Mae Estes Says She’s “Not Afraid To Get Ugly” When Writing New Music (Exclusive)

Mae Estes is not afraid to get ugly.

The Big Machine Records recording artist’s not-so-plain-jane attitude is not offered in shy doses. She’s come a long way from being that 9-year-old little girl singing the National Anthem at a southwest Arkansas rodeo and has matured her craft and plain-spoken truths, which is clear in her new single “Gettin’ Back Up To Heaven” out today (June 7).

“It’s a revenge song. It’s one of those story songs which are my favorite, like ‘Goodbye Earl,’ ‘The Lights Went Out in Georgia…,” Mae tells Celeb Secrets writer Brianna Vacca backstage at CMA Fest 2024.  “I’m not the first to start it, but it’s tale as old as time and it never gets old. The bad guy gets his karma. We wrote that story with Paul Sikes and Justin Wilson. Sikes produced it and it’s kind of my first release that has a bluegrass flare to it. My family had a bluegrass band growing up, so I have a massive sweet spot for bluegrass.”

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JANUARY 23: Mae Estes performs at CMT Next Women of Country: Class of 2024 Event at City Winery Nashville on January 23, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT)

Mae is no stranger to uncomfortable topics. She covers the itch to step out on your partner during your marriage in “Thinkin’ Bout Cheatin’” and even gambling with bad temptations in “What I Shoulda Done.” Dubbing it as “the ugly,” Mae is not afraid to sing about it.

“I love to keep people on their toes with what we’re covering. We’re diving in more with every release. We’re getting a little more vulnerable and a little more honest; more ugly. That’s my favorite word to describe what I do. We’re diving down this road together and I’m hoping people are liking what they hear,” she reveals.

With some subject matter comes opinions. Mae confessed that fans are not afraid to say what they really think about her choice of subject.

“We’ve had some viral moments with a few songs in the past,” she tells Celeb Secrets. “Thinkin’ Bout Cheatin’ was a big one. We had a lady named Judy on TikTok. That one brought up a lot of stories. There were people who were sharing their real life stories about being cheated on and how they thought it wasn’t funny that I wrote a song about it, but it wasn’t supposed to be funny to begin with. Then other people respected it for what I actually wrote it for which is just having that conversation. Like cheating happens and it’s a very big thing in the world and nobody talks about it, but we all still seem to do it somehow.”

Mae Estes performs at the Hard Rock Stage on Saturday, June 8 during CMA Fest 2024 in downtown Nashville. Photo Courtesy of CMA.

The songbird recently wrapped up a run on the road with Jackson Dean and visited New York City for the very first time. The tour marked the first time she’s been on the East Coast at all and notes that it was a shock to see everything and couldn’t believe the “massively passionate country music audience” there.

“I don’t know why but I thought country music was a southern thing. I’m from South Arkansas, so I guess I had this idea of what I thought New York would be. I’d never ever visited New York, never been to the East Coast at all. It was a shock to see it all, what I’d seen in movies for so long. Massively passionate country music audience,” she shares.

The songwriter recently won AIMP‘s Rising Songwriter-Artist of the Year and performed Megan Moroney‘s “Tennessee Orange” at the Ryman Auditorium, will be hitting the road on Dierks Bentley‘s Gravel & Gold Tour. Be sure to check out a full list of Mae’s performances at

Take a listen to “Gettin’ Back Up To Heaven” below and let us know if you’re loving the track 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 CMA Fest 2024, click here. For more Country news, visit


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