Popular Country Hits That Were Written By Other Stars

Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee/MCT/ABACAPRESS.COM

Although it isn’t uncommon for songs to be written by people behind the scenes, since country songs are often so personal it is assumed that the stars singing them have written the hits. While many country stars do indeed have a lot of writing credits on their many albums and songs, it might be surprising for fans to learn that some star’s biggest hits were not only not written by them, but were written by other well-known country artists. Check out 12 big country hits that were written by other country stars:

12. Come Over – Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney has had a lot of hit songs over his iconic career in the industry, but without a doubt one of his biggest has always been “Come Over.” Chesney released the song in 2012 and it spent 11 weeks on the US Billboard charts before it finally went to number one, making it Chesney’s twenty-second number one single. Surprisingly, it wasn’t written by Chesney, as it turns out the hit was actually penned by country star Sam Hunt along with prolific country songwriters Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Osborne explained that when writing melodies, it was Sam Hunt who suggested they make the lyrics “kind of desperate thing, like the guy is pleading with this girl to come over.” He continued for the chorus they decided to repeat “come over” to “[get] into the emotion of the situation.”

11. Any Ol’ Barstool – Jason Aldean

“Any Ol’ Barstool” is one of Jason Aldean’s most recent hits after being released in December 2016 as the third single from his seventh album “They Don’t Know,” and although Jason Aldean has penned quite a few songs, this wasn’t one of them. The single was actually written by country singer/songwriters Deric Ruttan and Josh Thompson. Upon releasing the single, Aldean even said, “I think ‘Any Ol’ Barstool’ is probably one of the best written songs on the album. Plus that traditional fell is the Country music I grew up on and has always been important to me to include on our albums. I love that stuff.” The song went on to reach number one on Canada’s Country Billboard Charts as well as US Hot Country Songs Billboard Charts.

10. Honkytonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins

2005’s “Honkytonk Badonkadonk” is one of the most iconic country singles of the 2000s not to mention is one of Trace Adkins biggest hits, but it wasn’t the country legend who wrote it! The song was actually written by country star Randy Houser along with Dallas Davidson and Jamey Johnson. After its official debut in 2005, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs chart behind Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” and became a crossover hit for Adkins after it entered the top 40 on the U.S. Billboard Pop 100 charts as well. “We were hanging out at the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, and my buddy Rob was bartending. We were poor songwriters, so we’d go in there and get free beer [laughs]. Me, Dallas and Randy were hanging out there, just cutting up and cracking jokes, watching this girl on the dance floor who had this huge butt,” Johnson said on how the song came about. “It looked like somebody stuffed a beach ball in her pants. So we got to laughing at this girl — she was drunk as hell, just completely wasted, and having the time of her life. She didn’t care who was looking; she didn’t care who she bumped into. So we started popping one-liners, and we threw out this word, ‘badonkadonk.’ And a minute later, we said, ‘Honky tonk badonkadonk — hell yeah, we’ve gotta write that!’ So we wrote that song in just about an hour, but spent half that time just laughing. And it turned out to be the best damn joke any of us had ever told!”

9. Get Me Some of That – Thomas Rhett

Country star Thomas Rhett is in the peak of his personal career now as he churns out hit after hit, and while he is known for being the man behind some other artists’ big hits, at the beginning of his career he was the one getting writing help. In 2013, Rhett released the fourth single from his debut album, “It Goes Like This,” with “Get Me Some of That,” and it was penned by none other than country star Cole Swindell along with Michael Carter and Thomas’ father Rhett Akins. “Cole and Michael played me the first three lines of the chorus,” Akins said of how they created the song. “They said we just kind of came up with this out on the road with Luke this weekend, but that’s all we have. When they played me those lines, I was like I’m in — big time! That sounds like a smash. We just sat there and hammered it out for the rest of the afternoon. Then we went and demoed it a week later.”

