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Kacey Musgraves Reacts After Being Excluded From Grammys Country Category


Kacey Musgraves has made it clear that she is and always will be a country girl at heart! The singer spoke about the Grammy's decision to exclude her new album star-crossed from the country music category. Earlier this week it was announced that the singer's fifth studio album was reportedly deemed ineligible for the country album category and will instead be placed in the pop category at the 2022 award ceremony if selected.

Responding to the decision, the 33-year-old took to Instagram to post several pictures in her story. This after Cindy Mabe, president of Musgraves' record company Universal Music Group Nashville, sent a letter to the Recording Academy about their decision.

The country-pop singer shared some throwback photos of herself as a child wearing a red cowboy hat. She wrote, "You can take the girl out of the country (genre) ... but you can't take the country out of the girl."


The Golden Hour singer continued by posting other photos and videos of herself performing with country music legends through the years, tagging them in a series of questions. In a picture performing with Loretta Lynn, Musgraves asks at the bottom, "Ain't that right, @lorettalynofficial?" Other country stars she tagged included Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Reba McEntire and Shania Twain.

At the end of the photo round, she uploaded a picture of herself that pretty much sums up what she thought about the situation, raising both middle fingers in the air. Musgraves has won a total of seven CMA Awards and three ACM awards, as well as six Grammy Awards, of which five were in the country music category.

Editors Note: This article was originally written on October 12, 2021. It was updated on October 14, 2021, after Musgraves addressed her being excluded from the Grammys country category. Below is information that was published before the new updated information was included.


Despite the successs of her 2018 album Golden Hour, which took home the award for Album of the Year at the Grammys, Musgraves' star-crossed will not be eligible for a country music Grammy, and rather will be potentially placed in the pop categories.

According to Cindy Mabe, President of Universal Music Group Nashville, who wrote a letter to CEO Harvey Mason Jr. obtained by Billboard, the Recording Academy reviewed the album to make sure it was placed in the appropriate category. Annual screening committee members have the opportunity to reject recordings if they feel they do not fit in the appropriate genre. To be eligible in a certain genre category, at least 51 percent of the songs on the album itself must fall into the genre.

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According to the Rules and Guidelines for the upcoming wards, the entries in the country field, "utilize a stylistic intention, song structure, lyrical content and/or musical presentation to create a sensibility that reflects the broad spectrum of country music style and culture." It also stated, "the Field includes recordings and songs that are country in content as opposed to those that may have a 'country flavor,' but are aimed at the contemporary or pop audience."

According to Mabe, this is what occurred with star-crossed. She wrote, "This decision from the country committee to not accept 'star-crossed' into the country albums category is very inconsistent and calls into question the other agendas that were part of this decision."

Star-crossed was released as a partnership between Universal Music Group's MCA Nashville imprint and Interscope Records.


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Through the letter, Mabe went on to say that Musgraves' exclusion at the Grammy Awards had a bigger significance for the genre as a whole in the way that it was viewed by an all-genre audience. She noted, "taking her out of the country category actually does harm to a format struggling with change and inclusivity overall."

She went on to cite other controversies that have affected the country genre, including Morgan Wallen and the incident involving racial slurs earlier this year. She continued, "THIS IS NOT ALL THAT WE ARE. Under the surface are the artists that change it all and they are led by the example of Kacey Musgraves."

Mabe went on to specifically compare both of Musgraves' albums, saying that star-crossed indeed did deserve inclusion as a country album. She continued, "Sonically, it's got more country instrumentation than Golden Hour which won Country Album of the Year in 2019. To compare Golden Hour to Star-Crossed, both albums were produced by Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian and Kacey Musgraves. Both albums were mixed by Shawn Everett. On Golden Hour, Ian, Daniel and Kacey wrote 7 of the 13 songs and on Star-Crossed they wrote 11 of the 15. Both albums complete each other with Golden Hour telling the story of falling in love and Star-Crossed telling the conclusion of the breakup. There is no departure in sound from these two projects."



Golden Hour was the first country album to earn an Album of the Year Award since Taylor Swift's Fearless back in 2010. It also won a Grammy for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. For Same Trailer Different Park, the singer-songwriter won the Best Country Album and Best Country Song for "Merry Go Round." She also received a Grammy nomination for her second studio album, Pageant Material.

According to Vulture, the Academy is still considering some songs from star-crossed to be country, saying that "camera roll" was eligible for Best Country Song. Grammy nominations are set to be announced on November 23.

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