Kacey Musgraves drew inspiration from her relationship with and marriage to fellow artist Ruston Kelly in order to create her acclaimed 2018 album, Golden Hour.

Now, as she prepares to release her next project, Kacey says she was inspired by tragedy: Both on a global scale, from witnessing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the personal pain of her marriage coming to an end.

“It’s daunting to put your emotions about something really personal on display,” the singer admits during a new cover interview for Elle. “I haven’t spoken much about this chapter, and I don’t feel like I owe that to anyone, but I owe it to myself as a creator to flesh out all these emotions that I’ve felt, and I do that through song.”

And opening up such an intimate, painful part of her life to the public is “kind of scary,” she continues, especially because she doesn’t want to publicly place undue blame on either herself or her ex-husband.

That’s why, Kacey continues, she’s found such creative freedom in embracing literary, even Shakespearean, tropes of tragedy and fate.

“It’s like, ‘No, let’s just blame the stars. Let’s just say that we’re not meant to be,’” the singer continues.

At its core, the music was a way for Kacey to process a deeply painful moment in her life. “I felt, in many ways, on top of the world in my career, but in my personal life, I felt like I was dying inside,” she notes. “I was crumbling. I was sad. I felt lonely. I felt broken.”

Kacey and Ruston first filed for divorce last July.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.