Songwriters Dish on Working With the Stars on ‘Love Junkies Radio’

Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey open up about their hit-making careers.

Written by Chris Parton
Songwriters Dish on Working With the Stars on ‘Love Junkies Radio’
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19: Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose, and Lori McKenna attend the CMT Artists of the Year 2016 on October 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to write a song with the biggest star in the world, there’s a new podcast that’s right up your alley. In Apple Music Country’s Love Junkies Radio, a trio of country’s most successful writers spill their stories of working with Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and more.

Known collectively as “The Love Junkies,” Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey are some of the most sought after collaborators in Nashville. They’ve written hits for everybody TSwift to Lady Gaga, and have turned a chance encounter into a lifelong friendship — not to mention a lucrative career. But now they’re opening up about what goes on behind the scenes. Their new show explains how some of your favorite songs came to be in a laid back way that sounds like friends chatting over a bottle of wine, and the first episode is out now.

Episode One features the team talking about their first-ever co-write, which resulted in a tune for Little Big Town (and one member falling off her stool). They also dig into Lambert’s “It All Comes Out In the Wash” and Underwood’s “Cry Pretty,” among other tracks. But a standout revelation comes from a song written before the women even knew each other. Speaking about her first time meeting a certain global superstar, Lindsey admits she was anything but fearless.

“I was scared…you know what? When she walked in. I was not ‘fearless,'” Lindsey says of meeting Taylor Swift. “But she walked into my house one day to write and we wrote a song. I mean Taylor is so obviously incredibly talented and so fast … In like 45 minutes and I’m like ‘Holy moly, what just happened?’

“And then I thought she was gonna say ‘Okay, well maybe I’ll see you later’ or ‘Maybe we’ll get back together,” but she said ‘Hey, will you check this out and let me know what you think?’ And she played a snippet of ‘Fearless.'” Lindsey goes on. “And I said ‘Oh my gosh that’s awesome.’

“She said ‘Yeah, me and Liz Rose started it, do you want to help me, help us finish it?’ And I said ‘Well, does Liz know about this? Because I don’t know Liz Rose and you know, Liz Rose is the bomb. Like I don’t want to do anything to piss off Liz Rose.’ She goes ‘Aww she doesn’t know about it but she won’t care.’ And I said ‘Taylor, Taylor are you sure?’ And I was scared to death Liz.

“Really?” Rose asks.

“I was so scared you were gonna hate me because I did that,” Lindsey admits.

“No, that’s crazy!” Rose replies. “I thought it was the coolest thing and the other thing was that, you know something like that happens in the moment, it’s gotta happen the way it’s supposed to in the moment because, think about it. That song might not have even made the record had y’all not finished it.”

Listen to the whole first episode for more details about Nashville’s tight knit hit-writing community, and check back for more Love Junkies Radio each week.