Kacey Musgraves Loves That She's Turning You On to Country Music

Kacey Musgraves performs at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in las Vegas.

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"Merry Go 'Round" singer talks about her whirlwind year, which includes six nominations for the CMA Awards

The past 12 months are ones that Kacey Musgraves won't be forgetting anytime soon. She's enjoyed success with the singles "Merry Go 'Round" and her current "Blowin' Smoke." Her debut album, "Same Trailer Different Park" opened up  atop the Top Country Albums chart this past spring, and reviewers have continually praised her irreverent style – making her a critical darling, as well. She was nominated for four Academy Of Country Music Awards in the spring, and on Tuesday, the Texan received six nominations for the upcoming Country Music Association Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and a pair of nominations for Song of the Year (In addition to "Merry Go 'Round," she also helped to write Miranda Lambert's hit single "Mama's Broken Heart"). Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind.

"[2013] is hard to wrap my brain around, because there's been so many pivotal moments," said Musgraves in an exclusive interview. "I feel sometimes like I'm not even done being thankful for the amazing thing that happened to me a month ago -- much less last week. There's been so many things that have happened that it feels like overload -- where do I begin to be thankful? I'm having a really good time, and I love the people that I get to be on the road with. I've gotten to see a lot of cool places, and tour with a lot of different acts. It's been crazy, but it's really cool."

Though 2013 has found her at a hectic pace, she says she has been able to take a few moments along her career path and breathe them in. "I've done that a little bit," she says. "I have people around me that help keep me in the moment. We all share the excitement together. I just try to keep practicing being in the moment, and being thankful for what's happening right now."

She's also gotten to spend some time on two high profile tours in 2013 -- Little Big Town's "Tornado" tour this past winter, as well as Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" tour this summer. She said both were learning experiences. 

"Both of them were amazing, and they were great to me and my whole band and crew. It was two different things -- theaters versus stadiums and arenas. Both were learning curves in many ways. I prefer a more intimate setting, but it was good for me to get out of my comfort zone, and figure out how to translate my music to the person in the back of the nosebleed section. I walked away from both with some tools, I hope. You won't find a harder worker than Kenny, or nicer people than Little Big Town. They know how to do it right."

What has been the highlight for Musgraves this year? "It would be seeing the music grow, and more and more people singing along with the lyrics," she said. "It's a grass-roots feeling to see it spread, and people get so excited, and relate to it in their own way." 

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She also appreciates the fact that fans of other genres are accepting of her traditional style. 

"Seeing people outside of country music, and those that are into different kinds of music really enjoy it. That's something that is really cool for me. Sometimes, it's hard for me to take compliments because it makes me feel awkward and want to run away. But, when someone who doesn't listen to country music or knows anything about it gets turned on to it through my music, and they say ‘I don't like country, but I like your music, that makes me feel good, because I just want to make good music."

The award nominations – like this week's CMA nods – are just icing on the cake. "I feel lucky to be included, but that's not the reason why I put out music. It's not what drives me. It would be fun to take home something, but just to be nominated is an award of itself to me." 

Another element of her success that has left her speechless is making fans of other artists – such as her heroes. "There's something to your idols knowing what your name is. I got to open for Loretta Lynn a few times, and it was an amazing experience. She signed the original "You Ain't Woman Enough" vinyl album that my grandpa gave me. That's one of my prized possessions."