When I was asked if I had been to or even heard of the Secret Star shows before, I was honest and said, "no." This business is crazy and your life can be completely taken over by the station you're with, especially when you're dedicated like I was with my last job (and of course am now) so why would I have heard about it prior to working here? It's not like we run to the special shows our "competition" puts on, ya know?

The description when broken down for me had me incredibly excited. I've always been a girl that gravitates towards the singer/songwriters and especially the stripped down version of songs. That bare bone element of music is just beautiful to me.

Leading into the 6th Secret Star Acoustic Jam last night, I wasn't fully sure what to expect. In fact, I still didn't even know who was going to be there! (For real, though.) So many guesses had been made, it really could've been anyone! And I'll admit, I had a hard time deciphering the clues because I'm only really familiar with a handful of country artists given my Pop music background. The anticipation was exciting but, killing me!

When I got to Proctors Theatre a little before 6pm, there were some fans already lined up inside ready to get their country lovin' on! I welcomed people with smiley faces and entertained their guesses without being any help whatsoever.

Meeting Kenzie & Bella was a treat. They were over the moon excited, so much in fact, they made sure to match their outfits. Do you think they make this dress in my size?

Marissa, WGNA Secret Star

I went backstage once Bethany arrived and we all huddled to figure out who would be doing what. That was around the time I heard who was going to be performing. It started with Matty's news that Chase Rice was there but couldn't sing due to doctors orders. While that news sucked to get, I got to be honest, if I were in Chases shoes I'd be even more bummed. Having a throat issue as a singer can't be an easy diagnosis to take in.

WGNA Staff Secret Star, Jess Hudson

Next thing I knew all of the performers were hanging right behind the curtain leading to on stage and they were having so much fun already. It's moments like this you realize how small of a business it truly is. Like we say in radio, everyone knows everyone else. It's the same in the music world. These guys are all friends and it totally showed on stage.

Chase Rice took the stage first after we explained his situation. What a gracious guy to still come and hang out and even try his hardest to perform a little bit of some of his hits (against what the doctors recommended.) I had the opportunity to be the next question asker, as the audience shouted guesses and the performer disguised their voice when answering from backstage. The audience didn't need much to know Michael Ray was coming next. To follow was Canaan Smith, then Dan & Shay (who blew the secret earlier in the day on Twitter.)

Secret Star sidestage, Marissa, WGNA

I watched from side stage as each performer took their turns at their songs and little jokes to one another. They kept referring to it as a camp fire type feel and it really was. That's the beauty of this show and I'm so glad to have experienced it for the first time.

Secret Star, Marissa, WGNA[/caption]Bethany and I cracked some jokes, there was a dance breakdown to stage left during one of the cover songs all the guys performed and some amazing pictures were taken, too! (Those shouldn't be shared though, *insert shocked face emoji here*) Oh and should I even mention Donna?! That woman had one heck of a time! (For those that may not have been there, she was sitting with her husband in one of the balcony boxes and Shay started flirting with her - then they ALL started flirting with her...then she ended up on stage!)

After the last chords were strummed and Proctors emptied, the guys were awesome to hang out for a little bit. We shot a backstage video that'll be up on our YouTube channel shortly and what you saw onstage of their bantering and laughing continued in the dressing room. What a great group of guys.

Secret Star, Marissa, WGNA

I went in already loving the sound of Dan & Shay, but walked away really appreciating them all so much. When you meet someone like these guys who are talented, sure, but are as down to earth and welcoming as they all are it raises them to a different level.

Now that my first big GNA concert is under my belt, I'm ready for the next. This was probably the best way to warm me up for Countryfest 2016, huh? Bring it on!

Nana at Secret Star, Marissa, WGNA

BONUS TID BIT: My soon to be 84 year old Nana was at the show with my family and friend, Tina who had texted for a chance at the meet & greet. Of course, Tina has all the luck and wins her way in after the show! Who does she bring in, but my lovely little grandmother. Nana is no stranger to the meet & greet, or the pretty faced singing men that perform around the country. With that being said, yes, she did sneak a kiss from all of them.