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Music / Kacey Musgraves

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You're damned if you do
And you're damned if you don't
So you might as well just do
Whatever you want
So, make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that's something you're into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don't
Just follow your arrow wherever it points
"Follow Your Arrow"

A Country Music singer from Golden, Texas, Kacey Lee Musgraves (born August 21, 1988) was first exposed to the world in 2007 when she placed seventh on season five of Nashville Star.

Although she had been recording since 2002, she did not get her breakout until she appeared on Josh Abbott Band's 2011 single "Oh, Tonight". After that, she signed with Mercury and released her album Same Trailer Different Park, which has produced three country singles: "Merry Go 'Round", "Blowin' Smoke", and "Follow Your Arrow". She also co-wrote and sang backing vocals on Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart", and has written songs for the Nashville soundtrack. In 2014, she won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song ("Merry Go 'Round") and Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park. Her second album, Pageant Material, was released in 2015.

Her third album, Golden Hour, was released in 2018 to great critical success. It won her the 2019 Grammy for Best Album (along with three other awards), making her the first country artist to win the top prize of the night since Taylor Swift won for Fearless in 2010. In 2019, she contributed a song entitled “All Is Found” to the Frozen II soundtrack. Her fourth album, star-crossed , was released in September of 2021. Also in 2021, she would perform the English version of “Don't Disturb Me“, the theme song to Earwig and the Witch. She also voiced Erica's mother in the English-dubbed version of the film.

She was married to fellow country artist Ruston Kelly from 2017 to 2020.


  • Same Trailer Different Park (2013)
  • Pageant Material (2015)
  • A Very Kacey Christmas (2016)
  • Golden Hour (2018)
  • star-crossed (2021)

Tropes present:

