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'The Voice' Winner Cassadee Pope Is Leaving Country Music

Pope said you're "not completely ostracized and shamed for speaking out" in rock music.

Cassadee Pope is officially closing the curtain on her country music career. The singer, who rose to country prominence after winning "The Voice" in 2012, shared with Rolling Stone earlier this month that she is officially transitioning to rock.

Pope served as lead singer of pop-punk band Hey Monday before "The Voice," and she has been transitioning towards rock ever so slightly for the past few years. In 2021, she released an album called Thrive, which brought her punk rock roots to the surface with songs like "What the Stars See" and "Say It First." Now, the former country starlet is officially making her exit, and she says the music isn't the only reason for her departure. After participating in heated discourse with fellow artists on social media on multiple occasions over the years, she's ready for a new frontier.

"I realize every genre has problematic people in it. I'm not saying there's not a frontman in a band who hasn't been accused of something in rock music," she says. "But I guess rock is in my bones more. You're not completely ostracized and shamed for speaking out."

Pope's comments stem from instances that took place over the past three years. In 2021, she spoke out about Morgan Wallen's use of a racial slur, writing in a tweet, "I'm disgusted. What happened does not represent all of country music." She admits she would have spoken differently about the incident had it happened today.

Then, in 2022, Pope took part in a feud sparked between Jason Aldean's wife Brittany and singer Maren Morris. Brittany shared a video of her beauty routine while thanking her parents for "not changing my gender" during a "tomboy phase." This caused Morris and Pope to come to the defense of the transgender community —  an action Pope will never regret. She was also among artists who spoke out after Aldean released his controversial song, "Try That in a Small Town."

"In that moment, I felt so proud," Pope says. "I had no feeling of regret. I just kept my head down and kept going. It's only been the past few months that I've let my guard down in therapy and said, 'Wait, I actually wasn't OK.' But I think that kind of comes with the territory of including activism in your life. You're not going to please everyone."

Pope debuted in country music with her 2013 single, "Wasting All These Tears," which peaked at No. 10. The singer reached the No. 1 spot on the country charts with "Think of You," a duet with Chris Young from his album, I'm Comin' Over. 

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