Kacey Musgraves has won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards.
The country singer took home music's biggest award for her album, Golden Hour. In total, Musgraves won four in four categories, including Best Country Album, Best Country Solo Performance (“Butterflies”), and Best Country Song (“Space Cowboy").
Musgraves, a Texas native who performed with Dolly Parton during the awards’ telecast, has been one of the only voices of LGBTQ acceptance in country music — ever since she broke Nashville conventions in 2013 with her inclusive hit, “Follow Your Arrow.”
The song riled conservatives, including Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson, with lyrics like, "Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls, if that's something that you're into."
"If she had sang [sic] that thing in a country bar in the 1920s or 1880s in Denver, Colorado, somebody would’ve called for a rope," Swanson said. "She would not have made it out of town."
Fast forward to 2018 and Musgraves has achieved gay icon status with tracks like the dance-centric “High Horse” and the optimistic “Rainbow,” which won over queer audiences — so much so that she even earned a spot as a guest judge on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars. She frequently includes rainbow imagery into her visual cues as a nod to her LGBTQ fans, as seen in the video for “High Horse" and her moving performance of "Rainbow" during the Grammy Awards.
Just as Golden Hour pushed the boundaries of country music by bringing in elements of pop and disco, Musgraves continues to push the genre’s non-inclusive status-quo. She spoke about her unlikely place at the intersection of country and queer culture at last year’s New Yorker Festival.
“What I think it is — someone told me this recently and it broke my heart — they said, I’ve grown up loving country music and I grew up gay in a small town, and country music has always felt like a big party that I wasn’t invited to. Oh my god, you’re invited to my party,” Musgraves said.
“It’s crazy that a certain kind of a person could feel excluded from a genre that’s so real — or supposed to be so real. That has always really pissed me off. Because I love the genre so much, I felt, Well fine, maybe I’ll just have an all-gay audience.”
Watch Musgraves perform "Rainbow" below.