Selecting a cover song to perform can be a tricky thing for a new artist: On the one hand, it helps to have a song an audience already knows and loves. On the other, up-and-comers need to distinguish themselves, making the crowd fall in love with them for their own individual personalities.

When an artist strikes that balance, though, the result can be magical. Want proof? Just watch Caylee Hammack's spin on Gloria Gaynor's 1978 disco anthem, "I Will Survive." Beloved to fans of all stripes ever since its release over 40 years ago, the song has been covered a lot -- Kacey Musgraves even brought Gaynor herself to the stage for a duet at a New York City show in October -- but in her version, Hammack makes the song sound brand new.

In her own songs, Hammack proves her penchant for soul and ability to pack emotion into each note. Here, she demonstrates that skill once more, bringing intricate vocal runs and lush detail to the classic freedom anthem.

Hammack sings "I Will Survive" as if she's lived it, and in fact, she has: At live shows, the singer often tells the story of her first heartbreak, which inspired her song, "Small Town Hypocrite." From the stage, she recounts the first love who convinced her to give up a scholarship to Nashville's Belmont University. Instead, she opted to stay in her South Georgia hometown and focus on her relationship -- but soon, the relationship crumbled, and the guy who'd asked her to give up her dreams for him said he needed space.

She put her clothes in trash bags, drove over six hours north to Nashville and slept in her car in a Target parking lot on the south side of town. Eventually, she got a job, found a place to live and pursued her dreams. She had to give up everything, walk away from a person she loved and start over in a brand-new city -- but she survived.

Hammack is currently on tour as part of Miranda Lambert's all-female 2019 Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour. She's a huge fan of her tour boss, and recently explained to The Boot that she "cried when she got the news" that Lambert had invited her out on the road.  As Taste of Country's newest RISER, Hammack joins previously selected artists Riley Green, Jimmie Allen and Cody Johnson in the class of 2019.

Watch Caylee Hammack Perform Her Debut Single, "Family Tree":

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