In one of the most remarkable Nashville success stories in recent years, 24-year-old singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves has defied virtually every convention of country radio to create a major label debut album that opened at No.1 in its first week of release. Six years after she first came to public attention by placing seventh on 'Nashville Star,' Musgraves is one of the hottest young stars in country music -- and she got there by keeping the focus on her remarkable songwriting.

"I mean, if I listen to a record, I'm not seeing the person. So it doesn't really matter to me what they look like. I mean, I guess it does to other people," she tells the Nashville Scene. She admits that she likes to dress up and look attractive, but adds, "Overall I think that I'm not here just to look pretty. Or I don't wanna be. I want the other side of it to come first, and then if people think I'm hot, then awesome."

Her remarkably well-developed song craft and mature voice are at the heart of her album, 'Same Trailer, Different Park.' Much of the trapped world weariness of songs like 'Blowin' Smoke' and 'Merry Go Round' was shaped by her small-town upbringing in the unincorporated Golden, Texas. Musgraves says that's why that narrative thread runs through so much of her writing. "I came from that, but I also moved away from it," she observes. "So I see both sides and I can appreciate both. And I'm not dogging people that still feel that way. It's just time for somebody to be a realist about it."

She's a realist about other topics, too -- for instance sex, in 'It Is What It Is,' about an uncommitted hookup, or same-sex relationships in 'Follow Your Arrow,' a rollicking track that advises,"So make lots of noise / Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls if that's something you're into."

Musgraves says country music is ready for that kind of honesty -- at least, her audience is. "There are some older people in there," she notes of her fan base. "But I think the majority is younger, and they're outspoken. I think they're open-minded. Whatever they're feeling when they hear my music, they're liking enough to be really loud about it."

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