Cassadee Pope remembers sitting in the audience at the Nashville Convention Center last winter during the Country Radio Seminar.
"I was sitting next to Scott Borchetta and telling him I wanted to be up there someday." she recalls. "He turned to me and said 'Just wait. You'll be up there next year.' I kind of giggled and just figured that wouldn't be enough time to get out there and get everyone's support, but after a year of touring with Rascal Flatts, and visiting radio, it came true," she said, after being named to Friday night's New Faces Show during this years' seminar. "It's an honor to know they voted for me, and want me to be there. So, I'm going to deliver the best I can."
The Florida native has been doing just that since her stint on NBC's "The Voice" first gained her the attention of programmers and fans. Her official debut Republic Nashville single, "Wasting All My Tears," became a runaway hit in 2013, peaking at No. 10 on the Country Airplay chart. The exposure also helped the song cross over to the Top-40 on the Hot 100, as well. Throw in the success of her debut album "Frame By Frame," and it was a year that she never would have thought possible had it not been for country radio.
"There's no way I could have imagined all of this," she said. "I knew I was going to be releasing my single, but I had no idea the amount of attention it would get or that radio would be so supportive. A lot of that has to do with me getting out there, and visiting the stations on the road."
Pope said it was one of those stations she visited that gave her the memory of hearing her music on the airwaves for the first time. "I had a lot of supporters right off that bat that believed in me. One of them was KMLE in Phoenix. They played it on the radio at 5am, and I remember hearing it on the radio on the way to the airport. It was really special to me, and I will never forget that."
Pope says that the relationship between her and radio is truly a two-way street. "It's really important because country radio invests so much of their time. It's an emotional thing. It binds you together with people at radio. That's what I love so much about this format – the emotion. It's not a robotic process or procedure. You become attached to each other. In order to create that relationship, you have to go out there and meet everybody and prove to them that it's a team effort. It's not just them giving you a career. It goes both ways. It puts the emotion into the music, and that's a great thing."
NOTE: Each day this week, The 615 takes a look at a different participant in the New Faces Show that closes Country Radio Seminar week in Nashville. Radio programmers voted Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Thomas Rhett, Charlie Worsham, and today's featured artist -- Cassadee Pope onto the lineup.