Connie Britton Was Terrified To Sing On ‘Nashville’

Connie Britton has been lighting up small screens on American Horror Story, but the actress had a different sort of challenge when starring in the network drama Nashville as a country music queen — singing in her real voice for the show.

Connie Britton plays country music diva Rayna Jaymes, and Entertainment Weekly says creator Callie Khouri insisted on Britton to play the character on the new ABC property — so strongly that without the actress, Khouri wasn’t even willing to do Nashville.

Khouri explains why she wanted Britton for the role of Jaymes so badly:

“I said, if we can’t get Connie Britton, let’s just not do the show … Everybody thought I was nuts! … She’s a woman that other women really relate to, and I felt that was exactly the right way to go with this character.”

But while Khouri was dead set on Connie Britton for the part, Britton was worried when she learned she had to use her real-life voice to sing the character’s song bits. Connie explains that her background in music is solid, but she gave up competing for singing parts early in her career:

“I grew up singing … My mother was a music teacher and I trained for [musicals] in drama school. But when I started pounding the pavement in New York, I realized that people there have these majestic voices. I’m a perfectionist, so I let that go by the wayside.”

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But, Britton says, the idea of country music in general helped her get past her fears:

“It’s so much about storytelling and truth-telling … As an actor, those are things that I always want to be doing, so I thought it would be interesting to try.”

Nashville, starring Connie Britton, premieres October 10 on ABC.