14 Country Artists Who Wrote Songs For Other Singers

Jamey Johnson with George Strait and Bill Anderson with Brad Paisley

(Left) Kevin Winter/ ACM2009 / Contributor / Getty Images / (Right) J. Kempin / Contributor / Getty Images

Did You Know Some Of Your Favorite Country Stars Wrote Songs Recorded By Other Country Artists?

Country music is known for its songs that tell stories, tap into deep emotions, and celebrate the things in life that make it worth living. Lyrics about love, loss, and everything in the middle come alive when they find the right artist at the right time.


Many country stars are songwriters. Oftentimes, artists get their start in the business as songwriters before their own singing careers take off. On some occasions, already popular singers write songs that other artists record.

In fact, there are many country artists who’ve penned songs for other singers. Far more than we could ever begin to count in this list. But we wanted to feature some of the most notable examples.

Billy Currington with Luke Bryan
For example, Luke Bryan co-wrote “Good Directions,” which was recorded by Billy Currington. Photo Credit: Gary Miller / Contributor / Getty Images

Still, you may be surprised to find out Chris Stapleton wrote a swoon-worthy love song for Josh Turner. Or you may have never known that Bill Anderson penned a heartbreaking duet between Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss.

Head below to see 14 times a country star wrote a song for another artist!

“More Than A Memory” By Garth Brooks Was Co-Written By Lee Brice

Lee Brice co-wrote “More Than a Memory” with Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana. Garth Brooks ended up recording the song for his third compilation album The Ultimate Hits.

The song reached the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. It was the first of Brooks’ singles to top the chart in nine years.

Bill Anderson Co-Wrote “Whiskey Lullaby” By Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss

Country music legend Bill Anderson co-wrote “Whiskey Lullaby” with Jon Randall. The devastating song sat on the shelf for several years before The Chicks finally placed it on hold.

The Chicks kept the song on hold for three years. During that time, Brad Paisley voiced how he wanted to record “Whiskey Lullaby” if the trio ever dropped their hold. They did, and Paisley got his chance to sing it.

He wanted to add a female duet partner to the track. Alison Krauss was one artist he suggested. The rest is history. Paisley and Krauss ended up recording what is now known as one of the most heartbreaking country songs of all time.

Taylor Swift Wrote Little Big Town’s “Better Man”

Taylor Swift is known for writing her own songs. But she occasionally penned tracks recorded by other artists.

Such was the case with “Better Man.” Swift was the sole songwriter, and she pitched the track to Little Big Town because she thought it would be perfect for their harmonies. She was right, and Little Big Town won a Grammy for their performance.

Brantley Gilbert Co-Wrote Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem”

Brantley Gilbert co-wrote “Dirt Road Anthem” with Colt Ford. Jason Aldean recorded the song, and sent it to the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Gilbert also served as the sole songwriter behind another #1 hit of Aldean’s…”My Kinda Party.”

Jamey Johnson & Bill Anderson Co-Wrote “Give It Away” By George Strait

Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson, and Buddy Cannon co-wrote the song “Give It Away.” George Strait recorded it for his 2006 album It Just Comes Natural. It peaked at the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Additionally, Johnson has co-written songs for Trace Adkins (“Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” “Ladies Love Country Boys”) and Joe Nichols (“Another Side of You”).

Mac Davis Wrote Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto”

Mac Davis was the sole songwriter behind Elvis Presley‘s emotional song “In the Ghetto.” The track reached the third spot on the all-genre Hot 100 chart following its release in 1969.

On top of writing “In the Ghetto,” Davis was also responsible for writing Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation,” “Don’t Cry Daddy,” and “Memories.”

Chris Stapleton Co-Wrote “Your Man” By Josh Turner

“Your Man” was co-written by Chris Stapleton, Chris DuBois, and Jace Everett. Josh Turner recorded the red-hot love song and released it in 2005. It claimed the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Other than “Your Man,” Stapleton has penned a number of hits for other artists. As just a few examples, he co-wrote Luke Bryan‘s “Drink a Beer,” Kenny Chesney‘s “Never Wanted Nothing More,” and Darius Rucker‘s “Come Back Song.”

Morgane Stapleton Co-Wrote “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” By Carrie Underwood

Stapleton’s wife, Morgane, co-wrote “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” when she was still Morgane Hayes. Her songwriting partners were Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley.

Carrie Underwood recorded the song for her debut album, Some Hearts. It peaked at the #2 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart after its release.

Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, & Morgan Wallen Co-Wrote Jason Aldean’s “You Make It Easy”

Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line co-wrote “You Make It Easy” with Morgan Wallen and Jordan Schmidt. Jason Aldean recorded the song for his 2018 album Rearview Town.

“You Make It Easy” was a #1 hit on the Country Airplay chart and a #2 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Thomas Rhett Co-Wrote “Round Here” By Florida Georgia Line

Thomas Rhett co-wrote “Round Here” with Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins. Florida Georgia Line recorded the tune for their album Here’s to the Good Times. “Round Here” reached #1 on the Country Airplay chart and #3 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Rhett also helped pen songs such as “She Had Me at Heads Carolina” by Cole Swindell, “Parking Lot Party” by Lee Brice, and “Hello Summer” by Danielle Bradbery.

Luke Bryan Co-Wrote Billy Currington’s “Good Directions”

“Good Directions” was co-written by Luke Bryan and Rachel Thibodeau. It was released by Billy Currington in 2016…the year before Bryan released his debut single “All My Friends Say.”

Currington took “Good Directions” to the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Kacey Musgraves Co-Wrote “Mama’s Broken Heart” By Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves co-wrote “Mama’s Broken Heart” with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. Miranda Lambert recorded the song for her fourth studio album, Four the Record.

“Mama’s Broken Heart” reached #2 on both of Billboard‘s country charts. It has since been certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA for the sale of three million units.

Randy Houser Co-Wrote Reba McEnire’s “Back To God”

Randy Houser and Dallas Davidson co-wrote the religious song “Back to God.” Houser originally recorded the track for his 2008 album Anything Goes.

Years later, Reba McEntire heard the song and chose to record it for her first gospel album Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. Her version reached the #1 spot on the Christian Songs chart and the 25th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Sam Hunt Co-Wrote “Come Over” By Kenny Chesney

Sam Hunt co-wrote the song “Come Over” with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Kenny Chesney recorded the track for his 2012 album Welcome to the Fishbowl. It claimed the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart and reached the 23rd position on the all-genre Hot 100.

“Come Over” was released two years before Hunt released his debut single “Leave the Night On.” That song went #1 and set Hunt’s solo career on an instantly successful track.

Other than “Come Over,” Hunt also co-wrote William Michael Morgan‘s “I Met a Girl” and Keith Urban‘s “Cop Car.” Hear him perform the latter song below.