Kacey Musgraves has built a career as one of the younger leading lights in country music, but she admits it took her several years of pretty intense hustle to get a foothold in Nashville.

Musgraves drove around and spoke to Reese Witherspoon for an episode of Witherspoon's new show, Shine on With Reese, and in the interview, she admits that her early days in Music City were far from glamorous.

“My little sister took my photo and my mom helped me put this little demo CD together, and I had a really chubby face,” the singer-songwriter recounts. “I just took it around to all these publishing companies and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m a new voice in town. If you need a demo singer, I need the cash. I can sing my own harmonies, and also, these are songs I wrote.’ So I was killing two birds with one stone.”

Witherspoon expresses astonishment when Musgraves tells her it took five years for her to get anything going. “I was a songwriter first before being an artist, so about a year after being in town was when I got to write for a job," she says. "And then I wrote for three years every single day with different people."

That level of competition helped shape the Grammy winner's unique songwriting voice.

“It is very intimidating, but also because it’s so intimidating and because there are so many people that are in line wanting to do what you want to do, you have no excuse not to be unique and as good as you can be," she explains.

Before Musgraves made the move from Texas to Nashville, she served a mostly-forgotten stint on the now-defunct reality TV singing competition Nashville Star, where the future star placed seventh. She went on to reach No. 1 with all three of her major label studio albums; Same Trailer, Different Park in 2013, 2015's Pageant Material and her most recent album, Golden Hour, in 2018. In her interview with Witherspoon, she also discusses the lack of equal opportunity for women in country music.

Shine on With Reese is available through DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-Verse via On Demand. To watch the show, search “Hello Sunshine” on DirecTV Now, or tune in to channel 1112 on DirecTV or channel 1530 on U-verse.

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