Country music singer Ashley McBryde's amazing ride reached a new milestone this month. She was on her tour bus when her phone went crazy. She had been, but she didn't come out of her cabin for most of the day.
"I got so overwhelmed. There was so much love coming at me at one time," McBryde told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Anthony Mason.
The 35-year-old singer and songwriter, who spent more than a decade trying to make it in Nashville, has finally broken through. McBryde often finds herself saying, "What just happened?"
But asked if she feels like she did anything different this year, she said, "No. I gained a little weight."
"When you live on a bus and your choices are eating at a truck stop restaurant or eating at the A&W next to it, you know, that's just what happens. You eat garbage food, you get big. It'll even out," she said.
More than a decade ago, McBryde was studying at Arkansas State when a professor told her to quit school and go to Nashville.
"And so, when I think back on it now I just picture me like running out of the building with my guitar in my hand like 'Yeah!' That's not what happened," she said.
She did go to Nashville, where she moved into a storage unit and started writing songs.
"That's where the freedom is. That's where the money is. But it's so hard to be a songwriter, just writing for other people. That's like me coming to your house with ice cream and assuming this is what you were going for today," McBryde said. "'I hope ya like it!' And you're like, 'Mmm pass.' And then I have to not be upset when you don't like my ice cream."
She finally got her own shot in 2016 with her solo debut, "Jalopies and Expensive Guitars." But she was advised to straighten her hair and alter her image.
"You do have to play the game a little bit or nobody's going to listen to you … but I think we played the game too much and it came across as ingenuine," McBryde said. "And it was a cool lesson for me, too, because I found out that unless I'm just unapologetically who I am, I really suck at pretending to be someone else."
With "Girl Goin' Nowhere," McBride has made her mark. The title song was inspired by a teacher who discouraged her songwriting dreams.
"She told me that that was stupid and it wouldn't happen, to remember where I'm from and have a good backup plan," McBryde recalled. "God that woman gave me hell. I gave it right back though."
McBryde performed the song in her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry last year.
"I cried like a child … and so then I thought if there's ever a time to really just feel what you feel, it is the first time you play the Grand Ole Opry," McBryde said. "I knew our lives changed at the Opry. … I felt it."