Brittney Spencer breaks big
When Brittney Spencer came to Nashville in 2013, she sang for tips next to a hot dog stand in Printers Alley.
- Now she is performing at the Country Music Hall of Fame in between Kenny Chesney and George Strait, earning praise from Brenda Lee and embarking on her first-ever headlining tour.
Why it matters: After eight years of fighting to make it in the country music industry, Spencer is getting the kind of exposure that could catapult her to a new level of fame and success.
- In a genre still grappling with its lack of diversity, Spencer is part of a growing group of Black artists getting mainstream buzz.
- "As of right now, I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be. And I feel like I belong right where I am," Spencer tells Axios. "I'm truly living in the moment as best as I can, and I'm having fun."
Flashback: About a year after she moved to town, Spencer enrolled in Middle Tennessee State University's recording industry program.
- She graduated in December 2017 and began writing and performing with several collaborators.
Driving the news: The last few months of Spencer's career have been a whirlwind.
- She earned stellar reviews while opening for Jason Isbell and performed alongside Mickey Guyton at the CMA Awards. This week, she launched her own national tour.
- Reba McEntire tapped Spencer as an opening act in 2022.
Between the lines: Spencer says she is drawn to country music because of its intricate story songs. Her own work is an intimate reflection on relationships, faith, and heartache.
- "It's not the only place where you can tell a story, but country music feels like a really beautiful place for me to tell mine," she says.
What she's saying: Spencer says she's entering the genre during a "breakthrough moment" for Black artists.
- "There is a certain weight and a certain responsibility, but also a certain joy, that comes with being a minority in this space and getting to both excel and to know that you're also probably breaking down a barrier and holding a door for another artist that looks just like you to do the same one day."
What's next: Spencer's headlining tour takes her to The Basement East on Thursday.
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