Back before Kacey Musgraves was redefining the country genre with her Grammy-winning hits, she was a young songwriter trying to earn rent money with odd jobs here and there until she got together an album of her own. After finishing high school and moving out of her parents’ house, she’d moved to east Nashville and started performing at kids birthdays to make money — until a request with an unlikely celebrity attached turned her off the gig entirely. Apparently, Musgraves was once asked to show up at Blake Shelton’s birthday party in a French maid costume and deliver, um, different entertainment from what we imagine she was providing at actual kids birthdays. It was a hard no for Musgraves, and she luckily found her footing with new singing work before too long.
Musgraves tells this story to Rolling Stone in a new profile exploring how the singer’s tumultuous last year and a half, which saw her not just entering a pandemic but exiting her marriage with Ruston Kelly, has bled into her music. But Musgraves has found herself dwelling on the past much more than the future these days, which may be why the Shelton anecdote was so fresh in her mind.
“She wrangled work as a demo-tape singer after quitting a job performing at kids’ birthdays when, she says, the kid in question turned out to be Blake Shelton,” Rolling Stone‘s Alex Morris writes.
“‘Actually, I found out later it was Blake Shelton, she qualifies. ‘But the guy was like, ‘Yeah, there’s a birthday party at the Palm restaurant and it’s a famous person, and they need a French maid to deliver balloons and sit on the birthday boy’s lap.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, no. I’m not doing that.'”
We’re impressed with Musgraves’ wherewithal here — it can be scary and hard to walk away from a job, and this was well before she was established. Per the singer’s account, Morris writes that she was “living in a downtrodden house below an old woman everyone called Mama Sophia” who shared Musgraves’ love of weed. But this not-quite-country darling persevered to sing another day, and it seems she has no regrets about walking away from that particular party.
Before you go, click here to see actors who have spoken out about pressure to get naked for a role.