Country star Kacey Musgraves’ breakthrough success in 2013 made her seem like an overnight success story to a lot of new fans. In reality, the singer’s role in changing perceptions about young Nashville with “Follow Your Arrow” and other noteworthy songs continued a lengthy journey to stardom that began over a decade earlier in East Texas. Nine of these 10 facts follow Musgraves from a childhood interest in singing to a major label deal, topped off with a fun tidbit about “Biscuits.”
She’s From Golden, Texas
The title of Musgraves’ next album Golden Hour makes more sense when you consider her backstory. The singer, guitarist and songwriter came of age in East Texas, where she was exposed at a young age to Lee Ann Womack and other regional role models. Young Kacey’s family supported her interest in singing, with her grandmother booking many of her earliest live appearances.
She Wrote Her First Song at Age 9
Although much of Musgraves’ initial material consisted of covers, she began a lifetime of writing songs as a pre-teen. What began as a poem became “Notice Me,” a fitting song title for a youngster who was just beginning a long route to being discovered.
Young Kacey Appeared On Stage With Asleep At The Wheel
With Musgraves’ early material inspired by Texas swing and her childhood favorites being regional traditionalists, it’s no surprise that she joined the band at age 10, singing Bob Wills’ “Miles and Miles of Texas.”
Same Trailer, Different Park Wasn’t Her First Album
There’s several independently released CDs of Musgraves’ music that predate her mainstream breakthrough. Earlier solo outings include yodeling cowgirl-inspired albums Movin’ On (2002) and the infectiously fun Wanted: One Good Cowboy (2003). After that, Musgraves recorded another album and EP before getting a big label deal.
She Was a Member of The Texas Two-Bits
Musgraves cut an even earlier CD than Movin’ On as part of the duo the Texas Two-Bits. Little is known about this early recording project, featuring fellow Texas swing-loving 12-year-old Alina Tatum.
She Competed On Nashville Star
Like Miranda Lambert, Chris Young and other future stars, Musgraves chased mainstream attention by appearing on the USA Network’s Nashville Star reality show. Musgraves’ participation in 2007’s season five ended with a disappointing seventh-place finish.
She Outshines The Show’s Winner
Nashville Star success was hardly a sink or swim scenario. Season five winner Angela Hacker didn’t even cut an album during her brief run with Warner Brothers. Musgraves, meanwhile, would make a huge splash in the following decade. It’s not the only lapse in judgment by the same show that’s inaugural season limited a then 19-year-old Miranda Lambert to a third place finish.
Her Introduction To Many Fans Came Via The Josh Abbott Band
In 2010, the Josh Abbott Band recruited a still relatively obscure Musgraves to appear on the song “Oh, Tonight.” Its video, also featuring Granger Smith, captures Musgraves as a should-be star, hidden in plain sight from Nashville taste makers.
Loretta Lynn Provided An Early Big Break
Musgraves’ touring history as a major label artist features stints on the road with everyone from George Strait to Katy Perry. In 2012, Musgraves prepared for busy years ahead as Loretta Lynn’s tour mate. The unknown talent helping celebrate Lynn’s 50th year in the business reconnected with her hero as a peer at the 2014 CMAs.
‘Biscuits’ Includes An Unusual Percussion Instrument
Fittingly, the clanging sound in the song “Biscuits” comes from drummer Fred Eltringham banging on an actual biscuit pan. This funny notion points back to the earliest country musicians who’d pick cigar box guitars and strum wash boards .