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CMT’s 2021 Next Women of Country class member Reyna Roberts is still riding high from the crossover success of her ESPN “Monday Night Football”-featured 2020 single “Stomping Grounds.” As 2021 continues to develop for the rising country vocalist, she’s taken time to reveal a bit more about her motivations and inspirations.

Regarding her well-regarded and significant vocal range, Roberts tells Country Now listening to gospel and gospel-inspired artists has been a motivation. “I did go to church, but I wouldn’t go every Sunday,” she notes. “I listened to gospel singers. I listened to amazing women like Carrie Underwood,” she continues. And I’m like, ‘How can I sound like that?’ I would just listen to their songs over and over again until I could hit those notes and belt it and sing like they could.”

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“I feel like when you’re listening to gospel music or you’re listening to country music…it comes with a certain feeling that just moves you,” Roberts offers. “I’ve always wanted to have that feeling in my voice that kinda punches you in the chest.”

Regarding gospel performances of Underwood’s that Roberts is likely listening to, Carrie Underwood’s recently released My Savior has placed the “Before He Cheats” vocalist’s religious chops back into the mainstream conversation. A successful Ryman Auditorium fundraiser and a medley performance at the ACM Awards with gospel icon CeCe Winans have already emerged from the release. As for its commercial performance? That’s nothing to sneeze at, either. Its out-of-the-gate success allowed Underwood to become the first artist with nine consecutive albums debut at number-one, plus a debut t No. 4 on the Billboard 200.