10 Songs From ‘Nashville’ Written By Award-Winning Country Singers


When the TV show Nashville was on ABC – and then CMT – we tuned in just about every week to see what drama the show had in store for us. Another reason we tuned in is for the incredible music.

While most of the actors play characters who are songwriters, it’s usually not them actually writing the music. In fact, some of our favorite country singers have written songs for the TV show and we had no idea!

Let’s take a look at 10 songs that were written by familiar faces!

10. “I Know How To Love You”

Legendary songwriter Deana Carter helped co-write this emotional track that the song’s performer, Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), referred to as more than three chords, “but it’s the truth”. Esten also served as co-writer.


9. “Lately”

In Season 2, Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott) and Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor), who worked as a songwriting duo, sang a beautiful song titled “Lately.” They played the song for guest star Kelly Clarkson, who was interested in a few of their songs.

“Lately” was written by country singer Ashley Monroe, who has a successful solo career and is a member of the Pistol Annies, along with Miranda Lambert.


8. “It’s On Tonight”

Esten’s Deacon, Will Chase’s Luke Wheeler, and Chris Carmack’s Will Lexington joined forces in Season 2 to perform this Dustin Lynch-written hit.

Lynch wrote the tune with fellow songwriters Brett Beavers and David Lee Murphy.


7. “Twist of Barbwire”

Bowen’s character, Scarlett, and Jonathan Jackson’s character, Avery Barkley, both performed “Twist Of Barbwire” as solos. Avery performed it with his band, but when he left the band to pursue a solo career, they asked Scarlett to be their lead singer during Season 1.

The powerful song was written by award-winning singer Elvis Costello.


6. “A Life That’s Good”

Real-life sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella play Maddie and Daphne Conrad, daughters of the Queen of Country, played by Connie Britton.

The song was first sung by Lennon and Maisy, then by Lennon and Charles Esten, and finally, Lennon, Maisy, Esten, and Britton. Watch the four of them sing the Ashley Monroe-penned song in the video above.


5. “Casino”

After the characters Gunnar and Scarlett began working as songwriters together, he moved in with her and during one of the at-home songwriting sessions, they came up with the beautiful song “Casino.”

In reality it is Morgane Hayes Stapleton who helped write the song. If her name doesn’t ring a bell, just watch any Chris Stapleton performance. She stands beside her husband every night and lends her incredible vocals to his songs.

4. “Undermine”

One of the most honest songwriters in the game penned one of Nashville’s most memorable songs. In Season 1, Hayden Panettiere’s character Juliette is trying to get in the good graces of Esten’s character Deacon, so she writes a song with him.

Kacey Musgraves actually wrote the tune, but Panettiere and Esten’s vocals brought the song to life. Musgraves is the 2013 CMA winner for new Artist of the Year and has hits that include “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Follow Your Arrow.” She also swept the 2019 Grammys, including winning the biggest award of the night, Album of the Year.


3. “(This Is) Real Life”

While performing at the famous Bluebird Cafe, Britton’s character Rayna Jaymes invites her daughters, played by Lennon and Maisy to join her for a song. Together they sing the Maren Morris-penned song “Real Life.”


2. “And Then We’re Gone”

Esten served as co-writer once more during Season 3 for the song “And Then We’re Gone” with “Buy Me A Boat” singer Chris Janson.


1. “Take Mine”

During Season 4, Britton’s character Rayna Jaymes and guest star Alicia Witty’s character Autumn Chase joined forces for an epic duet to a Natalie Hemby, Kacey Musgraves, and Miranda Lambert-written song.

Musgraves confirmed it via Twitter in 2016, and first performed it live in 2013.

Watch the performance below.

Did you know how many country stars wrote music for Nashville? We sure didn’t! Let us know if we missed any in the comments section.