See Inside Kacey Musgraves’ New Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit, ‘All of the Colors’ [PICTURES]
On Monday (July 1), Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame debuted a new exhibit celebrating the life and artistry of Kacey Musgraves, titled Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors. The display takes museum-goers through the celebrated singer's early life and career, highlighting memorable moments (and outfits) from her journey as well as never-before-seen childhood artifacts, including her elementary school Lisa Frank diary.
At a private event previewing the new installment, Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young praised Musgraves' individuality. "A professional musician's life most often involves a daily internal struggle between artistry and replication," he noted. "Whether a songwriter, producer or recording artist, replication is often the best way to keep a job. Do what's being done successfully by others. Do what's already proved popular -- and do it at an adequate level. That's the safest way to keep your bosses happy, make your mortgage and pay your kids' tuition."
Institutions like the Hall of Fame recognize those artists who have forged their own path, Young went on to say. Musgraves is one such artist, and she has managed to stay true to her artistic individuality while simultaneously achieving mainstream recognition.
"Kacey Musgraves, against daunting odds, is both an artist and a star ..." Young added. "Right now, no doubt, there are hundreds of singer-songwriters out there trying to replicate precisely what Kacey has done and what she is doing, and they are missing the point entirely. They are following someone else's arrow."
LOOK: Inside Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors
An emotional Musgraves took the podium to reflect on the exhibit, and explained how powerfully she'd been affected by seeing it in its entirety.
"Something that I try really hard to work at is being present," she said, wiping away tears. "There's so many beautiful things happening all the time ... I'm not usually super emotional. It takes a lot for me to feel that way. But to see everything laid out in a physical sense, in a timeline, it's really healthy and beautiful for me ... I'm really grateful to have the opportunity to share this space."
The singer then turned to her grandparents, who were sitting in the audience. "Nana ... was my first booking agent," Musgraves recalled. "She was ready with a press kit on her person at all times to sling to anybody who would care to hear it, and even if they didn't care to hear it."
In fact, Musgraves' grandmother booked her very first shows, back when the now-star was a child. "She would [pick up the phone and] say, 'Now, I have an entertainer for your event!" The singer lowered her voice to a conspiratorial whisper and winked, saying, "'It's my granddaughter.' And nine times out of 10, it worked. So it took a lot of fearlessness on her part."
Musgraves also credited her grandfather for providing an early music education via his record collection, which, he replied from the audience when she inquired, probably consisted of a couple thousand vinyl records. ("I bet it's more than that, though," Musgraves noted.)
"I guess I was in middle school, and he thought it'd be cool if he set me up with a turntable. I would come home from school, and be bored, and dig through all the vinyl. I didn't even know what I was looking at," she admitted. "A lot of these bands and artists, I would pick out something because I liked the color of it. I remember one of those things was the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo."
Musgraves stressed that neither her new Hall of Fame exhibit nor her career would have been possible without her family, and also thanked the other important people in her life: Her team, her stylist Erica Cloud (who worked with her to create many of the iconic looks in the exhibit) and her husband, fellow recording artist Ruston Kelly.
On a lighter note, Musgraves added, there was one important piece of memorabilia that the Country Music Hall of Fame refused to include in the exhibit: "Willie Nelson gave it to me," she said slyly, mimicking the gesture of smoking a joint. "I tried to tell 'em that it couldn't get any more country than that!"
Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors opens to the public on Tuesday (July 2) and will run through June 7, 2020. For more information, visit the Country Musical Hall of Fame's website.
See Photos From Kacey Musgraves' Oh, What a World Tour Stop in Philly