Kellie Pickler's fourth studio album, The Woman I Am, is deeply personal to the singer. The direction of the project, released Monday (Nov. 11), evolved into a reflection of her own personality.
"When I'm recording a record, I just find songs that I love and tell part of my story that I identify with, or I write songs that are either inspired by my true-life events or someone close to me," Pickler told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. "I love this record. I'm very proud of how it turned out, and I'm so happy."
The Woman I Am follows the critically acclaimed 100 Proof, an album that Pickler was also extremely proud of. However, pressure surrounding The Woman I Am doesn't come from her previous success.
"The pressure is there regardless because you know once you put it out, it's forever," she admits. "You have to make sure you love what you're doing."
Like the album itself, the title track is one that Picker holds dear to her heart. Co-written by her husband Kyle Jacobs, she describes it as an honest look into her life and soul.
"Kyle and I wrote 'The Woman I Am' after the record was completely finished," said Pickler. "[I was] reading through the lyrics in the artwork to make sure the spelling was right, and I was thinking, 'Hell, my grandmother and I are so much alike. ... Stubborn and proud and loud with a beer in my hand.'
"My favorite line in that song is 'I can paint the perfect disguise/To hide the pain behind my eyes/Because sometimes I can't get past the past/That made me the woman I am.' There's so much in that lyric."
For more, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 16-17) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.