The Real 'Nashville': On the Long Road to Stardom


Before her debut at the Bluebird, Morelli said she planned to play her favorite song, "I've Got You Figured Out," which she wrote herself. She is hoping to set herself apart from the millions of other people willing to do anything to get ahead.

"I believe in what I do so much that I know everybody else is different. There's not another Annalise Morelli, I can't let what they do distract me," she said.

Her mother was emotional before her daughter's performance, thinking about the pressure and the possibilities of what could happen.

"I hope she gets signed tomorrow night at the Bluebird," Lisa said through tears. "I would love nothing more."

Even though Lisa Morelli knows the odds are astronomical, her expectations are still running high.

"It's not like college where if they work hard and their grades are good, they get to become a doctor," she said. "This is real."

Songwriter Eric Paslay has been in Nashville for 10 years, and knows that sacrifice well and even wrote a song about his first time playing at the Bluebird Cafe.

"If you sing better than Aretha Franklin, Adele, that doesn't mean you're going to be famous," he said. "If somehow you end up in the right room, on the right night, with the right song, and they're drinking the right Coca-Cola, they might say, Hey, she's got something or he's got something."

Paslay has turned his professional heartaches into hit songs for stars like Eli Young Band, and now he's begun climbing the charts on his own, with his catch tune "Friday Night." He's been in Nashville for a decade, but he's still considered a new artist.

"It might take 10 years, it might take one night, [to be discovered]," he said.

Just minutes away from performing, Morelli spotted a face in the crowd, and realized the stakes couldn't be higher. Scott Borchetta, the record mogul who signed Taylor Swift, is staying to see her show. He said he remembered where he was sitting the night he first heard Swift perform.

"She was really born to do this. It's so cute to look back at those days. She was like a charging bull," he said.

As CEO of Big Machine Label, Borchetta is a music industry heavyweight who has the power to make Morelli a star. As she prepares to take the stage, she knows this could be her big chance for a shot at stardom.

To find out what happens, watch our "Nightline" report HERE.

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