The singer wows Nashville (and beyond) with her Grammys performance

By Eileen Finan
Updated February 09, 2015 08:00 PM
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Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

She didn’t take home a trophy at Sunday night’s Grammys, but double nominee Brandy Clark proved she was every bit a star with a performance that left her fellow Nashville artists raving.

“Thank God for Brandy Clark,” Jake Owen Tweeted of Clark’s achingly beautiful rendition of her song “Hold My Hand,” sung with Dwight Yoakam. On his Twitter feed, Brett Eldredge declared: “Damnnnn @TheBrandyClark and Dwight … I got serious goose bumples! Awesome!”

Kelly Clarkson wrote, “Oh man, @TheBrandyClark and @DwightYoakam so beautiful ? I’m so happy right now. I love music,” while Lady A’s Hillary Scott Tweeted that the performance was one of her favorite Grammy moments and Kacey Musgraves posted a video of herself (wearing a mud face mask) screaming her pal’s name.

All the industry support, along with her two Grammy nods (for best country album and best new artist) “make you feel loved and lifted up,” Clark told PEOPLE last month. “There’s so much rejection in all of this that it makes all of it worth it. It just feels good to be recognized.”

After years of writing hits for other country artists, Clark, 39, finally found her own place in the spotlight with her 2013 debut 12 Stories. While the album received almost no radio play (and lost the Grammy to Miranda Lambert’s Platinum), it established her as one of Nashville’s strongest singer/songwriter talents.

But Clark said her newfound fame isn’t likely to change her. While she did recently splurge on a car – a year-old Volvo (“I never had a new car!”) – “I have a great base of friends and family and I can’t see me ever getting too above my raising,” says the Morton, Washington, native. “I’m in a business where you might only make it for a few years if you’re lucky. So I’ll try to save it. I don’t see me getting extravagant, but it’s nice not to have to worry about how you are going to pay for this bill or that one.”

Next up for the singer is crafting a sophomore album to match her debut – no easy feat. “I’m so proud of what we did so I’m trying to make something that stands up to that. And that’s scary,” she admitted. “But I want to keep telling stories that everybody is living but that maybe not everybody is real quick to tell.”