Kacey Musgraves is a one-of-a-kind artist with the awards to prove it, and in a new interview with Marie Claire, she explains why it completely goes against her nature to compromise any aspect of her artistic vision.

Marie Claire

“I’ve always had a sarcastic nature, a rebellious spirit," Musgraves says as part of a cover story interview titled "Kacey Musgraves Doesn't Want Your Permission."

"Asking for forgiveness rather than permission is my MO,” she states, adding that there are times when she recognizes that it's not always a strength.

“Growing up in Texas, I’ve always had a strong idea of what I do and don’t like. And that doesn’t always serve me well," she admits. "It can be narrow-minded. I have to work at expanding, at being more flexible, and at knowing that if something isn’t my idea, it doesn’t mean it’s not as good as my idea.”

Musgraves' singular vision has made her one of the most interesting artists in contemporary country music ever since the release of her major-label debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park, in 2013. The wry, observational nature of the lyrics on songs including "Merry 'Go Round" and "Blowin' Smoke," as well as the edgy themes of "Follow Your Arrow," which pushed the boundaries of country radio with its no-big-deal references to smoking pot and same-sex relationships, set her apart from the start.

Her second album, Pageant Material in 2015, held close to those same lines, while Musgraves' third studio album, 2018's Golden Hour, takes a more mature and open approach to love songs and a very different view of relationships. Through it all, Musgraves has built a huge career with very little support from country radio, insisting in sticking close to her vision for how she wants to look and sound. That approach has won her an armload of ACM, CMA and Grammy Awards, as well as an enormously devoted fanbase.

“From the get-go, I wasn’t going to sign a record deal unless I could completely do it on my terms,” Musgraves states. “And, yeah, there’ve been moments when I’ve been asked to change lyrics or to do things I wasn’t into. But I’m not going to bend in hopes that it’s going to reach more people or whatever. It’s just not worth it.”

Musgraves is currently on the road on her 2019 Oh, What a World Tour II, with dates scheduled all the way through Oct. 25.

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