  • Album Title Drop: Same Trailer Different Park is name-dropped in the first single "Merry Go 'Round".
  • Ascended Fangirl: She's been a Studio Ghibli fan since childhood and it was announced in December 2020 that she will be voicing a character and singing the song in the English dub for their upcoming release, Earwig and the Witch.
  • Be Yourself: Multiple:
    • The moral of "Follow Your Arrow":
      Make lots of noise
      Kiss lots of boys
      Or kiss lots of girls
      If that's something you're into
      When the straight and narrow
      Gets a little too straight
      Roll up a joint, or don't
      Just follow your arrow
      Wherever it points, yeah
      Follow your arrow
      Wherever it points
    • Also, "Pageant Material:"
    I'd rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain't.
  • Bowdlerize: "Follow Your Arrow" censors the line "Roll up a joint, or don't" in the chorus.
  • Christmas Songs: Her 2016 album A Very Kacey Christmas.
  • Break Up Song:
    • "Dandelion" is about her new partner who leave her heartbroken just like her previous one.
    • "It Is What It Is" is about a couple who didn't love each other anymore but stay together because they don't have any better options.
    • "Space Cowboy" is about a woman who let her boyfriend go because they don't love each other anymore.
    • Most of star-crossed is about her divorce.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Her music, in general, is quite edgy compared to most other country music. See the lyrics for "Follow Your Arrow" for details - MANY people in the notoriously conservative country music community wanted her burned at stake for writing such a blatantly liberal song.
    • "Back On The Map" is this compared to most of her songs. The Signature Style mentioned below is replaced by a sad, somber tone as the singer reflects on her regrets and wishes for a better future.
    • star-crossed is her darkest album yet, especially compared to Golden Hour.
  • Deconstruction: "Merry Go 'Round" is a deconstruction of the myriad country songs celebrating small town life. Not only the people in the town experience crushing Small Town Boredom, the lifestyle actively stifles their potential that compel them to keep looking for distraction from their boredom and can't seem to escape.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: "Space Cowboy" is written from the perspective of the girlfriend who let her own lover goes using the imagery the old Western The Drifter cowboys riding off to the sunset. Said imagery is portrayed in a bittersweet manner: On one hand, the relationship between them is over and they likely will never see each other again... but both of them no longer love each other and is moving on with their lives.
  • Downer Ending: Same Trailer, Different Park ends with "It Is What It Is," a somber number about a couple who is no longer sure that they still love each other but are staying together, possibly out of boredom with their lives. Pageant Material ends with a very depressing Willie Nelson duet about a loved one who has given up on life and now spends his days at a bar populated by depressed and bitter has-beens.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before her debut single, she sang guest vocals on "Oh, Tonight" by Josh Abbott Band.
  • Ethical Slut: "Follow Your Arrow", see above.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: "Biscuits" appropriately has the drummer playing a biscuit pan.
  • Gay Aesop: "Follow Your Arrow", again; see above. (Cowriters Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark are both gay.)
  • Going Commando: She admitted that she performed this way at the 2014 Country Music Association awards because they fell off and wouldn't stay on.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: In "Merry Go Round":
    Jack and Jill went up the hill
    Jack burned out on booze and pills
    Mary had a little lamb
    Mary just don't give a damn no more.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "Follow Your Arrow" is somewhere between this, Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion, and Midword Rhyme:
    If you save yourself for marriage, you're a bore
    If you don't save yourself for marriage you're a hor...rible person
  • Misery Builds Character: "Silver Lining" has this as a theme:
    If you're ever gonna find a silver lining, it's gotta be a cloudy day, it's gotta be a cloudy day.
    If you wanna fill your bottle up with lightning, you're gonna have to stand in the rain, you're gonna have to stand in the rain.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • She shows off a lot of skin for a country singer.
    • She performed nude on Saturday Night Live, wearing only boots and using her guitar to obscure her naked body.
  • New Sound Album: Golden Hour is considerably poppier than her first two albums and star-crossed is even more so.
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: She loves being barefoot and exhibits this by doffing her shoes at most if not all of her concerts.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Miserable" is one of these, directed at someone who simply refuses to be happy, no matter what happens.
  • Re-release the Song: After "Dime Store Cowgirl" failed to crack the airplay charts, it was sent to radio a second time... and failed to chart again.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: She placed seventh on the fifth season of Nashville Star, but fared much better than that season's winner Angela Hacker, who put out only one album full of demos and was never heard from again.
  • Saved for the Sequel: “Rainbow” was written in 2012 for Same Trailer Different Park but didn’t make the cut. It was her grandmother’s favorite song that happened to be the last one finished before she passed away. She even sang the song at the funeral so she didn’t want to put it on Pageant Material because of its recency. The song finally found its way onto Golden Hour.
  • Sibling Team: Her photographer sister, Kelly, shot the cover for “Golden Hour” and they share the art design credit.
  • Signature Style: Her production is usually very light and loose with lots of acoustic guitar, and her lyrics often introspective and deep yet still displaying a fun and playfulness to them, especially when it comes to plays on words.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Butterflies," "Love is a Wild Thing," "Velvet Elvis," and "Golden Hour" off Golden Hour, no doubt inspired by Kacey's then-recent marriage. "Golden Hour" in particular is sufficiently soppy as to work well as as a slow dance at a wedding. (Which isn't a bad thing, to be honest.)
  • Status Quo Is God: "Merry Go 'Round" mixes this with Small Town Boredom, while "Blowin' Smoke" is about a group of waitresses who want to quit their job and go off to bigger and better things, but they're just "blowin' smoke".
  • Take That!: "Good Ol' Boys Club" is a take-that against the tight corporate mentality of Nashville, including the line "another gear in a big machine", an obvious jab at Big Machine Records, a large independent country music label.
  • Vaporwave: Although the song itself is not an example, the lyric video for "High Horse" uses very vaporwave-inspired graphics. Moreover, "Oh, What A World" off the same album does exhibit some vaporwave influences in its use of synthetic vocals. Finally, some of her official social-media accounts (e.g. her official YouTube) render her name as "K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S", suggesting she has more than a passing familiarity with the style.
  • Wanderlust Song: "My House" is about life in an RV, traveling from campsite to campsite.