Who Is Harper Grae? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Harper Grae? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

The Beginning:

Today we shine our light on another singer-songwriter and badass female country artist in the industry. Harper Grae is an incredible entertainer, who has spent years honing her craft and finding her voice. We chatted with her about her upbringing, her journey to country music, and where she is now.

Hailing from a small town in Alabama, Grae was raised by her grandparents. “They were so full of music and love,” shared the singer as she reminisced about her childhood. According to Grae, both of her grandparents were musical. Her grandfather played guitar and her grandmother sang in church. Similarly, the songstress got her start in church.

“The first song I ever learned was ‘Amazing Grace’ and I sang that in church before I even went to Kindergarten,” she shared. Grae was that little girl who was constantly singing and putting on shows for her family members. Despite her love of music, she never dreamed that she could do this as a career, until she headed to college.

“When you’re from such a small town you really don’t know that there’s so much more out there, unless you’re influenced by it or you get the opportunity to go somewhere,” she began. “So when I was in college, I really had a ton of opportunities to really just culture myself and understand that I can do music for a living.”

During her time at Auburn University, Grae studied musical theatre. As fate would have it, the singer got cast on a show called “The Glee Project” her senior year of college, marking her first ‘big break’ and the first time she had been West of the Mississippi River. The journey led her to Hollywood, where she learned important lessons that she would not have learned otherwise.

The Turning Point:

Despite how incredible the show was, Grae knew she wanted something different. Deciding against going to New York City to try out for Broadway, Grae hightailed it to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her heart’s desire. Growing up, she recalls country music being a staple of her youth. Artists like Martina McBride and Reba were her inspirations.

“I actually wanted to go back to my roots in country music and move to Nashville,” she recalled, when discussing this time in her life,” adding later, “I moved to Nashville right after that show. I’ve been here now writing and releasing music, touring, just really doing it from grassroots.”

Now a Nashville transplant for over a decade, Grae realizes how influential country music has been throughout her whole life. “I was listening to a lot of country music and realized I was that little girl singing ‘Concrete Angel’ in Kindergarten. […] I related so deeply to the lyrics.”

Grae continued to find her people and hone her craft through her years in Nashville. She has become a positive role model and a light for many, who are fans of her music. “I feel honored to walk the walk that I am in country music, being a lesbian country music singer. There’s still a lot of work to be done. […] For me personally, I just want to be that encouraging voice to anyone who is in a small town, who is in a conservative time […] if I could help a child not have to undo something because of my music, then it’s priceless.”


Flash forward to today, Grae is at the point in her career where she is confident and truly herself. There’s so many supportive voices and there’s so many minorities being lifted up right now by the industry,” she shared. Adding, “I’m not chasing anything anymore other than writing great music and making art.”

That sentiment describes Grae’s music beautifully. We chatted with the songstress about two of her poignant songs, including “Still Your Mother.” The track resonated with people everywhere for its vulnerable lyrics and somber honesty about miscarrying before giving birth to her rainbow baby girl. “I had never put pen to paper about the experience of my miscarriage before,” she began, “I finally felt like I was ready to talk about this and sing about this.” She went on to add, “When I wrote “Still Your Mother” I just wanted to honor the life that was lost and for that little boy to have his own legacy and song.”

On the flip side, Grae has the ability to showcase multiple facets of her personality through her music. Most recently, the singer-songwriter released “I Think About You.” The song was inspired by all the exes that came out of the woodwork, once Grae went public with her now, wife. “There was this thru-line of like ‘I don’t understand how you don’t think about me,'” shared the singer, when thinking about what all her exes would say when they reached out to her.

Grae even let Country Swag followers in on a little secret about the song and its lyrics. “When you’re listening to “I Think About You” you’re probably going to think it’s about one person. […] But really, what this song is about, every single lyric is about a different ex of mine.”

It is safe to say that this is only just the start for the songstress. She has more music in the works for the top of next year, as well as, tour dates on the books. Hopefully, Grae will even get to go out on tour with her fellow class of 2021 CMT Next Women of Country comrades too!


Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Harper Grae announcements and releases.

To keep up with Harper Grae, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Harper Grae’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

5 New Female Country Artists to Be Excited About

Here are five new female country music artists that you should be paying attention to as they establish themselves in the genre.

Country music is ever-growing and it’s sound is ever-changing. These five female artists are among the many fresh faces that are helping grow country music with their own unique flavor. We’re excited about what these ladies have done so far and what they will go on to do and we think you should be paying attention to them as they continue to pave their paths.

Ashley Cooke

Listen: “Jealous of the Sky”

Ashley Cooke is currently enjoying an incredible breakout year as an independent artist. We were first introduced to the budding star with the release of her debut single “Jealous of the Sky” in October of 2020, followed by “Sunday Morning Kinda Saturday Night”. The ladder debuted #1 on the iTunes Country Chart and #15 all-genre. Cooke added to the new music with her debut EP, ‘Already Drank That Beer – Side A’, recently released on August 27th. Cooke is a Tiktok success story. In fact, back in April she celebrated one year of her very first video that went on to receive over two million views and sent her into the public eye with a massive following. Check out the video here. Cooke moved to Nashville when she was 18 to attend Belmont University and has since co-created The 615 House, a collab house in Nashville created as a result of the pandemic for country singers and songwriters to create content, build fan-bases, and collaborate with other like-minded young new talent.

