Cassadee Pope has been preparing for this moment her entire life.
Since winning "The Voice" last year, she's signed with the Big Machine Label Group (home to Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, to name just a few) and began working on her solo debut, Frame By Frame, a decidedly country affair that finds her returning to her roots. The album hits stores on October 8, and she's documenting the entire process in a brand-newCMT series that premieres Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
And while conquering country music may be a new challenge, Pope has been in the game for most of her life. She wrote her first songs when she was seven years old, sang throughout high school and in 2008, formed Hey Monday, a pop-punk act that caught the attention of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, who brokered a deal between Columbia Records and his own Decaydance label.
That high-profile signing earned them no shortage of hype — in 2009, MTV News picked them as one of the year's Rock Rookies — and they'd release one full-length (2008's Hold Tight) and tour with the likes of Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low and The Academy Is ... before a series of lineup changes beset them. Their 2010 album Beneath It All was paired down from a full-length to an EP, and the Hey Monday announced in 2011 that they were on indefinite hiatus.
Undeterred, Pope would set out on a solo acoustic tour, and in 2012, she released a self-titled EP that featured all new material. She then auditioned for "The Voice," and, under the tutelage of Blake Shelton she established herself as the front-runner and cruised to the season-three title. And despite that triumph, she never forgot her roots, even making a cameo at Fall Out Boy's comeback show in LA earlier this year.
Now, she's set to begin the next phase of her career, as a country star. Will she succeed? Given the strength of the Machine behind her, and her experience in the biz, we wouldn't bet against her. Like we said, she's been preparing for this her entire life
"Cassadee Pope: Frame By Frame" premieres Friday, October 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CMT