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Thomas Rhett is getting set for his biggest year yet in 2018 Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

We’ve had so much fun looking back on the past 12 months of successes, accomplishments and milestones for country music and the stars who make it, but now it’s time to make some predictions. Rare Country’s 5 is looking at who we think is about to have a really big 2018.

Some of these won’t surprise you, but a couple might have you taking a second look, like Carly Pearce.

Like many new artists, Carly learned that success doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it can take the better part of a year to just be heard, but the talented and oh-so-pretty singer-songwriter was diligent as she watched her debut single, “Every Little Thing,” make a steady climb up the country chart in 2017.

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And like most “overnight sensations,” Carly began the work well before she had her own music on the radio. Texas country star, Josh Abbott, befriended the sweet Kentucky songbird and invited her to sing on his hit, “Wasn’t That Drunk.” He then included her in his band when he performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel in late 2016.

But, it’s 2018 now, and while Carly will likely get another big boost to her career when she hits the road on Blake Shelton’s “Country Freaks Tour,” she takes that stage on her own. And we feel pretty confident she’ll be just fine.

Someone else who is going to be just fine in 2018 is Thomas Rhett. It’s almost impossible to imagine that the “Marry Me” singer could have a better year than he had in 2017. Come on! He doubled the size of his family, headlined his own “Home Team Tour” and scored an unheard of three No. 1 singles—“Star of the Show,” “Craving You” and “Unforgettable”—in 12 months.

Now, after a well-deserved holiday break, Thomas Rhett will be back on the road for the “Life Changes Tour 2018,” named after his No. 1 album. And if you thought the last tour was a blast, wait until this one kicks off. Thomas is taking along some of his best friends and country’s hottest young stars, including Brett Young, Carly Pearce, Russell Dickerson and Jillian Jaqueline.

It’s worth noting, too, that T-Rhett is on a two-year album cycle, which means he releases a new project every couple of years. If he stays on that schedule, he should have a new album in fans’ hands in 2019, meaning he may be making a new record in 2018.

RELATEDThomas Rhett’s fairy tale year is one that dreams are made of

While there is certainly no rule book of the right way and wrong way to make it in the music business, these artists, along with the others in this Rare Country’s 5, seem to have done everything right for their careers. And the best part is, they’re all really nice. And we love seeing the good ones succeed.

Is your favorite in this week’s Rare Country’s 5? If not, be sure to let us know who you’re pulling for in 2018 so we can make sure they’re on our radar! And come back later in the week when we have more of the news and fun from in and around country music in Rare Country’s 5.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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