Gabby Barrett Never Thought She’d Get to Call Carrie Underwood a Friend
Gabby Barrett has been enjoying massive success with her breakthrough smash, "I Hope," and it's taking her to high places — and people. The chart-topping single, from her newly released major-label debut album, Goldmine, became her first No. 1 hit in April 2020.
Even though she's had a few months to enjoy the wave, Barrett can't help but pinch herself at the thought of being able to navigate her way to stardom after coming off a reality singing competition series.
"I would have never guessed that all of this would be happening," Barrett, 20, who placed third on Season 16's American Idol, says in a recent interview with People. "It's an extremely huge blessing. The word on the street is that it's a 10-year process in Nashville, and I'm very thankful that it's been much shorter for me to get into the community."
Season 16 of Idol ran in 2018.
Barrett, who has worked so hard up to this point, hasn't celebrated her success alone, though. Aside from those closest to her, after topping the charts she received a congratulatory message from none other than fellow American Idol alum and country superstar Carrie Underwood.
"When 'I Hope' went No. 1, Carrie texted me congrats," the Pennsylvania native recalls. "We keep in touch, and I think I can call her friend now. That's pretty cool!"
Underwood previously mentored Barrett during her Idol run, and it’s safe to say the two have grown quite fond of each other. Though both singers share many similarities, including their long blonde hair and powerhouse vocals, Underwood will tell you that Barrett is uniquely Barrett and a star in her own right.
"When I actually talked to [Carrie] about how people compare me to her on American Idol, she said, 'You know what? You have blonde hair, I have blonde hair. You have a big voice in country music, and so do I. But clearly there's a difference between me and you — our voices don't sound the same,'" Barrett shares. “She was like, 'You have more grit and you have soul and a real R&B flare in your voice. It's much different than mine.'"
"She predicted that everything would be fine after American Idol for me," the newcomer adds of an early conversation with her mentor.
As of late, Barrett — released her Goldmine album on June 19 — has been navigating success in a pandemic. She's been in coronavirus quarantine with her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Cade Foehner, whom she wed in October 2019. The married couple has only been living in Nashville for a short time, so they haven’t yet had a chance to explore all the city has to offer. However, she says they have been able to spend more quality time with each other these days, when normally they'd be out chasing their respective music careers.
"We've only lived in Nashville for eight months now, so we're taking the time to sightsee," Barrett says. "With us both being musicians, it was hard to get downtime with each other before. So we've gotten to bond more. I always love spending time with him because he's my best friend in the whole world. We're just really taking these few months to hone in on a bunch of family time."
Along with “I Hope,” which is currently sitting at No. 1 on Billboard's Country Streaming Songs chart, Goldmine also includes Barrett’s "I Hope" remix featuring pop-star Charlie Puth and recent releases “The Good Ones” and “Footprints on the Moon.”
10 Things You Didn't Know About Gabby Barrett, But You Should