Welcome to Music City, USA! The reigning Queen of Country, Rayna Jaymes, wows the crowd at the Grand Ole Opry with her rendition of “I’m Already Gone.” Her longtime collaborator/confidant, Deacon Claybourne, is by her side on guitar. After the show, Deacon’s niece, Scarlett, lets Rayna know she’s a huge fan as she introduces her boyfriend, Avery. Coleman Carlisle is also in the house. He wants Rayna to perform at his campaign announcement for mayor. No problem. Anything for an old family friend.
Juliette Barnes is the hottest crossover act in the country. She has a backstage run-in with Deacon, who is flattered by her full-on fan girl gushing. Juliette wonders aloud to her manager, Glenn, why this guy isn’t playing in her band. It’s probably because he’s been with Rayna Jaymes for the past two decades.
Speaking of Rayna, the label wants Juliette to meet with her and play nice. Juliette opens by saying her mom used to listen to Rayna’s music when she was still in the womb. Ouch! Rayna hits back by pointing out that Juliette’s cleavage is tumbling out of her tight dress. That’s not playing nice.
Meeting with her manager, Bucky, and label reps, Rayna is presented with the harsh financial realities of the ever-evolving music industry. They pitch the idea that she co-headlines a tour with Juliette. This is the directive of the new record label head. The hits just keep on coming when Rayna is late to a day-naming event involving her powerful father, Lamar Wyatt. These two have contentious relationship to say the least. Rayna makes her sister, Tandy, promise that she won’t have to go through anything like this again anytime soon.