-- intro: Kacey Musgraves isn't your typical country music star. But the nose-pierced, 26-year-old Texas native has quickly made big waves in the country music scene -- and she’s just getting started.
Her bold lyrics about dating pitfalls and family troubles have caught the attention of a new, younger generation of country music fans, who have propelled her into mainstream country.
Musgraves, who won CMA's New Artist of the Year award in 2013, is heading into the awards ceremony this year with no less than three nominations, including Female Vocalist of the Year.
The singer sat down with Robin Roberts for the ABC News special, “Countdown to the CMA Awards: 15 Songs That Changed Country Music,” to talk about her music and her road to stardom.
Here are few things you might not have known about Musgraves.
quicklist:1 title:Musgraves Wrote Her First Song at Age 9 text: “It was called ‘Notice Me,’ I remember that much,” she said. “I don’t even know what it-- how good it was or what it could have been about.”
quicklist: 2 title: Her Grandmother Was Her Booking Agent in the Beginning media:26602640 text: Growing up in Golden, Texas, Musgraves said she was about 8 years old when she started singing in public, and her family had a big hand in helping launch her music career.
“I just had one of those families that was like, ‘OK, you want to be a singer, you want to be a performer, or whatever? OK, let’s get you guitar lessons, let’s load up the minivan, let’s go to shows,’” she said. “Just really lucky that we had really nurturing parents and grandparents that really encouraged us to just be who we wanted to be.”
In fact, in the beginning, Musgraves said her parents and grandparents would drive her to different shows and help her sell CDs.
“My grandma was my booking agent for a second,” she said. “Everyone had a hand in every little thing. My sister has been my photographer since day one... my parents in their little print shop would print up head shots and merch for me and load it up in my grandma’s minivan.”
quicklist:3 title:She Was Emotional the First Time She Heard Her Song on the Radio media:26608493 text:Musgraves burst onto the country music scene in 2012 with her debut single, “Merry Go ‘Round,” and became emotional the first time she heard it on the radio.
“My sister was with me,” she said. “That was the mark of a full circle moment. Like, a lot of ideas and hard work and not even my-- just my hard work, but like, everyone’s hard work coming together.”
The song went on to win a Grammy for “Best Country Song.”
quicklist:4 title:She’s Not Afraid to be 'Completely Blunt' in Her Music text:Musgraves uses her music to challenge the traditionally conservative country scene. For example, her song, “Follow Your Arrow,” includes the lyrics, “Make a lot of noise/Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls/If that’s something you’re into,’” which led to a #FollowYourArrow hashtag on Twitter, now a popular movement among her fans.
“I would love to change, I guess, just the ceiling on what’s accepted or how people have to be,” she said. “Country music is supposed to be completely real and completely blunt and honest.”
Musgraves says she is just singing about issues that are reflective of our time, and noted the country music greats who came before her -- Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn -- sang about cheating, divorce, addiction and other topics that were taboo for their time.
“Loretta was a huge example... singing about birth control when it was something crazy,” Musgraves said. “And now it’s something that people use every day. It’s just funny.”
quicklist:5 title:She Has a Three-Legged Dog Named Pearl media:26434076 text:“She’s a little rescue... she’s, I think, kind of a Jack Russell mix,” Musgraves said. “She’s all white and has one brown spot, and she’s a little human soul, I feel like.”