10 Hit Country Songs Written By Biwabik Native Emily Shackelton
Biwabik Native Emily Shackelton sure has a lot to celebrate these days. Her song, written with producer busbee and country star Carly Pearce, hit number one on the Country Airplay charts just last month.
"Every Little Thing" marked the highest charting debut single for a solo female artist since July 2015. Billboard Magazine named it the second best country song of 2017.
It was Shackelton's first number one song but the Nashville writer has been penning tunes for nearly a decade. Some of the genre's biggest artists have cut her songs - Sara Evans, Reba McEntire and Jennifer Nettles, just to name a few. She's also had songs featured on American Idol and CMT's "Nashville."
Here are ten other hit songs the proud Iron Ranger wrote.
This is the song that started it all for the hitmaking trio that is Shackelton, Carly Pearce and producer busbee. It was the first time all three of them all wrote together. She says,
"When we were writing that song, I got goosebumps. It was like we finally found this sound that Carly had been looking for for years. It's that more traditional, throwback country vibe but with busbee's amazing, very modern kind of pop production and it was just this meet-in-the-middle madness that happened between the two of them and the three of us started writing a lot of songs together and it was a really fun process but Carly didn't have a record deal or management or anybody." Shackelton says she had faith, "For me, it was just kind of a no-brainer once I saw Carly and busbee together. The ease of which I wrote songs with them, it just became, 'yeah this is my tribe. These are my people. I will go to bat for them and I will bet on Carly even if the odds are stacked against us.'" Fast forward and the song is a standout on Pearce's debut album.
I told Shackelton that this is one of my favorite songs and I wasn't lying! The song is also featured on Pearce's debut album. Of the song she says, "I love Careless too. Just the two of us, Carly and I wrote that together and that's a jam. I love that song." How can you not?
This is the follow-up single to Lauren Alaina's number one song "Road Less Traveled" and it tackles the same theme of overcoming your struggles. Shackelton told me Alaina wanted to write her story and be as transparent and honest as possible. If you can pick your jaw up off the floor after the opening line, you're in for a treat.
Another co-write with country star Lauren Alaina, this song is all about thinking past someone who isn't good for you and looking into the future without someone. It's also featured on Alaina's "Road Less Traveled" album and in a set of killer tracks, this one is hard to forget. (Hey, there's a reason I named it one of the best albums of 2017.)
Actress and singer Jana Kramer cut this track for her last album. She co-wrote the tune with a group of writers, including Shackelton, and has said in interviews it is one of her favorites because it tells her story in a very authentic way.
This song is featured on Cassadee Pope's first album in the country world. Pope told Rolling Stone she wrote the song, along with Shackelton, about all the hurdles she faced in the music industry before winning The Voice's third season. She decided to record it years later. It's a perfect song of redemption and it's pretty feisty, too.
This heartbreaking song is as beautiful as it gets. Mickey Guyton's voice doesn't hurt either. The song is featured on the same EP as her debut single. It was also featured on American Idol when contestant Tristan McIntosh wowed the judges with her take on the devastating ballad. This wasn't Shackelton's first feature on the reality competition - former contestant David Cook also performed one of her tunes, which he chose himself.
The story behind this song is nothing short of amazing. Shackelton told me how excited she was when she found out this song would be featured on the first episode of Nashville. She and her cowriters were gearing up to watch the song on premiere night, envisioning Hayden Panettiere's character singing it as a triumphant tune during a huge moment. Instead, she shook her hips and Connie Britton's character turned it off mid-performance, calling it "terrible." Shackelton still loved every minute, calling the experience a "wonderful thing." The song was continuously featured throughout the show's first season. It was also on the gold-selling soundtrack and earned Shackelton her first plaque.
How do you know you've made it? When you have a song that features Reba McEntire AND Jennifer Nettles. The songwriters behind this one, which includes Shackelton, call it a "unicorn." You can hear the story behind it and watch Shackelton herself perform the song below.
Shackelton wrote this song with Sara Evans and Victoria Banks. It's featured on Evans' new album Words. The song is simple and devastating. Try not to cry upon the first listen and then go hug your parents.