The trio all similarly moved to Nashville to pursue their dreams in music

By Brianne Tracy
September 25, 2017 05:45 PM
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Meet Runaway June, a band that’s well on its way to country music superstardom.

The group — comprised of Jennifer Wayne, Naomi Cooke and Hannah Mulholland — has been dubbed the “Dixie Chicks for a new generation,” and with good reason. The band’s hit single “Lipstick” made them the first all-female trio to earn a top 25 hit on the country charts in a decade and with their new single “Wild West” hitting the airwaves, PEOPLE is sharing an exclusive video of the women sharing the story behind their band.

“We’re three women singing and just telling stories that are relevant to people in this time, and we have songs that men enjoy and women are going to love,” lead vocalist Cooke says in the clip.

The three women came up with the ‘runaway’ part of their name as they all share a similar experience of leaving their hometowns to pursue music in Nashville.

Cooke, who is one of 11 children, moved from a little island in Florida to Music City seven years ago.

“I did gigs, and tried to write songs,” she says. “I nannied, I cleaned houses, I waitressed — I did whatever I could to pursue music.”

Traci Goudie

Mulholland started writing music in her room at the age of 6 or 7 and moved to Nashville from Malibu after realizing that was the only option if she wanted to write music for a living. Wayne, the granddaughter of legendary western actor John Wayne, also knew she needed to make the move if she was serious about music.

“My grandfather gave me the western, cowboy country blood because I always loved country music,” Wayne says. “Eleven years later, here I am with the girls.”

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The second part of the band’s name centers on the significance of June, in all meanings of the word, in each of their lives.

“One constant that kept coming up was June — the name June, the month June, there were just all these correlations,” Cooke explains. “So we were like, ‘Okay, maybe there’s something to June.’ I have a sister named June, Jen’s grandmother’s name is June and for Hannah it’s the month. A lot of cool things have happened to us in June.”

Wayne also notes that the band signed their record deal in June. “It’s lucky for us,” Cooke continues.

Cooke and Wayne were introduced to each other by Broken Bow Records founder Benny Brown, who suggested that they write together.Mulholland was brought into the group by Wayne through their “Malibu connection.” From there, it was history.

“We started to write together and it was magical,” Cooke says. “[Wayne] brought in Hannah and we started writing the best things we had ever written. We knew there was something really special about what we had.”

Runaway June joins friends Midland this fall supporting CMT Presents: Jon Pardi’s Lucky Tonight Tour.