8. Chainsaw – The Band Perry

The Band Perry had a lot to live up to after their debut album’s hit “If I Die Young,” and in 2013 they released their second album “Pioneer” which included the single “Chainsaw.” The song performed well on Billboard’s country charts but, unlike “If I Die Young,” it wasn’t written by lead vocalist Kimberly Perry. Instead “Chainsaw” was written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Matthew Ramsey, the lead vocalist for the country band Old Dominion. In fact, the song was actually originally recorded by Old Dominion but was given to The Band Perry as Old Dominion wasn’t recording studio albums at the time. It seems Old Dominion and The Band Perry have quite the working relationship, as Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen along with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally actually co-wrote “Better Dig Two” for the trio as well.

7. Crash and Burn – Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn” was the lead single that launched Rhett’s new country sound and marked the beginning of his current career as one of country music’s biggest stars, but it wasn’t a single written by him. Many fans are surprised to learn that the pop-country song was actually written by Jesse Frasure and country star Chris Stapleton, who is known for his more traditional country sound. The song did very well on the country music charts as it reached number one on Billboard’s Canada Country and Billboard’s US Country Airplay and landed at number two on Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs. When it comes to how the hit single ended up in Rhett’s hands, the singer said, “I remember being in the parking lot of my business manager’s office, and he’s like, ‘Man, I have this demo that I want to play you that Chris Stapleton wrote.’ I wrote my first single ever with Chris Stapleton [and Lee Thomas Miller]; we’ve been friends for the past five years, and I’ve always been a huge fan and a huge supporter.” Rhett continued,”When I heard him sing ‘Crash and Burn,’ I was like, ‘This isn’t like the sad-country-song Chris Stapleton that I’ve been listening to for the last five years. This is crazy. What is this?’ [Stapleton] was talking to a lot of different people about what kind of direction he wanted to go in. Obviously, we know where he’s at now, but at that time, none of this had happened. So I just texted Chris and said, ‘Hey, man, I heard this song you wrote called ‘Crash and Burn’ … If you ever wake up one day and decide that you don’t want anything to do with this song, please let me be the first person to have it. He texted me a couple months later and said, ‘Hey, man, I think I’m going to go in a different direction. ‘Crash and Burn’ is all yours.'”

6. Good Directions – Billy Currington

Since its release in 2006, “Good Directions” has become one of the most popular country tunes, and helped catapult Billy Currington’s career as the third and final single from his second studio album “Doin’ Something Right.” While the catchy hit made Currington’s name famous, the man who wrote it is actually a massive country star: Luke Bryan. Bryan originally wrote the track with Rachel Thibodeau and intended to record the song under the name “Right Back Here To Me (The Sweet Tea Song).” Since Bryan was only a songwriter and had yet to release his debut album, the song went to Currington where it became a number one hit on the country charts, and Bryan said its success even took over his own debut single “Ally My Friends Say,” when he finally did release his first album. “‘Good Directions’ began to get so much press and become such a big song that we felt like, at that point, it had kind of done what it was going to do,” Bryan said. “There were lots of times on my radio interviews that I was dedicating 80 to 90 percent of the interview to talking about ‘Good Directions’ instead of about ‘All My Friends Say.'”

5. More Than a Memory – Garth Brooks

2007’s “More Than a Memory” was huge to Garth Brooks’ career for many reasons. For starters, upon its August 27, 2007 release “More Than a Memory” became the first ever song to debut at number one in the history of the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In addition, it marked Brooks’ first number one hit since 1998’s “To Make You Feel My Love,” but it wasn’t written by the star. The single was actually written by Lee Brice along with Billy Montana and Kyle Jacobs. On how he came up with the song, Brice said, “I woke up one night thinking about the love of my life, an old flame, even though we hadn’t been together in eight or 10 years. I woke up thinking about her at 3:30 AM and started writing her a letter. I got halfway down the letter, and I was like, ‘What are you doing? You do this all the time — you never send her anything. Just go back to bed. She’s just a memory.’ Then I thought, ‘Well, I’m up at 3:30 in the morning, physically, tangibly doing something, writing a letter. She’s still a tangible, physical part of my life, so she must be more than a memory.'”

Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee/MCT/ABACAPRESS.COM

4. Drink a Beer – Luke Bryan

Fans of Luke Bryan know that his third single “Drink a Beer” from his 2013 album “Crash My Party” was quite personal for the country star as the sad ballad talks about dealing with the unexpected loss of someone close. For Bryan, who has lost two siblings in sudden deaths, the song meant a lot, but it wasn’t him that wrote it. The hit was actually written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers. The song went to number one on three Billboard Country charts, and while it was personal for Bryan, it wasn’t written specifically for him, according to Stapleton. “Well, I have to give credit where credit is due: Jim Beavers walked into the writing room that day with basically the entire chorus of the song. It was probably my idea to make it a little bit darker, because the title, ‘Drink a Beer,’ might have made you believe that it’s something lighter, and it was probably my idea to make it about someone who passed away,” Stapleton said of how he and Beavers created the single. He added, “I kind of helped [Beavers] cross the finish line on it, and then we really didn’t think much more about it. I think we thought it was a pretty good song. But then Luke took it, and it really brought weight to it when Luke did it because of his family situation. So, once again, it was one of those things where the right artist and the right song turned into something special.”

3. Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert

As the queen of some of the biggest female power anthems in country music, Miranda Lambert had another massive hit on her hands with “Mama’s Broken Heart” off of her album “Four the Record.” Although Lambert is known for her own writing skills, it was actually fellow country singer Kacey Musgraves along with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally who wrote the song. In an interview, Lambert admitted the one song on the record she “couldn’t live without” was definitely “Mama’s Broken Heart.” She added, “I just love that song. I just thought it was so unique. When a song hits me like, ‘Man, I wish I would have written that,’ then I know that it’s special.” Lambert also revealed that Musgraves wasn’t so willing to give the song up either, and she actually approached Musgraves about it at the rehearsal dinner for her own wedding to Blake Shelton! “I don’t think I was supposed to be pitched [“Mama’s Broken Heart”]. But [then], her sister actually shot some pictures at mine and Blake’s wedding, and she was there, too. At our rehearsal dinner, I went over and asked her, ‘Are you gonna cut this song or can I have it?’ And she was like, ‘I’ll think about it for a couple of days.'” While Kacey did let her have the song, she had a stipulation, “[Kacey] e-mailed me and said, ‘You can have it, if I can sing harmony.’ So that’s her singing the harmonies on it …”

2. Round Here – Florida Georgia Line

By now, country duo Florida Georgia Line have had a ton of hits and one of their biggest was 2013’s “Round Here” off of their album “Here’s to the Good Times.” The single became Florida Georgia Line’s third consecutive number one song on the Country Airplay chart, and one of the writers behind the song is no stranger to topping charts. “Round Here” was actually written by Thomas Rhett along with Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins. After the song’s massive success, Rhett revealed that there was one person not happy that he gave the song away: his wife, Lauren. My wife says ‘Round Here’ is her favorite song that I’ve ever written,” he said. “She always said, I don’t care if that song sits in a pile forever, please don’t let anybody else cut that song.” When Rhett, Clawson and Tompkins decided to let FGL have it, the singer then had to call his wife and break the bad news. “I don’t know if she cried, but she was close to it. To this day, she’s like, ‘I can’t believe you gave away that song.'”

1. Came Here to Forget – Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton’s lead single “Came Here to Forget” off of his tenth studio album “If I’m Honest” was one of the country star’s most anticipated songs of his career, because it marked his first song since his very public split from fellow country star Miranda Lambert. The song “Came Here to Forget” seemed very personal as it talked about getting over a breakup, but that made it even more surprising when fans learned that it wasn’t Shelton who wrote it. The single was actually penned by “Take the Week Off” singer Deric Ruttan and Craig Wiseman. “It’s just so interesting because this song was not written for Blake,” Ruttan explained. “It really shows the power of a song, where you can be in a room with someone and write something and just be trying to write the best version of that idea possible. Then through timing and divine intervention, it all lines up with the exact right singer at the exact right time. There is something in it that is just extremely meaningful to his life at this time. I never had a song connect in that way with the artist in such a timely, unique manner, so it makes this song extra special.”

Telisa Carter

Telisa Carter

Telisa enjoys learning and writing about all things entertainment in the world of Hollywood. When she isn't catching up on her favorite TV shows, she likes to read, and obsess over all things football.