It's not easy for a first-time Grammy nominee to totally win over the hearts of an entire crowd with one performance. It's even rarer when the artist is firmly in a potentially polarizing genre. However, love or hate country music, it's hard to argue that Kacey Musgraves wasn't a refreshing darling of the 2014 Grammys.
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The 25-year-old, who was nominated for four awards and took home two, had already gained critical praise for her fresh-sounding major-label debut Same Trailer Different Park, a Nashville concoction with an un-conservative slant. However, she brought her frank brand of charm to her widest audience ever at the Grammys, performing her hit "Follow Your Arrow" in a short-short dress and a pair of light-up boots while surrounded by a forest of neon cacti.
She hit it out of the (trailer) park, and continued this streak by scoring the Country Album of the Year award upsetting no less than the mighty Taylor Swift; as well as Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, and Blake Shelton.
Musgraves told Yahoo Music the day before the show that she had no expectation of winning anything, predicting (correctly) her Best New Artist nod would fall to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and not offering up any guesses on her country-category competition. "I have no speeches planned," she admitted. "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!"
The singer did charmingly stutter when she reached the podium to accept her Best Country Album award, but composed herself to finally note: "I got to make a record that I poured myself into, and I'm so proud of it."
Musgraves also won Country Song of the Year for "Merry Go 'Round," which she co-wrote with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Another song she co-wrote with McAnally, the Miranda Lambert hit "Mama's Broken Heart," was nominated in the same category.