Jacob Whitesides has been named Radio Disney's "NBT" (Next Big Thing) featured artist. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter is the latest artist to be highlighted in the multiplatform feature program that has championed young developing recording artists, showcasing their journeys as they turn their unique talents and dreams into careers.
Whitesides, who has been performing alongside Hollywood Records' R5, began playing shows in his hometown, Knoxville, Tennessee, in 2012, and rose to digital fame when he began posting his acoustic covers of hit artists, including John Legend, Plain White T's and John Mayer, on his YouTube channel. He has since amassed an online audience of more than 4 million followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and has caught the ears of millions of music fans with his original music and debut EP, "A Piece Of Me," which reached No. 1 on the iTunes U.S. singer/songwriter chart, No. 3 on the pop album chart and No. 5 on the iTunes top album charts.
Whitesides also serves as CEO of his own touring, merchandising and record label, Double U Records.
The "NBT" series will follow Whitesides on his journey on tour and his upcoming EP release as he reflects on his inspirations, defines his musical style and continues to develop his music and record label. A featured presenter at the 2015 RDMA and performer at the show's official after-party, Whitesides drove social buzz to all-time highs with the most popular hashtag of the night (#RDMAswithJacob).
Radio Disney's "NBT" program began in 2010 and is presented nationally on Radio Disney, Disney Channel, the Radio Disney app, RadioDisney.com and social media platforms. Featured artists are introduced throughout the year. Whitesides joins an elite group of "NBT" alum, including Hollywood Records' Bea Miller, Island Records' Shawn Mendes, Kemosabe/RCA Records' Becky G and Epic Records' Fifth Harmony.
Radio Disney is a multiplatform music brand for families and is known for introducing new artists and playing the music of many of today's most popular young artists, including Becky G, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Mendes. It is widely recognized by the music industry as an influencer to drive music awareness and is among a select group of mainstream radio stations tracked by Billboard and Mediabase music panels. Radio Disney's Top 40 playlist is driven by listener requests and represents major label recording artists.