Diet culture | 

Country star Priscilla Block was told 'lose 30lbs if you want to make it'

Priscilla says she has now embraced her curves and is promoting positive body image, adding: "Not everyone can look like Carrie Underwood."
A defiant Priscilla has embraced her body

A defiant Priscilla has embraced her body

Eddie Rowley

AMERICAN singer Priscilla Block is taking the country music scene by storm, despite being told she'd never become a star due to her weight.

Set to perform at Dublin's 3Arena next month, 26-year-old Priscilla admits that initially she tried to conform to the demands of show business after being told to slim down.

The Thick Thighs singer, who got a career boost from Taylor Swift, describes herself as "the girl who tried and failed every single diet out there."

Priscilla says she has now embraced her curves and is promoting positive body image, adding: "Not everyone can look like Carrie Underwood."

In a Zoom interview from her home in Nashville, Priscilla tells the Sunday World: "It's cool that I can hopefully inspire other people that want to land in country music, and let them know that they don't have to fit into a box.

"Some people view it [her curves] as a setback. I view it as an asset. It's 'hey, I can talk about things that maybe people aren't talking about and hopefully inspire people along the way.'"

Priscilla reveals that people in the industry put pressure on her to shed the weight. "There's definitely been conversations saying 'you need to lose 30 lbs if you want to make it.' Putting out a song like Thick Thighs, saying 'this is who I am, I'm a curvy girl in country music, let's get this out of the way,' you are able to own it.

"It could be a hard thing to talk about, but I was like, 'hey, this is like most of the population, not everyone can look like Carrie Underwood'.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

"I think that this song, hopefully, helps people to embrace who they are, and love their body and love their souls. I hear that a lot. I actually had a girl tell me recently that she just got over an eating disorder because of that song.

"There are stories that really are powerful, and I really had no clue that it was going to do that when I wrote it."

After years of struggle trying to establish herself as a country artist in Nashville, Priscilla reveals that it was the pandemic which led to her major breakthrough.

"Everyone was at home on their phones and I decided, 'listen, if I can't get out to play shows then I need to figure out how to use social media to my advantage and create as many fans as I can through the internet... and it worked!"

Priscilla will be at C2C at the 3Arena

Priscilla will be at C2C at the 3Arena

Priscilla went viral on TikTok in August 2020 with her smash hit song, Just About Over You, which tells the story of bumping into your ex.

It reached number one on the iTunes all-genre chart and landed inside the Top 15 on Apple Music's country music streaming chart in a matter of two days.

Priscilla believes that the song became a hit because so many people can identify with it.. "I've been through a time when I thought that I was over somebody and then you see them, or their mom reaches out to you. Anything like that sets you back a little bit."

While her career is now taking off, Priscilla, who grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, has had a tough struggle on her way to success - and she admits that she was on the verge of packing it in before Taylor Swift made a timely intervention when the pair met by chance in Nashville.

"Growing up, I was just such a Taylor Swift fan," Priscilla tells me. "I've always been a Taylor fan. She was the girl doing it and taking over country music, and she made me feel like I could do it.

"She was young, she was full of songs and I remember picking up a guitar and the first songs I learned were Taylor Swift songs.

"So, I was about a year into Nashville and my life was crumbling. That morning I had called my sister and said, 'I don't know what I'm doing out here, I'm just falling apart.' As I left my job that day, I was wearing a Taylor Swift T-shirt.

"And that day Taylor Swift just by chance was driving past me and she saw me wearing one of her T-shirts, pulled her car over to the side of the road, and she was yelling at me, 'hey! hey! hey! I love your shirt!' It was just such a big moment for me."

Priscilla went viral with her song Just About Over You

Priscilla went viral with her song Just About Over You

The pair had a conversation and Swift's pep talk persuaded Priscilla to continue following her dream. "I remember I was like, 'Thank you so much, you do not know what this means to me.' From that moment I thought, 'I'm going to figure out how to do this'."

Priscilla didn't know anyone in Nashville when she first arrived in town, having been given her parents' blessing to go follow her dream.

"I was an 18-year-old girl that had a dream and I didn't really know where to start," she adds. "I was just going to go and do it. Like I said, I'm almost eight years into Nashville and there were many ups and downs that almost broke me along the way, but I made it in the end."

Priscilla's album, Welcome to the Block Party, is out now. She plays C2C at Dublin's 3Arena on Sunday, March 13.

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