Kacey Musgraves’ Queer Country Anthem “Follow Your Arrow” Wins Song of the Year at the CMAs!

Remember last January when Kacey Musgraves moseyed into our lives with a super kitschy and super cute performance of her totally You Do You themed song “Follow Your Arrow” at the Grammys? Remember when we all found out that we had this cool, cute, feminist, anti slut-shaming, anti fat-shaming, pro-pot (if that’s what you’re into) and totally queer-friendly country singer right in our own back yards? Remember how we all instantly developed crushes on her (or in Hansen’s case had already been in love with her for a while)? Well, she’s back in the spotlight winning Country Music’s biggest songwriting award, the Song of the Year award at the CMA’s!

In case you don’t remember, Musgrave’s hit song includes the refrain: “Make lots of noise/Kiss lots of boys/or kiss lots of girls/if that’s something you’re into./When the straight and narrow/gets a little too straight/roll up a joint, or don’t/just follow your arrow where it it points.” This is the kind of queer anthem by a straight artist we can all get behind.

"That's why her hair is so big, it's full of queer-friendly country anthems" via US Magazine

“That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of queer-friendly country anthems” via US Magazine

First, Musgraves showed up and was super adorable and fashionable with her throw-back classic country giant hair on the red carpet. Then she dueted with country legend Loretta Lynn on Lynn’s song “You’re Looking at Country.” Musgrave’s biggest moment, though, came when she won the CMA for Song of the Year for her song “Follow Your Arrow.” Musgraves co-wrote the song with producer Shane McAnally and lesbian country singer Brandy Clark, who was also the only woman to be nominated for Best New Artist this year (an award Musgraves won last year).

In her acceptance speech, Musgraves said that she’s excited that what’s considered “normal” in country music is starting to change.

Do you guys realize what this means for country music? I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this award means so much because our genre was built on simple, good song about real life. And that’s what this was. And it was because of the fans that connected with it who spread it and took it farther than I ever could.

With this win, it looks like country music is really taking her message to heart. The CMA winners are chosen by members of the Country Music Association, which is made up of industry professionals and organizations and have the goal of promoting country music and recognizing excellence in the field. It isn’t just country fans (and people who wouldn’t normally consider themselves country fans) who love this song and are embracing it’s message, it’s also the people who are making, producing and promoting country music. So you go, Kacey Musgraves; the future of country music couldn’t be in better hands.

Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 574 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. OMG yay!!! I love her music–I don’t generally identify as a country music fan, but you can’t live near Nashville without earning an appreciation for the genre. So glad that she’s getting the recognition she deserves, especially since it’s almost entirely men that I hear on the radio.

  2. This song is just the best, between Kacey & Brandy Clark I’ve fallen in love with country music all over again!

    And as another added bonus, Shane McAnally is also an out gay man! It’s pretty amazing that a queer friendly country song co-written by two out songwriters won a major country music award. Definitely gives me hope for the future of this genre.

  3. I’m a country music fan deeply disheartened by all the Bro Country these days, and her winning was like a breath of fresh air. And your point that this is the CMAs (vs other, fan-based awards shows) is totes spot on – definitely a good sign!

    YAYYY Kacey Musgraves. Now, if only Brandy Carlisle could get some more attention!

  4. Love her so much!!! And she sounds so great live!!
    Y’all better believe I teased the hell outta my hair this morning in honor of that gorgeous look she rocked last night! The higher the hair, the closer to heaven.

  5. I remember hearing that song for the first time when I was in the car with my mother (fun fact for like eight months thought it was a k.d. Lang song so clearly I know a ton about country music) and having it keep popping up in my memory. I’d thought that was before I realized I was queer, but looking back on the timeline that was actually towards the tail end of my denial period when I was first starting to accept my queer identity. And then, many months later, when I was really out and really proud, I came across it again. And I think I’ll always associate the song with the start of my self identity and acceptance journey.

  6. My mom played “Follow Your Arrow” on her phone for me while we were hanging out a couple of months ago, I’m not sure if she actually just likes Kacey Musgraves or if she was trying to drop a hint that she knows I’m gay…

  7. can we talk about the queer anthem from a straight country singer that is loretta lynn’s fist city tho? “if you don’t wanna go to fist city, you better detour round my town/cause i’ll grab you by the hair of the head and i’ll lift you off the ground” i mean. and this is supposed to be a straight song.

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