If you made it to the end of Sunday night's Grammy Awards (and congrats if you did, it was 3 1/2 hours), then you saw rising country music artist Kacey Musgraves take home the top award of the night: album of the year.
While you were thinking how you finally made it to the end of the broadcast, you also might have been wondering, "Who is Kacey Musgraves, and is her music really that good?'"
Well faithful reader, we are here to inform you that, yes, Musgraves' Grammy Award-winning album Golden Hour is that good. If you're a fan of country music then Musgraves should have been on your radar years ago, but if this is the first time you're hearing about the singer-songwriter, get ready.
1. Golden Hour totally deserved the album of the year award
To say that Golden Hour is a great album is an understatement. When it was released in early 2018, music critics and fans of Musgraves immediately began to rave about the album. There are lush, overflowing sounds that whirl and twist around each other, creating a sound space that belongs in a magical fairy garden. It's cohesive and strong, from start to finish.
Golden Hour was praised so much that it ended up on almost every music outlet's year-end lists, usually taking the top spot as the best album of the year. This year at the Grammys, the voters really got it right.
2. Musgraves' back catalog is just as impressive
This wasn't Musgraves' first rodeo at the Grammy Awards. She's already won two Grammys prior to Sunday night for her debut album Same Trailer Different Park, and received another Grammy nod for her second album Pageant Material. Musgraves is no stranger to Grammy voters, so it's no surprise that she took home four awards Sunday night.
Musgraves has even received a Grammy nomination for a song she wrote but didn't record herself. Musgraves wrote the hit country song "Mama's Broken Heart" that was recorded by Miranda Lambert. The song was nominated for song of the year in 2014, the same year Musgraves was also up for best new artist.
3. She is a proud supporter and ally to the LGBTQ+ community
"Make lots of noise /Kiss lots of boys /Or kiss lots of girls /If that's something you're into" are the first lyrics of the chorus to Musgraves' LGBTQ+ anthem "Follow Your Arrow" from her first album. Before "Follow Your Arrow," having pro-gay lyrics in a country song was basically unheard of, let alone using your platform to speak out against homophobic behavior like Musgraves has.
Musgraves has been totally embraced by the gay community, with pride flags being waved around in the crowd at her shows, to being a guest judge on this past season of "RuPaul's Drag Race." We're sure that other country artists support the gay community, but it's refreshing to see Musgraves be so outspoken and supporting of her queer fans.
4. Despite acclaim from critics, her music is largely ignored by country music radio
While Musgraves' is applauded for being pro-gay and pro-marijuana by her fans, her songs don't always resonate with the people who run country music radio stations, who tend to be more conservative. In an article called "When Will Kacey Musgraves Be Loved?" the writer points out that "Follow Your Arrow" was a top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Chart (which combines radio play and digital streaming data), but the song only reached No. 43 on the Airplay list for country radio.
The article points out that other female artists have been snubbed for the radio with controversial songs, like Loretta Lynn's "The Pill," which is about birth control.
“It seems a group of 10 guys who all sound the same have no issue getting on the radio,” Musgraves told The Huffington Post. “But women who vary vastly from each other have a very hard time breaking through even in the smallest way on the country radio chart.”
5. Her husband, Ruston Kelly, who inspired much of Golden Hour, is also a country artist
If anyone should get the award for cutest couple on Instagram, it should be Musgraves and Kelly, who tied the knot in late 2017, and Musgraves said during her acceptance speech for best country album on Sunday night that her hubby inspired the lyrics and music for Golden Hour, which is adorable.
Kelly's music might not be as popular as his superstar wife's, but we have a feeling he could care less about that. The country singer is even scheduled to play some music festivals this summer like Bonnaroo on the same day as Musgraves, just a couple more lines down the lineup than she is. What a supportive hubby, right?
Now that you know everything there is to know about the Texas-born powerhouse country star, go ahead and download and listen to Golden Hour. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.
Graham Media Group 2019