Ashley McBryde took a recent phone call from country superstar Carrie Underwood, who passed along the news that McBryde had been named ACM Female Vocalist of the Year ahead of this weekend’s upcoming awards show. The moment was captured for the camera in a segment profiling the buzzworthy artist for CBS This Morning.
An Arkansas native, McBryde spoke openly about one of her most personal songs, “A Bible and a .44,” and the man who inspired it — her father William McBryde, a physician and farmer whose view of his daughter’s profession has been skeptical.
McBryde emotionally recalls her father’s admonition, “‘Promise me that when you’ve made your money and had your fill of all this music stuff you’ll go to medical school.’ You can say anything you want about the music business and about us, but my daddy doesn’t approve of it. How bad is it gonna hurt me if you say that?”
The singer notes that she’s careful with the things she shares with her father about her current success because while it’s all meaningful to her, “it’s not always important to him.” McBryde’s debut album Girl Going Nowhere was released in 2018 and was later nominated for a Grammy Award.
McBryde recalls that her father, who is currently fighting a degenerative disease, told her “‘I’m proud for you.’ He didn’t say ‘of you.’ Everybody wants their papa to be proud. Everybody does.” Yet, when interviewer Jan Crawford asked, “But you’re not sure?” McBryde, fighting back tears, says, “No, I’m not.”
On the other hand, McBryde has gained a lot of encouragement through her mother. “I could have said I want to be a one-legged purple gorilla and she would have said, ‘OK, honey.’”
Speaking through her tears, McBryde says she passes that encouragement on to others because, “Not everybody gets it. Somebody doesn’t think they can go to college. Somebody doesn’t think they can ‘spell good.’ Somebody’s not gettin’ yes.”
Her message to those not getting that positive reinforcement: “If anybody has told you not to pursue what sets your soul on fire, they are wrong.”
McBryde will head to Las Vegas to perform at the ACM Awards, hosted by Reba McEntire, this Sunday, April 7th, at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.