by Jessica Nicholson
On Friday, March 19, singer-songwriter and Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer radio host Rissi Palmer will step onto the Grand Ole Opry stage for the first time in 13 years for a special performance.
“It’s always special to perform at the Opry,” Palmer said. “I am so excited to return with a renewed sense of what it all means to me as an artist.”
She made her Opry debut in 2007, on the heels of her debut single release “Country Girl.” The song reached No. 54 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and with it, Palmer became the first Black female country artist to land on the country music charts in two decades, since Dona Mason in 1987. Her eponymous debut album also contained songs including “Hold On To Me” and “No Air” (on the 2008 re-release). She lent her creativity to an array of projects, including the holiday single “Grown Up Christmas List,” the children’s album Best Day Ever, and the EP The Back Porch Sessions. Her most recent album, Revival, came in 2019.
In August 2020, she returned to the spotlight in a big way when she teamed with Apple Music to launch her radio show Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer, offering an alternate way for country artists of color to have their music heard. She welcomed artists including Brittney Spencer, Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton, Miko Marks, Cam and Maren Morris to the platform, offering a space for frank discussions surrounding issues of race in country music. She also launched the Color Me Country Grant Fund to aid emerging country artists of color who are just launching their careers.
Palmer is also part of this year’s American Currents: State of the Music at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibit, which is based each year on analysis of curators and museum staff, documents significant developments in country music over the past year.
“This honor came as such a shock, and I am humbled to be thought of,” Palmer added. “The fact that it’s for doing my radio show is just an added bonus!”