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Remember When Kacey Musgraves Competed on ‘Nashville Star’?

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It seems like everybody in country music loves Kacey Musgraves now, but that wasn’t always the case. Like her friend and contemporary Miranda Lambert, she competed on a season of ‘Nashville Star’ before she was famous — but it didn’t go too well.

‘Nashville Star’ was a country music reality TV competition that ran for seven seasons, but wound up discovering few actual country stars. Buddy Jewell won the first season — with Lambert placing third! — and Chris Young was crowned the winner of Season 4, but mostly semi-obscure names like Erika Jo, Brad Cotter and Melissa Lawson ended up in the winner’s circle.

Musgraves competed in Season 5. The 18-year-old was fresh out of Texas at the time, and she just wasn’t destined for reality TV greatness — she was the fourth contestant eliminated, placing seventh overall.

“It’s probably a good thing that people don’t remember me from that time period,” Musgraves tells Yahoo! Music with a laugh. “I was very young and figuring myself out musically and personally. It was a great platform to get myself kind of accustomed to being in the industry and seeing what it was like being away from my tiny little hometown in Texas.”

The experience had its ups and downs. “Being in an environment like that kind of thickens your skin, but I also don’t think it’s very realistic, because music wasn’t made to be judged by three people,” she observes. “But it was good to walk away with some constructive criticism. It was what it was and it was good, and then I moved to Nashville and I got to just really take my time writing and figuring things out and developing myself, and I’m really, really thankful I had that time.”

Angela Hacker was declared the winner of Season 5, but Musgraves undoubtedly got the last laugh. Her 2013 debut album, ‘Same Trailer, Different Park,’ opened at No. 1 and was certified Gold. She scored a Top 10 hit with her debut single, ‘Merry Go ‘Round,’ and earned universal critical acclaim, winning a CMA award for Best New Artist in 2013, an ACM for Album of the Year and a Grammy for Best Country Album.

She most recently took home Song of the Year honors at the 2014 CMAs for her third single, ‘Follow Your Arrow.’

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