A true singer-songwriter who has written hits for some of country’s biggest stars, Clark is now in the spotlight as a solo artist. She’s nominated for country album of the year (for 12 Stories) and best new artist at the upcoming Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 8).
“Well, I didn’t believe it at first,” she told CMT Hot 20 Countdown about the nominations. “My publicist texted me a picture of the best country album category, and I started shaking I was so overwhelmed. … Then she sent me a picture of the best new artist and it didn’t really hit me how huge that was right then, I was still so excited about being in the country album category. … I remember when I got to my hotel room and just sort of decompressed, I remember I cried a few tears, then just complete joy.”
“Country radio hasn’t really had a real chance to play my stuff up to this point because my record came out on Slate Creek, which is such a tiny, independent label,” she said. “We didn’t have the means to go out and do a radio tour and go after country radio the way that a lot of artists do, so our only way to get heard was word-of-mouth and press, which thank God the press was so good to me.”
A native of Morton, Washington, Clark is a charter member of CMT’s Next Women of Country. The singer remains positive that eventually radio will feel the excitement about her music that fans and critics already do.
“I never felt like it was a risk (to put the album out), because a lot of why I made the record when I did was because I felt like those songs needed to be heard,” she said. “Songs like ‘Get High,’ that was a song that wasn’t even demoed because the publisher wasn’t gonna spend money on that song, because there’s no way anybody (else) would record that. But whenever I would play it, people would want a version of it. … Songs like ‘Take a Little Pill’ resonate with people because it’s what’s going on, and I felt like those needed to be heard even if I knew it wouldn’t be a mainstream radio thing at that point.”
This year’s Grammys will provide another incredible opportunity for Clark, who will take the stage alongside country icon Dwight Yoakam.
For more on the country Grammy nominees, don’t miss an all-new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 7-8) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.