The Academy of Country Music’s LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice 2023 Cohort Kicks Off Programming

The Academy of Country Music’s LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice 2023 Cohort Kicks Off Programming

Rising Leaders Participated in an Intimate Conversation with Warner Music Nashville Recording Artist Madeline Edwards

(L-R: Tommy Moore, ACM; Jade Sampson, ACM; Synnovea Halsel; Jenn Tressler; Chantrel Reynolds; Sabrina Butera; Alex Heimerman; Madeline Edwards; Markus Koger; Nick Coulson; Roxy King; Aimee Graham; Ellen Ford; Damon Whiteside, ACM CEO. High quality photo available HERE

NASHVILLE, TN (January 27, 2023) - The Academy of Country Music’s LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program’s 2023 cohort had the first session of their two-year professional development and enrichment curriculum at the Academy’s new headquarters in Nashville on Thursday. The rising leaders had the opportunity to speak with Warner Music Nashville recording artist Madeline Edwards in candid conversation and an open question and answer about her musical upbringing in a biracial family, moving from California to Texas and finally to Nashville in 2021, as well as her views on diversity in Country Music and the struggles underrepresented artists and industry professionals face in the industry. Edwards offered words of encouragement and her hopes for change in Country Music, all while spreading the message that Country Music is for everyone.

The cohort was also able to meet and talk with Academy leadership and staff and learn about the Academy’s ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments and programs. This was the 2023 cohort’s first session of their two-year program, in which they will work to expand the horizons of the industry to new audiences of all backgrounds. 

About the ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice Program 
ACM LEVel Up: Lift Every Voice program is a two-year professional development and enrichment curriculum for rising leaders in Country Music, designed to empower participants to play a pivotal role in expanding the horizons of Country Music into new audiences that transcend demographics and geography. 
LEVel Up, Class of 2023 

·  Sabrina Butera, CAA  

·  Nick Coulson, SiriusXM/The Highway  

·  Ellen Ford, BBR Music Group  

·  Aimee Graham, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum  

·  Synnovea Halsel, Sony Music Publishing  

·  Alex Heimerman, Universal Music Group Nashville  

·  Roxy King, UMPG  

·  Markus Koger, Smoking Section Podcast  

·  Chantrel Reynolds, mTheory  

·  Jenn Tressler, Opry Entertainment Group  

About the Academy of Country Music  

Founded in Southern California in 1964 as a regional trade organization, the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC (ACM)has grown in the almost-60 years since into a leading association for the Country Music industry. Now headquartered in Nashville, TN and boasting record-high membership of more than 4,900 nationwide, the Academy serves as a powerhouse advocate for Country fans, artists, and all facets of the business, as well as a supporter of philanthropic work through charitable partner ACM LIFTING LIVES, dedicated to improving lives through the power of music and providing aid in times of need, with a focus on health initiatives. 2023 looks to be another monumental year for the Academy with the ACM Awards, the first major awards show to livestream exclusively, returning to Texas on May 11 and streaming live for a global audience on Prime Video. For more information, log onto ACMcountry.comor  

About Madeline Edwards

Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Madeline Edwards recently released her debut album, Crashlanded, via Warner Music Nashville. All 12 songs were co-written by Edwards, including brand-new standouts like “Mama, Dolly, Jesus” and “Too Much Of A Good Thing” as well as previously released fan favorites including “The Wolves” and “Hold My Horses.” Since breaking onto the scene with a performance at the 55th Annual CMA Awards, Edwards has been recognized as an Artist to Watch by American Songwriter, Country Now, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon. The CMT “Next Women of Country” honoree was also recently selected as a member of the YouTube Black Voices Class of 2023, having previously been named both a Billboard “Rookie of the Month” and Apple Music “Riser of the Month.” Her remarkable rise has included performances on some of the genre's biggest stages, recently making her Grand Ole Opry debut. Edwards was featured alongside The Highwomen on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way tribute record and joined Chris Stapleton's All-American Road Show Tour in 2022. California born and Texas raised, she has earned additional praise from People, NPR, Southern Living, The Tennessean and more for transcending musical boundaries by incorporating her jazz, soul, gospel and country influences into her unique sound. She’s set to join label-mate Ingrid Andress for select dates on her Good Person Tour this spring before hitting the road for several fairs and festivals throughout the year.