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Kacey Musgraves: From 'Nashville Star' to Grammy Star

Lyndsey Parker
Our Country

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Kacey attends the Universal Music Brunch on Jan. 25 (photo: Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)

Country sensation Kacey Musgraves is up for four Grammys this Sunday, including Best New Artist in a category rounded out by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, and James Blake. But some diehard fans might remember her from her short-lived 2007 stint on Season 5 of "Nashville Star," on which she incredibly only placed seventh. But, like Season 1 "Nashville Star" finalist and future country superstar Miranda Lambert, Kacey has managed to carve out quite a post-television career for herself.

"It's cool that Miranda has been able to separate herself from that [show] and create a different identity. It's just part of her puzzle, just like mine," Kacey told Yahoo Music Saturday at Universal Music Group Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge's pre-Grammys brunch, where she performed on a bill that included fellow Grammy nominees Robin Thicke and Lorde.

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As for her own time on "Nashville Star," Kacey chuckled: "It's probably a good thing that people don't remember me from that time period. I was very young and figuring myself out musically and personally. It was a great platform to get myself kind of accustomed to being in the industry and seeing what it was like being away from my tiny little hometown in Texas. Being in an environment like kind of thickens your skin, but I also don't think it's very realistic, because music wasn't made to be judged by three people. But it was good to walk away with some constructive criticism. It was what it was and it was good, and then I moved to Nashville and I got to just really take my time writing and figuring things out and developing myself, and I'm really, really thankful I had that time."

So, how did Kacey learn the great news that she'd really hit the big time and had been nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy? "It was a really cool night in Milwaukee. It was actually freezing — it was probably like 3 degrees. I was onstage in the middle of the set, and in my in-ears my tour manager came over and said, 'Hey, nominations came out,' and he told me, and I was just floored. I had to stop the song and cheer to the crowd and tell them that they were the first people to find out I was nominated. They found out along with me and so did my band, and we got to celebrate together. It was awesome!"

Speaking to Yahoo Music, Kacey didn't seem to be convinced that she'd actually win the Best New Artist Grammy, giving the edge to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. "I remember being at Bonnaroo this past summer and seeing Macklemore; I was floored by their set and by how many people knew the lyrics. I mean, they had an incredibly huge year, so obviously I wouldn't feel bad losing it to them or anyone else, because being nominated is an award in itself," she said. "I have no speeches planned. I don't really stick to plans that well sometimes, especially up to the moment like that. If I can even get a word out and I'm lucky enough to get up, then we'll see what happens!"

So, if Kacey does win a Grammy this Sunday, will she thank "Nashville Star"? Said Kacey with a little laugh: "Probably not."

Check back on Sunday for complete coverage of the Grammys and join the Yahoo Music team for a live chat starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT

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