In addition to her performances on Dancing With the Stars, Jana Kramer has been making headlines over the past couple of weeks as a result of her recent split from husband Mike Caussin and revealing that she suffered physical abuse at the hands of her first husband, Michael Gambino.
Choosing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month to tell her story, the stunning singer revealed the abuse on Good Morning America, hoping to help others going through similar situations. With the abuse behind her, the “I’ve Got the Boy” singer is looking ahead to a more positive and productive future and focusing on her baby girl, Jolie Rae.
Nash Country Daily sat down with Jana to talk about a variety of topics, including her current stint on Dancing with the Stars—which you an check out tonight (Oct. 17) at 8 p.m. ET on ABC—how she’s coping with her past and, first and foremost, being a mom.
NCD: For the past couple of weeks, you’ve been talking about serious issues that have occurred in your life: the recent split from your husband, Michael Caussin, and the physical abuse you suffered at the hands of your first husband. How do you feel now that you’ve gotten it out in the open?
Jana Kramer: It’s a complete relief. I felt like I’ve been having to hold in this secret and be ashamed of it. The truth is, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so I wanted to definitely tell women that their voices need to be heard and that they are worthy. I’m just so fortunate with everything that I’ve got going on—with being a mom, with Dancing With the Stars, and then the partnership with Colgate Optic White. Everything is so positive, I have to just focus on that.
We’ve been following you on Dancing with the Stars. You’re doing a great job. What’s an average day like for you, between your day job and your obligation to DWTS?
Obviously, being a mom is number one for me. I wake up when my daughter wakes up and feed her. I give her a bottle, play with her and then she goes down for a nap. That’s usually when I go to rehearse. Then, I’ll fly to a show and rehearse during the day, and then play the show at night. Then rinse and repeat the next day.
Any inside scoop you can share about what goes on behind the scenes at DWTS?
Yeah, you know, everyone’s just really, really close. I love the entire cast. I’m really good friends with Terra [Jolé] and Laurie [Hernandez], and everyone’s really supportive of everyone else. Everyone loves to help each other out as well.
Is it a genuine friendship that you guys create out there?
It really is because we’re all stepping out of our comfort zone. We’re all breaking down a wall, being vulnerable and doing something we’ve never done before. I think that definitely helps with the bonding experience.
You have a single out now, “Circles.” Tell me a little about it?
“Circles,” for me, is my love song on the album, and it’s about my daughter, Jolie. It’s about how she’s pieced together every broken part of me and how my life has really become full circle. I have this beautiful baby girl and she’s my love. It’s my song for her on the album [Thirty One].
How has your life changed since being a mom?
It’s incredible. I’ve never felt more strength. I’ve never felt more confident in myself. The amount of love that I have for someone, I’ve never experienced that, ever.
You mentioned a partnership with Colgate Optic White for the 50th annual CMA awards, what’s that about?
My entire life I’ve been a Colgate girl, and I feel like your smile is what shows your true, authentic self. For me, being confident is with a great smile. When I found out that Colgate was looking for someone to partner with, I was super excited to jump on board because, again, they’ve helped me with the best beauty routine ever. All you have to do is use the high-impact white toothpaste and you get an amazing smile and you’re able to be confident and feel good in your own skin.
You always look fantastic on the red carpet. Can you give some tips for us average-looking human beings on how to look good?
[Laughing] Honestly, just feeling confident, whatever you wear. I really want to wear something strong and classy and, again, the simplest routine is making sure that your smile is a designer smile and it’s beautiful. Get out there and work it, and just be yourself. For me, that’s where showing your authenticity is the best.
The 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards is coming up on Nov. 2. Do you have any favorite memories that you can recall from past CMA Award Shows?
I love just seeing Reba–she’s such a queen—win awards and her performances. Those are the moments that—as a kid watching—I was like, “Wow. It would be so cool to be up on that stage.” The fact that I’ve been able to present in years past and be an artist on the carpet is a really cool moment. Hard work does pay off.
What’s next for Jana Kramer?
Just going out on the road, meeting as many people as I can, putting out great music and being a beacon of strength for other women.