Early in 2012, Jana Kramer was driving to the store, and listening to Nashville radio powerhouse WSIX. Not that monumental, you say? Think again.
"I saw my name on the stereo receiver. I thought 'That's weird,' and I turned it up, and it was my song. That feeling was something I'll never forget."
That was the first time Kramer heard her single "Why Ya Wanna" on the radio. However, it was far from the last. Radio helped push the song all the way to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart last year, (also ranking at 3 on the year-end list), making her one of Music City's top newcomers of 2012. Friday night, she will be performing at the prestigious New Faces Show to cap off the Country Radio Seminar. One of five acts to be voted onto the show, she says she is grateful for the support she has received.
"I was so happy when I found out because it makes me feel good that all the people that I met when I was on the radio tour supported me. We had a lot of fun, and I met a lot of great people, and became friends with them. It was such a rewarding feeling to know that they believed in me, and wanted me to play."
Post-CRS, Kramer will be playing a lot this year -- on two major tours. "We have some Darius Rucker dates in the spring, and then the Blake tour that kicks off in July, and goes into 2014," she says. "Then, there's a wedding to plan, and hopefully seeing my fiancee as much as I can," speaking of her engagement to Brantley Gilbert. "It's going to be a busy year, and I will be racking up quite a few frequent flyer miles."
The couple will be competing against each other on April 7, when they will vie for New Artist of the Year at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.
"First of all, I was so happy to win Best New Female Vocalist," she says, referring to the batch of awards that have been announced already. "That was so cool, but to be in the category with Brantley and Florida Georgia Line is great. I love Florida Georgia Line -- they're great people, and of course, Brantley. It's his last year (to be nominated), so I really want it for him. Next year, I'll be asking his fans to vote for me. But, he definitely deserves it. He's worked his butt off. At the same time, the award will come back to the house, so I'll share it with him."