Why Katy Perry Passed on Kacey Musgraves’ Song

"I Kissed a Girl" Singer Said "You Should Keep It"

I guess we kind of have Katy Perry to thank for our brand new CMA Award -winning song of the year, “Follow Your Arrow.” Yes. At least, if you believe what Kacey Musgraves recently revealed about her early plans for the song.

In the new CMA special issue of People magazine, Musgraves talks about how she came up with a rough chorus and melody and then took it with her to a songwriting session with Perry.

Musgraves recalled that Perry loved it but ultimately thought she should keep it for herself.

“Honestly, it sounds like something you would sing. You should keep it,” Musgraves said Perry told her.

She did, and “Follow Your Arrow” went on to win big at Wednesday’s (Nov. 5) CMA Awards. But because of the song’s mention of same-sex kissing and marijuana smoking, it wasn’t the easiest song to get played on conservative country radio. (Perry’s own massive hit song from 2008, “I Kissed a Girl” — which had lyrics about being bisexually curious — had had some short-lived radio backlash of its own when it was first released.)

Musgraves predicted the backlash would happen, but she recorded it and released it anyway.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be a radio song — and it was banned in a lot of places — so it’s kind of crazy to me that it’s nominated for a CMA,” she’d said before the song won. “But if there are kids in small towns — or big towns — who don’t feel like they belong, and this song gives them courage to walk taller, that’s better than any award I can ever hope to win.

View complete coverage of the 48th annual CMA Awards.