Lauren Alaina had a big week in Music City, starting with a win at the CMT Awards, where she was genuinely surprised.

“When they called my name, I feel like my jaw hit the floor and I sat there. I don’t know how long I sat there, but I remember thinking, ‘Stand up. You gotta get up.’ My boyfriend got up, which encouraged me to get up, and I was like, ‘Oh, I have to go make a speech’ and I’m walking down the stairs and I’m thinking, ‘Don’t fall. Who are you gonna thank? Don’t fall. Who are you gonna thank?’” Alaina said. “And then I mae a speech. It was the craziest speech of all time. Everyone’s talking about that speech, and I’m like, ‘I’m sorry! I did the best I could!’ I didn’t ugly-cry really until I got off stage, so we are baby-stepping in the right direction.”

Alaina is enjoying the success of her latest collection Road Less Traveled.

“The album Road Less Traveled, not just the song…it’s taught me a lot because I was so honest with this album, and it was really accidental. I wrote the songs for therapy. I was going through a crazy time with my family and my parents’ divorce and my dad’s recovering. He’ll be four years sober in October and it’s just…all these things happen to me in a short amount of time, and I wrote about them.”

The songs have really connected with listeners, which has inspired her to continue being open.

“That’s what we do as artists is try to connect with our fans and use music to do that, and I think for the next album, I will have to really remember to write from a personal place like that because I didn’t used to do that. And now I have a number one song, so I just think that if you want to reach people you have to like, dig deep and tell the truth and that’s what I do.”

Even her live shows have changed now that more people are singing along!

“I get to open up with a number one song now and that feels completely different and brand new to me, so I’m super excited.”