RaeLynn

RaeLynn photographed by Sarah Barlowe in 2014.

Sarah Barlowe

After initially making her impact in the music world as a contestant on the second season of NBC’s The Voice, RaeLynn says watching her own record climb the charts has been unbelievable. “It feels absolutely amazing -- a major milestone for me," the singer tells Billboard about the chart rise of her current single "God Made Girls," which is currently sitting at No. 34 on the Hot Country Songs chart. "I’ve been writing for my first single for about two years, as well as figuring out my sound. It’s such a cool feeling.”

The bubbly Texan gives credit to Scott Borchetta, the head of the Big Machine Label Group, for allowing her the time to find herself musically. “Right when I got off of the show, I was 18 and I moved to Nashville," she says. "I began writing every day. I was literally giving Scott a CD every week of songs I was writing. He just saw me progressing as a writer. I had no idea who I was musically then. I thought I did, but I didn’t. I am so thankful they gave me that time.”

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Though The Voice  gave RaeLynn (born Racheal Lynn Woodward) her big break, she was already working toward a music career in Music City. “I came to Nashville before the show -- right before I turned 17. I began writing then, and immediately the writing community took me under their wing," she says. "I had actually had a couple of writing sessions before The Voice. I was writing with Nicolle Galyon, who helped to write the single with me. I started singing, and she said, ‘You know, The Voice is coming to town this week. You should go audition for it.'”

At first, she wasn’t so sure. “I wanted to concentrate on songwriting, but she reminded me that Blake [Shelton] is on the show. I’m a big fan of Miranda [Lambert], and I thought, ‘I might get to meet Miranda Lambert. That would be so cool.’ That was Thursday, and I auditioned that Sunday -- and the rest is history.”

Of her Voice experience, RaeLynn admits that being in the public eye to such an extent did take some getting used to. “It was definitely interesting. When I would perform live, you might think, ‘There was only 500 people watching in the studio,’ but then you go look at your Twitter, and the whole world is blowing you up. Some of the comments you love, and some you don’t. You just have to take it with a grain of salt," she explains. "It’s such an amazing experience because you learn so much about being on stage, media training, working with a band, and so many other things. I learned so much in that six months.”

One of the lasting effects from the show has been her relationship with both Shelton and Lambert, who have become close friends to the singer. “I am so blessed to have them in my life. They mentored me throughout the last couple of years. When I was on the radio tour, or if I was getting impatient, they would text and call me," says RaeLynn. "They have taught me so much, and they continue to do so.”

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In fact, Lambert has extended an invitation to the singer to open some shows on her current Platinum tour. Watching the four-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year has been an educational experience. Says RaeLynn: “I love being able to watch her when I get done with my set. I admire the way she connects with a crowd -- it’s like she is talking to a friend. She’s so herself, which is something she has told me: 'Don’t be someone other than yourself.'”

And RaeLynn is especially excited about the video for "God Made Girls," which was released Thursday. “I sent it to Blake and Miranda, and he said, ‘In my thirteen years of making videos, this is the coolest visually I have ever seen.' I thought that was so awesome. I am so pumped about it.” Watch the video below:

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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