Megan Moroney saw her stock in country music rise significantly on Friday night (March 1) in downtown Nashville.

The 26-year-old country singer took the stage to perform during the 2024 New Faces of Country Music show to wrap up the 2024 Country Radio Seminar. She wowed the assembled crowd of music industry insiders with a polished, A-level performance that belied her relative newcomer status, affirming her place as one of the most exciting rising stars in country music today.

Moroney hit the stage in the ballroom of the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville to wrap up a night that already seen top-notch performances from four more of country music's most promising artists.

Corey Kent was the first artist to perform at the 2024 New Faces show, opening his show with "Gold." Kent delivered a high-energy set punctuated by rock elements, with highlights including his first No. 1 hit, "Wild as Her," and a new song titled "This Heart."

George Birge was up next, and he offered up a tight, very focused set that spotlighted his veteran status in country music; though he's technically a New Face, Birge was one-half of country duo Waterloo Revival from 2013-2021, and his years of experience showed in his exceptionally strong stage presence and the tightness of his excellent band. Birge told the audience that he had celebrated his first No. 1 hit, "Mind on You," the previous night, but the real highlights of his set were two new songs, "Damn Right I Do" and "Cowboy Songs."

Conner Smith took the stage after Birge, opening his energetic set with "Smoky Mountains." Smith displayed an easy stage presence, running through his breakthrough hit, "Creek Will Rise," as well as "Roulette on the Heart," which points the way to an even brighter future for the rising singer.

Dillon Carmichael had something very different to offer during his time on stage at the 2024 New Faces of Country Music show. The closest thing to traditional country music in the 2024 showcase, he still mixed those classic influences with a healthy dose of rock as he delivered an exceptionally strong set that included "Raised Up Wrong," "Tiny Little Fiddle," Son of A" and his current single, "Drinking Problems." Carmichael is part of a new generation of anti-stars that includes modern superstar Luke Combs, and his easygoing Everyman quality only adds to his relatability as an artist.

While all of the artists at the 2024 New Faces of Country Music showcase were deserving of their spots, Megan Moroney clearly owned the stage from the moment she stepped into the spotlight on Friday night. She prefaced her set by reading a series of hilariously brutal mean tweets about herself, demonstrating an endearing mix of self-deprecation and bedrock confidence that carried over into her stellar performance.

Opening with "Lucky," Moroney offered a winning mix of styles and moods as she ran through the swaggering self-empowerment of "I'm Not Pretty" and the emotional vulnerability of "Girl in the Mirror," which featured Moroney accompanying herself on acoustic guitar in a way that few of her younger peers can match.

Though she's still a younger, newer artist, Moroney possesses a natural ability to use her facial expressions and body language to help convey her songs in a more relatable way. Her strong, clear voice also helps set her apart from the pack, but it was really the small details of her performance that made the biggest difference.

Moroney came off like a veteran performer with decades under her belt when she transitioned from "Lucky" into "I'm Not Pretty," placing the mic in her hand back on the stand and shrugging into her acoustic guitar in one seamless move while still engaging the audience with her patter. No awkward moments, technical glitches or stops and starts for Moroney; she wasted no time as she made the most of her allotted slot on stage.

That's a seemingly small detail in the grand scheme, but those are the details that set one performer apart from another at the high level of a New Faces-worthy artist, and Moroney's juxtaposition of easy confidence and flawless pacing put her over the top on Friday night. She closed her set with her viral breakthrough song, "Tennessee Orange," leaving the audience with an undeniable home run of a performance that will undoubtedly linger in everyone's mind as she moves forward in new work.

The 2024 Country Radio Seminar took place from Wednesday, Feb. 28-Friday, March 1, in downtown Nashville. The annual industry conference brings together artists, executives, radio programmers, publicists, journalists and other country music insiders for three days of panels, interviews and showcases that set the agenda for the rest of the year in country music. The yearly New Faces show closes CRS each year, and it's become a rite of passage for almost every A-level artist in country music.

Scroll through the pictures below to see inside the 2024 CRS New Faces of Country show:

PICTURES: See Inside the 2024 CRS New Faces of Country Music Showcase

Megan Moroney, George Birge, Dillon Carmichael, Corey Kent and Conner Smith took the stage in downtown Nashville for the 2024 New Faces of Country Music showcase to close out the 2024 Country Radio Seminar.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

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