The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is set to tell the story of trailblazing artist Kacey Musgraves in the exhibition Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors. The exhibit opens July 2, 2019, and runs through June 7, 2020.
Musgraves is an award-winning singer–songwriter who draws inspiration from diverse influences, embraces new audiences and willingly tackles what some see as taboo subject matter. This, coupled with her love of witty wordplay, has endeared her to like-minded and innovative artists including her heroes Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and John Prine.
“Kacey Musgraves is progressive, yet has a sound rooted in tradition. She writes songs that have messages not necessarily heard before in this genre. She is winning accolades and bringing country music to new audiences, breaking barriers and doing this all on her own terms,” said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “We are excited to share the remarkable musical journey of this young country music star—from her beginnings as a yodeling cowgirl to her present status as one of the biggest names in music today.”
Born Aug. 21, 1988, Musgraves was raised in Golden, Texas, surrounded by creativity. She began her musical career at an early age, learning to yodel at the age of eight and to play guitar and mandolin in her early tween years. Throughout the late 1990s, the family would drive to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where Musgraves and her younger sister, Kelly, sang and danced as members of the Cowtown Opry Buckaroos. While her sister tired of performing, Musgraves thrived on it, appearing at community events and winning contests and awards.
In 1999, she and another child performer, Alina Tatum, formed the Texas Two Bits, a duo that sang and yodeled in harmony. Following a performance with Asleep at the Wheel at President George W. Bush’s 2001 “Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball,” the duo decided to embark on separate careers. Musgraves went on to release two independent solo albums Movin’ On (2001) and Wanted: One Good Cowboy (2002). In 2007, she competed on Nashville Star, finishing seventh. Following her run on the show, she moved to Austin, Texas, and released her third independent solo album, which featured 10 original songs – including material written with Miranda Lambert.
Musgraves wrote her first song, “Notice Me,” at the age of nine and has continued to develop her talent for original composition. After moving to Nashville, Tenn., in November 2008, she signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. During this time, she collaborated with songwriters Brandy Clark, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. She penned, with Clark and McAnally, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” a #2 hit for Miranda Lambert.
Musgraves released her first major-label studio album, Same Trailer Different Park, in 2013. The album, co-produced with Laird and McAnally, debuted at the top of Billboard‘s country albums chart and established Musgraves as one of country music’s brightest and unwilling-to-compromise stars. Some radio and record executives thought her first single, “Merry Go ‘Round,” was too depressing and would be a risky debut. Musgraves fought for its release, and the song won a Grammy for Best Country Song in 2014. The same year, another brave and honest original, “Follow Your Arrow,” a rallying cry for inclusiveness, was CMA Song of the Year.
The critically acclaimed Pageant Material followed in 2015, debuting at #1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart, but the album’s singles were not major radio hits. Her next album, 2018’s Golden Hour, incorporated more of Musgraves’ eclectic influences as well as pedal steel, banjo and vocoder to create a genre-bending sound Musgraves called “galactic country.” On Nov. 14, 2018, 10 years to the day after Musgraves moved to Nashville, Golden Hour won Album of the Year at the CMA Awards. The momentum behind Golden Hour and Musgraves continues to grow. In February of this year, she won four Grammys: Album of the Year (in the highly competitive general category), Best Country Album, Best Country Song (“Space Cowboy”) and Best Country Solo Performance (“Butterflies”).
“I absolutely adore the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Musgraves, “and it’s a privilege to have them curate an exhibit that will showcase pieces from moments all the way back to my childhood that are very special to me.”
Items featured in Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors include stage wear, handwritten lyrics and personal artifacts. Some highlights:
- Tip jar used by Musgraves and Tatum when they performed as yodeling duo Texas Two Bits
- Detention notice received for “continuous classroom disruption” during high school
- Manuscript for “Fallin’,” a song written by Musgraves with Miranda Lambert
- Manuscript for “Slow Burn,” written by Musgraves and the co-producers of her album Golden Hour, Daniel Tashianand Ian Fitchuk
- Satin dress embellished with sequins, beads, rhinestones and tasseled fringe, designed by Enrique Urbina. Musgraves wore the dress at the 2014 Grammy Awards
- Western-inspired black Atelier Versace pantsuit ensemble with gold-beaded fringe worn by Musgraves at the 2018 CMA Awards
In support of the exhibition’s opening, Musgraves will participate in a conversation in the museum’s CMA Theater on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., sharing personal stories and memories associated with the artifacts included in Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors. Tickets will be available Wednesday, May 29, 2019.