Kacey Musgraves Rains Cash From the Sky on ‘Colbert’

Kacey Musgraves Rains Cash From the Sky on ‘Colbert’

Kacey Musgraves brought “Breadwinner” — a moody, mid-tempo track that warns against getting into a relationship with a guy who will be intimidated by his partner’s success — to life on the stage of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night (Oct. 18).

Acerbic, jaded and full of lessons learned, the poppy earworm offers up advice from the perspective of a burned ex-lover who wishes someone would have clued her in to the truth.

He wants your shimmer to make him feel bigger / Until he starts feeling insecure,” Musgraves sings. “I wish somebody would’ve told me the truth / See, he’s never gonna know what to do / With a woman like you…

“Breadwinner” comes off the tracklist of Star-Crossed, the singer’s new album, which is structured as a three-part Greek tragedy and pulls largely from Musgraves’ experience of going through her divorce from fellow singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly. Thematically, the project has been considered a “Part 2” to 2018’s Golden Hour, in which Musgraves chronicled her love story and journey towards marriage.

During her stop on Colbert, Musgraves channeled a visual aesthetic to go along with the song’s chilly, hard-earned wisdom, wearing a parka and winter beanie as she performed. That outfit choice was in stark contrast to her recent Saturday Night Live appearance, in which she performed “Justified” — another track from Star-Crossed — in the nude, emphasizing that song’s vulnerability by wearing only her cowboy boots and a strategically-placed acoustic guitar.

On the stage of Colbert, the singer made it rain, too: She and her band performed against a backdrop of hundred-dollar bills floating down from the sky.

Star-Crossed arrived in September; earlier this month, the Recording Academy deemed it ineligible to be nominated in country-specific categories at 2022’s Grammy Awards, citing a lack of sufficient stylistic elements of country music. That news came as a shock to many fans, especially since Golden Hour — which featured much of the same songwriting and production team as Star-Crossed — was a massive success at the 2019 Grammys, winning three genre-specific awards and the all-genre title of Album of the Year.

Musgraves responded to the Recording Academy’s decision with a quippy, light-hearted social media retort, posting a string of photos of herself performing and spending time with country legends like Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, George Strait, Alan Jackson and more.

Best Country Albums of 2021 – Critic’s Pick

There have been many creative country albums in 2021, but not all have hit the mark. Artists are more than ever toying with distribution methods and packaging as much as they are new sounds, so you get double and triple albums, Part 1 and Part 2, and digital EPs in lieu of a traditional 10 or 11-song release.

The bar for an EP on this list of the best country albums of 2021 is higher than an LP, but one project did crack the Top 10. Too much music proved to dampen other artist’s efforts, although Alan Jackson’s first album in years was filled with country music we couldn’t turn away from. Where Have You Gone has 21 songs, but somehow no filler.

More than ever, this relied on staff opinion and artistic merit to allow for some parity among major label artists and independents. The 10 albums listed below are not ranked, although the year-end list published in the fall will crown a true best album of 2021.

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