"Music City” can mean so many things to different people. In Nashville, musicians and songwriters are at the heart of the storms driven by their own ambitions. Some are fueled by their creativity and passion for fame, others struggle to cope with the pressures of success and doing everything in their power to stay on top.
Music legend Rayna Jaymes reigns as the Queen of Country, but after two decades, her grip on the throne is slipping. Rayna refuses to be steamrolled by her record label as they present a new arrangement. And in the face of an evolving industry, Rayna is struggling to adapt and reinvent herself, which she must do if she plans to stay relevant.
Juliette Barnes is sexy, sassy, and trails trouble in her wake— she’s also the country’s #1 crossover artist. In her climb to the top, Juliette's public image is threatened by circumstances she struggles to control. And while she is determined to sit on Rayna's throne, Juliette refuses to deal with her difficult past.
Offstage, things aren't much smoother for Rayna. Her father, Lamar Wyatt, Nashville's most influential businessman, continues to complicate her life. Their strained relationship is defined by years of resentment and secrets that come to a head when Lamar and Rayna’s sister, Tandy, push Rayna's husband to run for mayor. For husband Teddy Conrad, this marks an opportunity to share the spotlight with his wife instead of continuing to be the man behind the woman.
The city of Nashville is the stage for many hopefuls: Deacon Claybourne, Rayna's longtime bandleader whose unrequited love for Rayna prevents him from claiming success if he went on his own. Scarlett O'Connor, the beautiful and gifted songwriter, who's here to support her boyfriend Avery's talent while still unsure of her own. Avery Barkley, a struggling alt-country musician, who can't help but feel left behind when his girlfriend Scarlett's songs have a chance to find an audience before his own. And Gunnar Scott, a wholesome up-and-coming crooner, who finds a musical soulmate in Scarlett, coming in between her relationship with Avery.
In last season’s finale, Rayna and Deacon’s final moments left their lives hanging in the balance. But one thing is certain… their relationship will never be easy. Rayna will continue to be driven by her desire to expand upon her music empire, signing new talent and going head to head with a new label chief. Juliette is poised for a fresh start after her success was briefly mired by her short-lived marriage, an extortion plot, and the shocking death of her mother. As she continues to work towards shaping her sound and style, she’ll discover there isn’t a lot of room for error as emerging artists continue to nip at her heels. Deacon’s fall from grace will force him to evolve from his role as band leader to a position outside of his comfort zone. The question is whether or not there’ll be enough time to commit to his most important role of all…being a father.
With Rayna’s record label backing her, Scarlett is still seeking out that magic she harnessed with Gunnar. Is Scarlett a flash in the pan? Or will she self destruct before she’s had her moment in the spotlight? Gunnar is tragically aware that his window to stardom is beginning to close and that he’d better get his head back in the game. Did he ever really have what it takes to be a headliner or songwriter? Avery has had it all and lost it all. This time he’s made an unlikely ally, and nothing is going to keep him down or prevent him from getting back on that path to stardom. Teddy’s life has been turned upside-down since his break with Peggy, but nothing prepared him for how far she would be willing to go to get what she wanted.