Callista Clark Recalls Fangirling About Favorite Singer Jennifer Nettles: ‘It Was Crazy’

by Tiffany Goldstein


Country music artist Callista Clark may be young, but she’s wise beyond her years. CMT’s Next Women of Country member recently (June 6) sat down with Big Machine Label Group to discuss the impact GRAMMY Award winner Jennifer Nettles has had on her artistry and what it was like to meet for the very first time.

Long before Clark became a household name in the genre, she was actively involved with a performing arts group Georgia 4H. While honing her craft, the “Real To Me” singer received a surprise visit from one of her main musical influences – Jennifer Nettles.

“So Jennifer and I were both in a Georgia 4H performing arts group called Clovers & Company, obviously at different times,” Clark explained. “So Jennifer met me through that.”

Nettles returned to the organization to give advice to budding musicians and to hear the children’s choir perform. Meanwhile, Clark had a chance to show up and get ready for a photo.

“There was a video shoot where we were acting and acting for her, for a magazine, and were able to take pictures and meet her and everything, and it was…crazy! Very cool! A great experience,” she recalls.

When the young singer was breaking into the industry, Nettles approached Clark for a unique opportunity.

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“She remembered me from there [Clovers & Company] and invited me to play with her for an international 4H gala in Washington DC,” the singer shared enthusiastically. “I was terrified, but she was so nice and calmed me down and has been very supportive ever since.”

Before the two performed together for the very first time in the capital, Nettles described Clark as a “fantastic singer” and “fearless”. At just 12 years old, Clark delivered the smash hit Sugarland “Baby Girl” alongside Nettles.

Since that day, Clark rose to fame and signed a deal with Big Machine Label Group. In late 2021, the rising musician took on the Grand Ole Opry and released her debut “Real To Me” collection. To write the five-track project, Clark managed to collaborate with elite songwriters – Jonathan Singleton, Laura Veltz, Nicolle Galyon and Emilly Shackleton.

The up-and-coming new artist shared a stage with stars including Chris Young, Mitchell Tenpenny, the Osborne Brothers, Scotty McCreery, and more. Before the powerhouse singer hits some world-famous festivals, she’ll be taking part in Jessie James Decker’s Kittenish Fashion Show in partnership with CMT on Thursday, June 9 in Nashville. Clark will also make a stop at BMLG’s CMA Fest Meet and Greet on Sunday, June 12, where she will perform her single “Gave It Back Broken.” For updates and information on upcoming performances, visit

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