing along to the song. I don’t know a ton about Hailey right now. She liked a video of my dog so that’s cool, but I expect her to be hitting the top of the charts in the next few years.
6. Gabby Barrett
The future Carrie Underwood ironically finishes right under Carrie on the list. A top 3 voice on here, Gabby is still only 23 years old, yet a mainstay in country. Gabby has released four singles in her career, but three of them have been platinum sellers. Her career has been quiet it feels since she had her two kids. I expect once her family gets established and she is ready to hit the road again, Gabby will become a massive star. Her songs bring elements of country music that make it easy to listen to. Her sound also straddles the line of mainstream enough to appeal to a wide audience. Gabby is another artist that I would expect to be on this list for a long time. She’s going to explode again like she did with “I Hope” early on.
5. Carrie Underwood
The modern-day country queen, Carrie stays on the list for the third time. What’s there to say about Carrie, She has the best voice in the world, and she’s an all-time great. She’s has the honor of being the oldest on the list at 40 years old. That just goes to show that she is aging amazingly. Despite being the oldest, she’s going to outlast a lot of these younger women, both on the list and career longevity. Carrie released a new single in March “Out of that Truck” which might indicate a new album coming soon. That would be a surprise from Carrie, generally she waits at least three years between albums. Either way she’s still the best, still royalty, and still a mainstay on the hottest women in country list.
4. Lauren Alaina
Laurena Alaina is the 4th of the 5 artists who have been on all three editions of this list and gets her highest ranking in 2023. Lauren got to double dip a little bit, as her duet with Dustin Lynch “Thinkin’ Bout You” got to keep her on the list. It’s a shame this is the case, Lauren is the top artist on my list of talented singers who continue to get screwed by radio. She last released music in 2021, so hopefully that means a major hit is coming in 2023. I’ll be on the Lauren Alaina train forever, and hopefully the rest of the world catches up soon.
3. Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini is the highest-ranking girl who has been on all three editions of this list. After a divorce in 2022 from Morgan Evans, Kelsea seemed destined to be the most bachelorette in the genre. But, any hopes of her being on the market were crushed quickly. She recently has been confirmed to be dating Outer Banks star Chase Stokes. As her relationship with Stokes grew and became more public, a bitter battle between her and Morgan Evans started. Kelsea threw a lot of shade at him in her recent EP “Rolling up the Welcome Mat” in response to his single “Over For You.” Kelsea has been one of the most consistent country artists in terms of chart performance over the past few years. Is a jump to pop coming soon? As she seems to continue her quest to be the next Taylor Swift, anything is possible.
2. Megan Moroney
Megan may have benefitted from being in the right place right time in 2022. That doesn’t mean she isn’t a force going forwards. The talented singer exploded in the fall of 2022 with “Tennessee Orange.” The song got released with Tennessee football being the best they have been in a long time, ranking as high as #1 this season. Rumors of her and Morgan Wallen being a couple only threw more fuel on the fire of Megan’s career. While I have no doubt that Megan would’ve broken out, she became an overnight success. Big things are in store for Megan going forward. She may no longer be with Morgan Wallen, but she has developed a stable enough platform to grow her own following and be a star for years to come.
1. Lainey Wilson
We have finally arrived at the #1 spot and who else but the fastest rising star in the genre. Lainey Wilson was on fire in 2022. She released the mega album “Bell Bottom Country” in November. She teamed with Cole Swindell on the hit song “Never Say Never.” She teamed with Hardy on “wait in the truck” which might be the biggest song by the end of 2023. Her own single, “Heart Like a Truck” hit #1. Her music is now being featured in Ram truck commercials.
Lainey hasn’t only watched her music soar in success recently. Her entire brand is. In 2022, she landed a major role in a little show called “Yellowstone” and showed that she is a fantastic actor. She also went viral for… her ass. It’s her to not have the girl who went viral for having a dump truck following her wherever she goes at the #1 position. So yes, Lainey takes the #1 spot for 2023, and she might not let it go for a long time.