For Canadian country music darling Madeline Merlo, 2016 is shaping up to be a big year. Following a 2015 CCMA Award win for Rising Star of the Year, Merlo was nominated for Female Artist of the Year in 2016, and offered a much-coveted, in-show performance slot at the 2016 CCMA Awards in London ON.

Driving-playlist essential, her new single “War Paint” was the #1 Most Added single on Canadian Country Radio for the week of June 29th. “Whatcha Wanna Do About It” made CMT’s Top 20 Country Music Chart, and Sirius XM’s #OnTheHorizon List, played nationwide in the USA, it’s a toe-tapping follow-up to last summer’s catchy “Honey Jack,” which received widespread airplay and attracted both country-and pop-music lovers alike.

After the success of “Honey Jack,” Merlo opened for country royalty Keith Urban and went on to scoop up 2015’s Rising Star award at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards and Female Vocalist of the Year at the British Columbia Country Music Association Awards. Then she rounded out 2015 touring with heavyweights Dean Brody and Paul Brandt.

This summer sees Merlo, who was recently selected by Spotify for their “Spotlight on 2016” artists to watch, taking Canada by storm to perform at major country music festivals across the country, including Rocking River Country Music Festival, B.C. and Boots and Hearts, Ont. If you’re not in the foot-stomping crowds, you can catch Merlo in her acting debut in the upcoming country musical film Country Crush, inspired by the Nashville scene, out this summer. Merlo plays aspiring singer Nancy Taylor who falls in love in her quest for stardom, alongside Jana Kramer and Sophie Tweed-Simmons. This is Merlo’s first lead role in a movie, although she has previously worked with award-winning director John ‘JP’ Poliquin on the immensely popular “Alive” music video.

Merlo signed with RGK Entertainment and Open Road Recordings at 18. After several trips to Nashville her first single, “Sinking Like A Stone”, was added by JRFM in Vancouver, winning the Hot Country Challenge. The word began to spread and Merlo’s journey began.

Madeline Merlo has always had eclectic taste, and in her music you’ll hear the influence of classic country of artists like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, R&B greats Etta James and Billie Holiday and modern superstars such as Miranda Lambert. She has contributed to Sparkle: An Inspirational Handbook for Young Girls, which features interviews with female artists, entrepreneurs and public figures in British Columbia. She’s also performed for the Canadian Armed Forces as part of Team Canada, a small group of Canadian ambassadors from the sports, music and entertainment industries visiting Sicily, Italy, and an operations base in Kuwait.

Closer to home Merlo is a champion of local artisans and is passionate about promoting new designers. She’s an ambassador for Wear Your Label, a conscious clothing line that creates conversations about mental health. Her boho, free-spirited style as unique as her sound.