Gabby Barrett wasn't just like every other kid growing up in Pennsylvania. From a young age, the 20-year-old country hitmaker knew what she wanted to do with her life, and a few years later, she started to do it.

The voice was there, and her command of the stage came along quickly before she auditioned for — and eventually finished third on — American Idol in 2018. Barrett was the total package by high school, except for one little thing ...

Talking to Taste of Country Nights' Evan and Amber, the "I Hope" singer admits that she kept one very bad habit long after most kids break themselves of it. Let's just say there was never any doubt about whether she'd get braces.

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“At a young age," Barrett, one of eight kids, told ToC in June, "me and my dad literally said to each other, ‘There's no Plan A, B or C. Like you’re not going to go to college. You’re going to make something out of this. So that was always just the plan."

With the focus of an Olympic gymnast and the support of her family, she auditioned for America's most popular reality singing competition. While she didn't win, she did meet husband Cade Foehner and did impress enough to put her in the right writing rooms in Nashville. Nearly every label passed on her at first, but Barrett found a home with Warner Music Nashville, and together they hit No. 1 with her debut single.

Gabby Barrett goldmine album cover
Warner Music Nashville

Fortunately, her awkward teenage stage was behind her by that point. Barrett wasn't a troublemaker who liked to party, but she had her anxieties.

"Something a lot of people don't know about me is I sucked my thumb until I was in like eighth grade," she says. "It's cause, when I was a baby, I sucked my thumb and I guess my mom and dad never weaned me off of that, because they thought it was cute. And then it's like an addiction. That's your security blanket."

The problem — as any parent or dentist knows — is that thumb-sucking can force your front teeth outward. That's what happened to Barrett. "So I got braces for two years and now they're straight," she says, grinning at about the nine-minute mark in the video above.

Barrett's new single is called "The Good Ones," a song inspired by Foehner. Her Goldmine album dropped last month.

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