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GRAMMY PREVIEW: GABBY BARRETT

Interview by Holly Gleason

Warner Music Nashville
’s emerging powerhouse Gabby Barrett has a big voice, a big personality and a big hit in the ironic “I Hope,” a Country #1 that has flown onto the Top 40, Hot AC and AC charts. Charlie Puth personally reached out via Instagram DM to ask about collaborating on the pop-leaning version, which is now going global.

Indeed, “I Hope,” which Barrett co-wrote with Zachary Kale and Jon Nite and was co-produced by Ross Copperman, is nominated for the coveted Country Music Association Awards Single of the Year. Barrett is also nominated for a Best New Artist CMA.

Goldmine, her debut full-length, has dropped six songs onto five charts, and Christian radio is embracing “Got Me” with Shane & Shane. While she found prominence on American Idol and an advisor/champion in Idol alumna Carrie Underwood, she’s so much more. As the Pittsburgh Post-Tribune proclaimed, she has—and is—“a voice you must hear.”


Grammys are obviously a big deal. For you, do they have any special meaning or significance?
Bucket list! I have watched the Grammy Awards for as long as I can remember. There is something very special about this night; there are always great performances and collaborations you wouldn’t expect. 

In January, I was opening up for Kane Brown at Staples Center in L.A. and had the opportunity to visit the Grammy Museum. It brought back so many awesome show memories, so that was already an unforgettable Grammy experience.

“I Hope” has turned into so much more than a “country song.” It’s connecting with people around the world.
It’s been fun to see this song grow in popularity, but it’s also really humbling. I think people relate to the tone of the song. And they respond to how the lyrics say something that most people feel but just don’t end up saying out loud.

You said when we talked for the Nashville issue that you knew the song was special, but did you think it would be buzzing around for the Grammys?
I don’t think you ever truly know where a song will take you until it’s out in the world. I definitely did not anticipate it would be buzzing around the Grammy Awards. When I wrote this song, I didn’t have a major-label deal. I just wanted to put out music that I loved and hopefully make more fans.

Best New Artist is an all-genre category, and one of the Big Four. What would it mean to you to be one of the nominees?
Oh my gosh. I really don’t have words to fully explain how I would feel. It would be like I’m dreaming but with my eyes open. There are so many talented new artists and to even be considered as a potential nominee feels like a win to me. 

When I started singing at nine years old, 
I began to dream big. But I couldn’t have imagined that a decade later I’d be asked this question about Best New Artist. What an honor!

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