ACM Awards Winner Caylee Hammack on Therapy Through Music: 'Don't Ever Be Ashamed'
Caylee Hammack is reflecting on how she uses music to work through the most difficult moments in her life.
The 26-year-old country star chatted with Jeremy Parsons for PeopleTV's Red Carpet Live: 55th Academy of Country Music Awards preshow and shared that “the most beautiful thing” about releasing her debut album, If It Wasn't for You, last month has been the response from fans.
“The hardest [songs] for me to write are the ones that people have connected to on the deepest level,” she said. “They’re the ones that people will send me DMs about, and tell me about how it connected to them. That’s probably been the best thing, to see some type of heartache I went through or hard time healing someone else just by me saying it and telling the story."
Check out PEOPLE's full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on one of country music's biggest nights.
Hammack also gave some advice for those who are trying to process their own heartaches.
“Don’t you ever be ashamed of something you went through,” she said. “Every single story that you were given is given to you for a reason and all you can do is react in some way that you can spread good so tell your story.”
For Hammack, the songs “Small Town Hypocrite” and “Forged in the Fire” were the most difficult for her to write and put out into the world. The former is about a heartbreak, while the latter reflects on a 2017 electrical fire “took almost everything I had,” she shares.
“‘Forged in the Fire’ and ‘Small Town Hypocrite’ have been the two hardest ones for me to put into words and give to people to listen — make it into something sonically tangible for people to connect with,” Hammack said.
The artist also opened up about receiving a pre-ACM award for best musical event, revealing that the first person she was able to tell in person was her mailman. Hammack said he “was so excited” for her, sharing that his son works in the music industry and the pair often chat when he brings the mail.
“I saw him and I was like I have to tell him because he gets it,” she said. “I didn’t have any family in town to get to tell personally and I was like, I just gotta tell one person to their face that knows what it means.”
This year's ACM Awards will air from Nashville on Sept. 16 from 8-11 p.m. on CBS. Join our correspondent Jeremy Parsons from 7-8 p.m. for PeopleTV Red Carpet Live: 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, featuring interviews with nominees and performers backstage from the famous Grand Ole Opry, as well as an interview with Urban.
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