The year 2020 has been a tough one, both in country music and in just about every other corner of the world. Artists have had to postpone their tours and cancel appearances, adjust to making music during a pandemic and find creative ways to stay in touch with their fans.
But for a few performers, 2020 has been a massive, breakout year — and Gabby Barrett is one of those artists. She admits that she never could have predicted such a resoundingly successful year.
“I’d say it’s unexpected, but blessed, if I could put it in a small way,” she says. “I mean, there are so many things that I would never, never have guessed.”
Among those landmark moments is the release of her massively successful debut album, Goldmine. Barrett has also seen some of her country music heroes turn to peers and friends, including her fellow American Idol alum Carrie Underwood. And then, of course, there’s the success of her chart-topping debut single, “I Hope,” a song she wrote after her Idol run when she was struggling to find a label deal and unsure if she’d be able to continue accumulating momentum after her time on the show.
“It’s a huge blessing. I mean, it sounds really cliche, but it’s really hard to put all the words into it, it really is,” she marvels, adding that one unexpected perk of not being able to tour in 2020 has been being able to sit back and process all the milestones she’s reached at radio and on album charts.
“I’ve been able to kind of let everything that’s going on sink in, which has been really, really nice,” she continues. “And I would have never expected all of this from this song. So the Lord has been very gracious to me, and I’m just very thankful.”
Of course, another big highlight of Barrett’s 2020 has been finding out that she’s pregnant. The singer and her husband, Cade Foehner, are expecting their first child, a daughter, in early 2021.
“With the pandemic, with being pregnant, with all the accomplishments that have come this year, it has just been a very big year for me,” she says. “It’s just crazy, because since I was 11, I would work hard every single year. I never got things handed to me easily. So to see all of these things happening this year, I’m just spinning on my head.
“I’ll remember  as unexpected but blessed, and a big year, I think,” she adds after a pause. “A big year.”