The Most Famous Girl You’ve Never Heard Of


You may have heard her name lately (probably because she just won four Grammy awards) yet, not many people seem to know who Kacey Musgraves is.


Just last April I was in the same place, until my friend recommended I listen to the title track of her fourth and latest studio album, Golden Hour. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but a few months later I decided to give her another try, since she had been opening shows for Harry Styles during the summer. When I listened to the full album I fell in love; every song was beautiful in a different way, and listening through it was an enthralling experience. Needless to say, I saved all 13 tracks.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who thought so: Golden Hour received a whopping 8.7 on Pitchfork (a source notorious for its harsh reviews) and an 89 on Metacritic. This February, Musgraves won the four Grammys she was nominated for: Country Solo Performance for her song “Butterflies”, Country Song for “Space Cowboy”, Country Album and most importantly, Album of the Year. Although I was sure she would triumph within her own genre, I wasn’t as confident that she would receive what’s arguably the most important award of the night. The other contenders for Album of the Year included Cardi B, Drake, Janelle Monáe and the various artists of the Black Panther soundtrack. Moreover, the Grammy awards have been known to snub deserving artists, instead awarding those that are more popular.


Nonetheless, Musgraves won. But how exactly did she manage this when not many people know her music? I believe the answer lies in her authentic songwriting and sincere, romantic lyrics. The Texan singer has been around since 2013, but her latest album stands out from the previous ones; on Golden Hour her smooth vocals and dreamy aesthetics enhance her approach to themes like nostalgia, security in relationships, and wonderment at the simple beauty of the world. The record is country pop with a dash of disco, which means you’ll hear the classic acoustic sound of country music (think guitar and banjo), but with contemporary twists. There are fun songs like “High Horse” and “Lonely Weekend“, and more mellow, contemplative tunes like “Slow Burn” and “Oh, What a World” (two of my personal favorites). The album is coherent, yet each song brings something new.


I think her lack of popularity may be due to a few factors. Firstly, country is not an immensely popular genre outside the United States. Describing her as a country artist may put some people off, even though she is often recognized for redefining the genre. She also wasn’t very well-known outside of that category before this album. Regardless of the quality of her music, it’s not at the top of the charts on Spotify or playing on overseas radio. Even so, the past year has been a great one for Musgraves. Besides the many awards, she’s done all the important talk-show performances, as well as Saturday Night Live. Her touring with Harry Styles also served as a great prelude to her own world tour. Slowly but surely, Musgraves has been making her talent known.


When I first heard of Kacey Musgraves, I thought I wouldn’t be interested. I gave her a chance and ended up becoming a huge fan, and I hope other people will give her a chance too. I also thought I didn’t like country at all, but in the past year I learned how my prejudice was holding me back from a load of great music. With this in mind, go give her a listen and maybe you’ll like what you find.