Go Behind-the-Scenes with PEOPLE's One to Watch Brittney Spencer at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium

The rising country star played her first full show earlier this month while opening for Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

01 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

We spent the days leading up to this Ryman show in rehearsal, and it was hard to believe the night had finally arrived. The first thing I had to do after arriving on-site was get glammed up, baby! My girl, Bryana, painted me a smokey eye to match all my outfit changes for the day, and I added a nude gloss to top it off.

02 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

Once my dress is on, it's time for some last-minute hair adjustments — making sure all my curls are on and poppin.' ✨In the wise words of Dolly Parton, "The higher the hair, the closer to God!"

03 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Courtesy Brittney Spencer

…but first, shield the glam 😌👏🏾 I had a couple interviews to do on-site at the Ryman before heading back to my dressing room to warm up for the show. COVID is still making her rounds, honey, so we're still masking up. 🙏🏾

04 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

One thing to know about me is that I always wear dresses and boots on-stage. It's sort of my thing. Obviously, I had to pull out all the stops for a show like this one — and these sparkly Steve Madden booties couldn't have been more perfect.

05 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

Quick photoshoot after my interviews in the Ryman pews before soundcheck. I couldn't get enough of this fringe jacket and was so excited to see how it moved on-stage during my set. (Spoiler alert: It did not disappoint.)

06 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

Jason Isbell is one of my favorite human beings. I began touring with Jason & the 400 Unit in August and since then, I've learned so much about artistry, musicianship and the importance of staying gracious and authentic. The way Jason and Amanda have welcomed me into their lives with such love and care makes me want to do the same for others.

07 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

When I look at this photo, I see a Baltimore girl with dreams of making a name for herself in country music. When I looked out into those empty pews before the show, I took a moment to try and fully take in that I was getting ready to play an entire, opening set to a sold-out crowd at one of the most iconic venues in Nashville. I remember when I used to busk on the streets outside of the Ryman, and now, I can finally say I played my music on that stage. It's still surreal to think about.

08 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

Holy crap, that really happened… I think I'll do this for the rest of my life!

09 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

This woman right here, Amanda Shires, is one of my biggest cheerleaders and has quickly become one of my closest friends — someone who is just as talented as she is caring. She's one of the reasons I am where I am, thanks to her championing me since the day we met, almost exactly one year ago to the day.

10 of 10
Brittney Spencer Tour Diary
Morgan Shirey

In a very short span of time, my band has become my rock. My career has progressed in ways I never thought possible, and more quickly than I could've anticipated. And having these guys on this journey with me has made it all the more fun! For those of you who don't know, Jason is truly a musician's musician. I mean, he's your favorite artist's favorite artist. After my soundcheck, I expressed to him that some of my band and crew are his actual biggest fans, and then later that night right before we hit the stage to perform, Jason left his dressing room just to hang with us all and snap a few photos. What a stellar human being, and what a hell of a night! I freaking played the Ryman, dude! Insane.

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