RaeLynn Says It's 'Hard for Women' to Carve a Path in Country: 'Might as Well Put Out Music I Love'

In 2014 her first single, “God Made Girls,” became a hit, but two years later she left her label Big Machine Label Group. Her debut album, WildHorse, topped the country charts in 2017, but last year she parted ways with another label, Warner Music Nashville.

"Instead of being ashamed, like, ‘Oh, I’ve been on this many labels,’ I own it. I have never given up,” says RaeLynn, who finds solace in her friend and Voice coach Shelton’s career trajectory. “He was on a few labels too, and it took him [almost] 15 years to get a No. 1 — he had a really crazy journey, then he took off.”

Picking Shelton as her Voice coach “changed my life,” she says of the star. “Not everybody gets to have their hero be just there to help, like I did."

And Shelton — who attended RaeLynn's 2016 wedding to husband Josh Davis with his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani — isn't her only major mentor in Nashville. In November RaeLynn signed with Round Here Records, a new label formed by Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley.

"They let me be myself and ride ponies and wear all the glitter and cheetah print I want in my music videos," she says. “They’re not trying to change me.”

And now it's with an EP that is utterly her that RaeLynn is ready to take her seat at the table.

"It's been a wild ride," she says, "but I know all my hard work I've put in the last 10 years will pay off."

For more from RaeLynn, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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