On The Cover: Shane McAnally (June/July 13)

JuneJuly13Shane McAnally came to Nashville from his hometown of Mineral Wells, Texas to pursue a career as an artist, and his debut album for Curb Records produced three charting singles, including the Top 40 track “Are Your Eyes Still Blue.” But his reputation as one of the city’s most talented writers really kicked off when Lee Ann Womack recorded his song “Last Call” in 2008, which earned her a Grammy nomination.

McAnally went on to co-write a string of  No. 1 hits, including Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere with You” and “Come Over,” Jake Owen’s “Alone with You,” Luke Bryan’s “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” Lady Antebellum’s “Downtown” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.” He co-produced Kacey Musgraves’ major label debut, Same Trailer Different Park, and co-wrote nine of the album’s twelve tracks, including the first two singles: “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Blowin’ Smoke.”

An ASCAP member for over 15 years, McAnally marks his 100th major label song cut with “Come Back to Me,” recorded by Keith Urban for his upcoming album, Fuse, due out this fall. He recently completed production work on new country music for Kelly Clarkson, including her single, “Tie It Up,” which he also wrote. In addition, McAnally is working with emerging acts Sam Hunt and Old Dominion.

McAnally’s many recent successes landed him on the Top 10 Billboard Songwriters Airplay Chart for the first quarter of 2013, alongside a diverse list of fellow ASCAP members including Max Martin and Bruno Mars. He was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April and was featured in Billboard and The New York Times in May.

Asked if he has any advice for young songwriters, McAnally said, “Please be sure you have exhausted all other avenues…I tried everything and I just couldn’t make anything work except for music. When I hear people say, ‘I’ve been thinking about writing songs,’ I say, ‘Well then, think about something else.’ If you just decided you’re going to be a songwriter, you’re not a songwriter. It chooses you.”

Read more about McAnally, co-writer of MusicRow Song of the Year “Merry Go ‘Round,” here.

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