‘Star-Crossed’: Does Kacey Musgraves Actually Speak Spanish?

Hot off of the heels of “Justified,” Kacey Musgraves released her full-length album Star-Crossed, featuring one song performed entirely in Spanish. Why was this song included on the country album? Here’s what the artist said about “Gracias a la Vida” and her experience with Spanish.

Kacey Musgraves performs at The Theatre at Ace Hotel
‘Golden Hour’ artist, Kacey Musgraves, performs at The Theatre at Ace Hotel | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kacey Musgraves is the Grammy Award-winning artist behind ‘Golden Hour’

Some know her from her Amazon Prime Christmas special, titled A Very Kacey Christmas. Others know her as the country artist behind songs like “High Horse,” “Butterflies,” and “Rainbow.” Musgraves is the award-winning artist behind the 2021 album, Star-Crossed.

Musgraves earned several Grammy Awards for her album Golden Hour, including the Grammy for Album Of The Year, Best Country Solo Performance, and Best Country Album. With this artist came a “new era” of country music

Musgraves is an open supporter of the LGBTQ community, even featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants in one live performance. The artist is also open about her recreational use of marijuana.

In addition to her original songs, Musgraves sometimes performs songs popularized by other artists. That includes some hits by Selena Quintanilla that Musgraves sang in Spanish. However, this country artist does not officially speak the second language.

Kacey Musgraves sings in Spanish for her recently-released album, ‘Star-Crossed’

This country artist is not officially bilingual, but she does sometimes perform in Spanish. That includes several Selena Quintanilla covers and one all-Spanish song added to her 2021 album, Star-Crossed — “Gracias a la Vida.”

“I’m playing with a lot of different textures and a lot of different sounds that I haven’t really tried before,” Musgraves said during an interview with NPR. “And I even learned a little bit of Spanish for this record. It was really fun for me.” 

“I grew up in Texas; I’ve been around Spanish speakers my whole life,” she continued. “I just really respect the language. I think it’s gorgeous. Just kind of as a fan, I’ve been taking Spanish lessons for several years. But I heard the song ‘Gracias a la Vida,’ and I knew that I had to record it for this.”

‘Gracias a la Vida’ is not a Kacey Musgraves original song

As a Texan-born and raised musician, Musgraves is no stranger to Hispanic music and culture. The song was originally written by Violeta Parra. However, different adaptations of “Gracias a la Vida” appeared throughout history. Musgraves credits Mercedes Sosa with inspiring her version of this traditionally Spanish song. 

“The album starts out with ‘Star-Crossed’ and so ‘Gracias a la Vida’ ends the album,” Musgraves added during the same interview. “And I think it sums up kind of where I’m at perfectly.”

Star-Crossed also features songs like “Justified,” “If This Was a Movie,” and “Simple Times,” both featured in the Paramount+ exclusive film. Music by Musgraves, including her version of “Gracias a la Vida,” is available on most major streaming platforms. 

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