On a cold night back in December, rising country star Ashley McBryde‘s phone died. And when she turned it back on the next morning, her whole life had changed.
“My phone started going crazy,” McBryde, 35, remembers. “I had over 40 text messages. I was thinking that, for sure, something bad had happened.”
But oh, was she wrong. In fact, something very good had happened in those hours that her phone was off. In those hours, McBryde received her first Grammy nomination for best country album for her critically acclaimed album, Girl Going Nowhere. McBryde’s album was the only debut album nominated in the category which also includes collections from Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini.
“Someone sent me a video of them reading the [Grammy] nominations on video and I was on the bus in the back lounge,” she recalls. “Never in my life have I ever screamed that loud.”
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Now, as she looks forward to the 61st Grammy Awards on Sunday, McBryde finds herself not only thinking about what this nomination means to her career, but thinking about the artists that have helped her and inspired her to get to this point in her career.
And coincidentally, most of those artists are award winners themselves.
McBryde recently sat down with PEOPLE to talk about a few of the artists whose songs have shaped her through the years along with the artists that continue to inspire her.
1977 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Male Vocalist
“One of my all-time favorite songs has always been ‘Drivin’ My Life Away.’ I was covering this Eddie Rabbitt song in the bars when I was just getting started. It’s just one of those songs that is good for using your steering wheel as a drum kit.”
1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2013 Grammy Award Winner
“I can never seem to get enough of the song ‘Love Sneakin’ Up on You.’ Plus, my hair turned grey at 24, so I’m always super stoked that Bonnie has a grey streak. (Laughs.) Seriously, she has always been a super solid role model for me, especially as a guitar player.”
2016 and 2018 Grammy Award Winner
“I’m thrilled that Chris and I are nominated in the same GRAMMY category together. What’s cool about the best album category is that it’s not about who is the coolest person, but it’s really about a body of work. I have been listening to Traveller front to back for months. It’s really good.”
2018 Americana Music Honors & Awards Emerging Artist of the Year Winner
“I like to drunk download songs and I often wake up to new music. (Laughs.) I was at Losers Bar & Grill in Nashville not too long ago and someone told me to download Tyler’s album Purgatory and I have been changed ever since.”
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Grammy Award Nominees
“I’m just so psyched to be nominated in the best country album category with these guys. Port Saint Joe is a masterpiece from the first song to the last song. When I first heard ‘Weed, Whiskey and Willie’ in the studio, I had that kind of moment when you feel it in your chest. It was that good. I’ve learned so much from those guys.”
CBS is broadcasting the 61st Annual Grammy Awards live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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