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Jaren Johnston of Cadillac Three on Writing Hits for Other Artists: ‘It’s a Blessing’

Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The Cadillac Three may have hits of their own, but the band members have written several for other artists, too — some they sometimes wish they’d kept for themselves.

Johnston himself has penned No. 1s for some of country’s biggest names, including “American Country Love Song” and “Days of Gold” for Jake Owen, “Southern Girl” for Tim McGraw and Keith Urban‘s duet with Eric Church on “Raise ‘Em Up,” the latter of which he says would’ve been a good one to keep for the group.

“That’s one of our favorite ones and a crowd favorite as well,” Johnston says of “Raise Em Up,” revealing that it’s the reason they were able to go to the Grammy Awards, where it was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance in 2015.

“I never really know because you’re so inside of it … you want to bounce it off of those people that you trust,” he says about writing a hit song and seeking feedback from trusted sources. “I think it’s different every time, you obviously try to write the best song you can, but sometimes you hit it and sometimes you don’t.”

Neil Mason, drummer for the Cadillac Three, is also a noteworthy songwriter, co-penning Rascal Flatts‘ “Payback” — which Johnston also says he wishes they’d kept for the band — and earning a cut on Miranda Lambert‘s No. 1 album Platinum with “Old Sh!t”

“It’s been such a blessing,” Johnston says of the success they’ve had with other artists recording their songs.

The Cadillac Three are currently on their first headlining tour in the U.S., the 2017 Black Roses Tour, which continues through early spring.

Hits That Other Artists Passed On

The Cadillac Three Become … the Cadillac Eight

Next: Jaren Johnston Welcomes a Son

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