Country music museum opens exhibit about Musgraves’ life

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From her earliest experiences in music through her rise to super stardom, Kacey Musgraves’ musical journey is depicted in an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

On July 1, family, friends and people from the music industry got a sneak preview of the exhibit called Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors. The singer-songwriter of dual citizenship (Golden and Mineola both claim her) attended the reception along with her husband, Ruston Kelly, and several hundred people. Among them were Mineola City Manager Mercy Rushing and her husband, Tim, as well as Kacey’s grandparents Barbara and Darrell Musgraves.

The fact that she had a Hall of Fame exhibit dedicated to her at the ripe old age of 30 was not lost on Musgraves, according to Rushing, and the unveiling was an emotional experience for her.

Said Musgraves:  “To be given my own space in a building that is full of such rich history is something I don’t take lightly. I didn’t think it would make me super emotional but to see everything laid out in a physical sense…in a physical timeline from birth to today...it’s a really nostalgic and beautiful feeling for me because there’s so much that you forget. I’m somebody that gets really focused and excited about what’s right in front of me, and then I check it off and move on to the next thing. There’s a lot that gets lost in the blur of all the busyness, but there’s a lot to be celebrated and a lot to be remembered so...it’s really a special moment.”

The exhibit stretches about 150 feet in length and showcases all manner of memorabilia from her musical journey. It contains gowns and dresses from the Grammys and CMA Awards, photos of her and Alina Tatum performing as the Texas Two Bits, her first guitar case, original lyrics in spiral notebooks to songs like “Biscuit” and “Butterflies,” cowboy outfits, her Mineola High School Class of 2006 cap and gown, a pair of sun glasses sent by Elton John, and even high school detention slips.

One photo shows her just starting out with a tiny microphone.

“I’ll bet she was 2 years old,” said Rushing.

Another photo captures Mineola music guru John DeFoore, who tutored the budding star. DeFoore, according to Rushing, played a key role in developing Musgraves’ talents by pushing her early on to tell her own story and not just perform someone else’s.

Kyle Young, the museum’s CEO, reflected on Musgraves’ trailblazing career thus far. “Kacey Musgraves is both an artist and a star, and her stardom is predicated on her artistry,” he said.

Musgraves’ authenticity and artistic integrity – creating music that will stand the test of time – were common themes throughout the evening, according to Rushing.

The exhibit is arranged as a chronological timeline, Rushing noted.

“We started from the very beginning and looked at all of it, which was just amazing.”

Added Rushing, “Nashville is a tough town, for her to accomplish what she’s done in 10 years is something.”

The exhibit officially opened July 2 and runs through June 7, 2020.

(The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum contributed to this story.)

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