While the 50th Annual County Music Association Awards will honor the legends like Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty and Johnny Cash, it will also honor the new country music royalty. KVUE's Christy Millweard sat down with nominee Cassadee Pope to talk about how her "overnight success" actually started when she was four.
"I never would have thought all of this would happen, so it's been quite the journey and it's opened a lot of doors for me so I'm just very grateful,” said Pope.
KVUE caught up with Pope when she performed at Bass Concert Hall on UT's campus. Pope is up for her first CMA nomination, Musical Event of the Year for her duet with country singer Chris Young, called "Think of You."
"To get a singer like that, telling me they want me to sing with them, it's such a huge compliment," said Pope.
The song was also her first to make it to the top of the charts.
"You know hearing the song I absolutely loved it right away, I was kind of thinking gosh this sounds like it could be a single but what do I know, and the next thing I know he's making it a single, so it's just amazing," said Pope.
She remembers the first time she heard it on the radio she was in the car with her mom and sister.
"To hear 'Think of You' on the radio primetime at like 5 p.m. while we're sitting in traffic you know with everybody else, just looking around thinking who else is listening to this right now? It's just really special," said Pope.
The song has shot her to a place she's wanted to be practically her entire life.
"I was sitting with my mom and I got an email about the CMA awards and how I get to go, and have a plus one, whereas years prior I was buying a ticket to just get on the red carpet to do some interviews," said Pope.
We asked Pope if she knew what she wanted to wear to the award show.
"I've thought about it, I mean I definitely want to knock it out of the park and turn heads," said Pope. "If I love the first thing I try on, I'm done."
She even jokes about the stress of finding the perfect outfit.
"At the end of a shopping day, I'm tired I want to watch some Netflix and relax," said Pope.
Pope has been in the business for years, she had a single that got to number nine a few years ago, "Wasting All These Tears."
Many know Pope for winning a season of "The Voice" or as the lead singer of a band called "Hey Monday." She even toured with Fall Out Boy at the age of 18 before turning to country.
"I love the fact that I've converted some of the rock fans into country fans so that's been a huge accomplishment," said Pope.
She recalls playing with the band in Austin and clearly remembers the stage at Emo's.
"I would curse that post in the middle of the stage every time, there were a few times when I'd back, bump into it, and be super embarrassed," said Pope.
She even played at SXSW almost 10 years ago, a different time for the festival, and for her.
"You know 10 people showed up and it was the best thing ever, we were like how are people even here right now but yeah, I've had some great experiences in Austin," said Pope.
It's those live performances she loves most, especially when fans sing along.
"You're just like man I hope people connect with these lyrics but when it actually happens before your eyes it's incredibly amazing," said Pope.
She said she just wants to bring people joy when she's on stage, she wants them to smile.
"I feel like I'm in my element most when I'm on stage performing for people, but there's always that nervous thing in there," said Pope.
After 10 years on the road, Cassadee has learned from the scars.
"I think when you're in this business, it's really easy to question yourself and to just hear everybody else and think oh my gosh they might be right," said Pope. "As far as creativity goes and the music goes, I've always stayed really true to myself, and that will never change."
Now, she works to surround herself with good people, goes with her gut, and just won't let her lifelong dream go.
"I've been singing since I was four-years-old, so there's no plan B, this is all I've ever known, this is all I've ever wanted to do," said Pope.
Pope released an EP this year called "Summer" and is touring with Chris Young this fall.
During a segment on 'Good Morning America' Wednesday, it was announced Dierks Bentley and Elle King won in Pope's category for their song, "Different For Girls."
WEB EXTRA: Extended interview with Cassadee Pope
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