Follow Ashley Cooke on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Tenille Arts

Listen: “I Hate This”

Tenille Arts, alongside the remainder of the women on this list, were each named one of ten female artists in CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2021. Arts, born and raised in Canada, first caught attention when she appeared on The Bachelor in 2018, which resulted in a record deal with the indie label, Reviver Records. Her second appearance on the show came a year later when she performed her song “I Hate This”, which hit #1 on the US and Canadian iTunes Country Charts and #9 on US iTunes all-genre. Her third appearance on The Bachelor came just before she released her latest album Love, Heartbreak, and Everything In Between. Arts landed her very first number one song earlier this year with “Somebody Like That” and fans can look forward to brand new music from the singer-songwriter from her upcoming album, Girl to Girl, due out October 22nd.

Follow Tenille Arts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


MacKenzie Porter

Listen: “Drinkin’ Songs”

Signed with Big Loud Records, MacKenzie Porter is experiencing rising success after two years of releasing music including her EP: Drinkin’ Songs: The Collection, which includes popular singles like “The One”, “Drinkin’ Songs”, and “These Days”. Porter also collaborated with Dustin Lynch earlier this year on their current fast-rising single “Thinking ‘Bout You”. The Canadian-native moved to Nashville in 2014. Since then she has collaborated with many well-known songwriters. She has shared the stage with some of the biggest in the business including Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Chris Lane, and Dallas Smith. We featured Porter in a spotlight interview late last year and you can check it out to learn more about her journey to country music here.

Follow MacKenzie Porter on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Harper Grae

Listen: “Still Your Mother”

Harper Grae, an Alabama-native, made waves with a song she released earlier this year called, “Still Your Mother.” It is a beautiful song that pulls on the heart strings about mothers who have either suffered a miscarriage or are the mothers of what Grae likes to call ‘rainbow babies’. Personal to her own story, Grae received a much-deserved overwhelming response for mothers that have used this song as their own therapy, much like Grae did for herself. Grae released her debut album, Break Your Crowns, in 2017, and since then has released singles like “Monster” (2018), “Bloodline” (2018), “Muddy Water” (2020), “Best For You” (2020), and “Caviar and Bars” (2021). She has been named one of CMT’s “Five LGBTQ and Americana Artists You Need to Know” and received a 2020 GLAAD award for Rising Country Star.

Follow Harper Grae on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Brittney Spencer

Listen: “Sober & Skinny”

A Baltimore native, Brittney Spencer made her way to Nashville in 2013 to follow her dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter. She has toured and performed as a background singer for Carrie Underwood and just recently kick-started her own musical career late last year when she released her 4-song debut EP Compassion in December of 2020. Kicking off the new year, Spencer sang on Common Hymnal’s Christian Album Praise and Protest singing “Thoughts and Prayers” with Brock Human. Most recently, she released her latest single, “Skinny & Sober”. Spencer received a shoutout from Maren Morris at the 2020 ACM Awards when she accepted her award for Female Vocalist of the Year and from Mickey Guyton back in April during ACM promotions and a segment “Country Music Looks Like”.

Follow Brittney Spencer on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.


Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming announcements and releases.

Check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Harper Grae Releases “Best For You” Along with Adorable Proposal Video

Harper Grae Best For You

Harper Grae is in love.

Born Shanna Henderson in Montgomery, Alabama, Grae first danced into the spotlight after landing a spot on The Glee Project, a reality show combined talent competition produced by the creators of Glee, after auditioning for Ryan Murphy. She moved to Los Angeles and sang prominent pop songs before being eliminated nine weeks in. Shortly after, the female powerhouse moved to Nashville and released debut album Break Your Crowns, emotionally-stricken, autobiographical about the singer’s hardships during childhood Buck Moon Medleys, love designated “Wanna Wear A Dress” and latest love song released this April “Best For You.”

“Best For You” is everything you could ask for in a love song. Grae’s delicate vocal competence complements the elegance of the ebony and ivory. Its acoustic label stands embossed as she sings that she has saved her very best for you.

The debut of the single coincides with a homemade proposal video of the songstress proposing to her girlfriend and her soon-to-be stepdaughter, at home, after a change of plans due to the coronavirus. The proposal was planned to take place after Grae completed the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon scheduled for the end of April. She stated, “Once it was apparent COVID-19 was going to continue to shake things up for the world, I knew I wanted to get creative and plan something special for us at home.”

The country singer + songwriter shared the news of her engagement on her Instagram shortly after releasing her latest single saying, “A quarantine proposal – Best For You. I made this video to put a bright spot in y’alls day during this crazy time. Here’s a glimpse of our story to a song I wrote shortly after falling in love. PS I’M ENGAGED. Ring: @shanecompany // Co-writers @lenastonemusic & @cdwprod // Favorite Nashville spot @hocnashville // LOML: @dawn_gates #aislegowithgates // Artwork @natalieroseart // Homemade video: Me.”

Follow Harper Grae on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Best For You” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our “New Country Music” playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.



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