Little Big Town has been enjoying the success of their beautiful breakup ballad Better Man. But how did the record penned by Taylor Swift end up on the country music group’s album?
“We’ve been friends with her forever,” Karen Fairchild said of Swift on Monday’s Hoda Show. “She emailed Phillip [Sweet] one night and she said, ‘Hey, I keep thinking about this song that I wrote and wondering if it might be for y’all. So listen to it and see what you think.’ She sent [the demo] in the email and he forwarded it to us.”
Little Big Town was touring with Luke Bryan when they received the track and said they couldn’t get it out of their heads.
“We were touring all this year, so we would live with it for a few weeks and kept listening to it,” Sweet said. “We kept coming back to it and couldn’t get away from it. It was sticking with us, too, so we had to cut it.”
Once they started letting other artists take a listen, they knew they had something big on their hands.
“We were playing it for Luke and Dustin Lynch while we were on the road,” Fairchild said. “They were like, ‘That one.’ You could see the reaction from people.”
Released on Oct. 20, Better Man, has reached No. 1 on the iTunes Country Music Chart and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Country Music Chart. The anticipation is palpable for Little Big Town’s eighth studio album, The Breaker, which is set to be released on Feb. 24, 2017. Even with success of Better Man, the band members never wondered why Swift — who officially crossed over into pop with her album 1989 — didn’t just record the song herself.
“We didn’t ask,” Kimberly Schlapman said with a laugh. “We just said, ‘Thank you very much, we’ll take it.'”
Sweet added, “She wanted us to do it and we were very honored to take it on and try our best at it.”
Little Big Town also discussed the emotional time when Schlapman’s first husband Steven Roads died from a heart attack in 2005.
“I have a very strong faith, so number one that’s what got me through. But I also have an incredible family and these three, who are my family, picked me up and carried me through where I didn’t even want to go. I didn’t even want to keep going, I was just finished,” Schlapman said. “But I feel like if I can speak from where i am now, I’ve been so restored and I have the most beautiful marriage I’ve ever dreamed of and a baby girl. If you hang in there, time and Jesus will heal you.”
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