2023 has been a year for Ashley Cooke.
The Florida bred, Nashville-based country songstress released her long-awaited, 24-track debut album, shot in the dark, supported Luke Bryan on his Country On Tour this summer AND launched embarked on her own headlining tour with fellow crooner Matt Schuster.
“[This summer] was so fun, so busy,” Ashley tells Celeb Secrets host Juliet Schroder on the red carpet at the 2023 BMI Country Awards in Nashville earlier this month (November 7). “We were on tour with [Luke Bryan] the whole time — which was so fun, but so hot. It was a really good time.”
Marking the longest debut from a female country artist to date, Cooke’s shot in the dark showcased the pages of her deeply meaningful journal, which has resonated with so many listeners since its debut back in July.
“The feedback has been great. I had a lot of features on it too, so a lot of people have loved all the songs that I put out,” the Big Loud recording artist says with a smile. “It’s crazy to get to play headline shows and seeing people know the deep cuts — like Track 14 or Track 17. They know it all, and it’s been really cool.”
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Currently, Cooke wrapped her headlining run and has been enjoying whatever free moments she has in Nashville by mingling with country music’s finest — and looking absolutely stunning while doing so — at events like the BMI Country Awards, the 57th Annual CMA Awards and more.
Teaming up with renowned stylist Krista Roser for the BMI Awards, Cooke opted for a sequin two-piece stunner to show off her toned abs from Meshki, pairing it with white Aldo sandals, rings from Ivy Jewelry and stunning Liquid Gold Pearl 18K Gold Plated Drop Earrings from affordable luxury jewelry brand Ettika, which you can steal for $75 on their website here.
“I love events [like this],” Ashley says proudly. “I think it really is important for Nashville to take a breath, take a minute and say, ‘Hey, I know it’s a grind, but we see you, we love you, we respect you, thank you for all that you do to all the songwriters in this building.’
“This is the heartbeat of everything, you know? So it’s really important to take a minute to recognize and acknowledge what hard work everybody puts in these houses on Music Row,” she continues.
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But don’t think that Ashley will be taking it easy as the year winds down. Preparing for her upcoming run with Jordan Davis for his Damn Good Time Tour with Mitchell Tenpenny in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada and Europe in 2024, the “Never Til Now” singer tells Celeb Secrets that she plans on releasing more music very soon.
“I’m hopefully going to release more [music] soon. We’ll see what happens,” she teases. “It’s been fun getting to ride the wave of the first album.
As for what’s been inspiring her new material, Ashley says she still wants to stay true to herself while figuring out what she wants to detail on the next batch of songs.
“I love to write, so I’ve already written enough to fill a second album. But for me, it’s just all about staying true and seeing what I wanna say next basically. I’m not sure which story I’m trying to tell yet,” she explains.
“My first album was a lot of writing how I felt in the moment, and then finding out what title I want after. And this album, I can’t decide if it’s gonna be like a story concept or if it’s gonna be the kind of the same program where I just write what I feel and then figure out the best process to, you know, what to call it after that. So we’ll see.”
For more on Ashley Cooke and her upcoming endeavors, watch our full interview with the rising star below — and don’t forget to let us know what you think of her album shot in the dark by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sliding into our DMs on Instagram at @celebsecretscountry.
For more coverage from the 2023 BMI Country Awards, click here.