When the 50th CMA Awards are held on November 2nd in Nashville, Kacey Musgraves will compete for the fourth consecutive time in the Female Vocalist of the Year race. It’s a nomination that she admits surprised her when the categories were announced in August.
“I did not expect it, especially being in between albums. But either way, I’m glad to be hanging in there,” Musgraves tells Rolling Stone Country. “I’m proud to be a female in country music.”
Musgraves, who will croon her way through her first holiday album, A Very Kacey Christmas, on November 18th, says she doesn’t consider herself a traditional vocalist. Rather, like her hero Willie Nelson, she’s more of an interpreter.
“I just do whatever is best for the song at hand and what feels comfortable to me. I never had an acrobatic voice like some of the other vocalists may have in that category,” she says. “I feel my lyrical voice is stronger than my singing voice. But either way it’s a compliment.”
With so much back and forth over what constitutes country music today, Musgraves – who appears in the all-star “Forever Country” song and video tied to the 50th CMAs – says she herself finds ideas in other genres. Her one concern is that traditional country music doesn’t get squeezed out.
“As long as there is room for everyone. That’s how I feel. I’m inspired by a million different things and you can hear that in my music. But I do like that there is an appreciation for the traditional stuff coming back. It’d be sad if it were forgotten,” Musgraves says.
To that end, she wishes radio would expand its playlists. “Who doesn’t want to hear ‘On the Road Again’?” she says. “Just because it’s not a Top 40 hit right now doesn’t mean people don’t want to hear it.”
Musgraves will launch a holiday tour in support of A Very Kacey Christmas on November 26th.