While pumping out country hits left and right for himself – songs like “Half of Me,” “Die A Happy Man” and “Look What God Gave Her” – Thomas Rhett has also lent a hand to a number of other projects.
With Rhett behind the pen, everyone from Florida Georgia Line to the Christian group NEEDTOBREATHE has earned chart-toppers and name-making hits. With a penchant for party anthems, Rhett has carved out quite the career as a songwriter over the past decade. Find five songs you didn’t know were written by Rhett for other artists, below.
1. “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” Cole Swindell
Written by Thomas Rhett, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Tim Nichols, Mark Sanders, Cole Swindell
“She Had Me at Heads Carolina” is the third single from Swindell’s fourth studio album Stereotype. Swindell expressed he wanted to work with Rhett for the album. The pair wanted to include a reference to ’90s country, eventually landing on Jo Dee Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California.” From there, the song sees a girl get up to sing the song in a bar, much to Swindell’s excitement. Originally, the writers toyed with the idea of the song being a duet between Swindell and Rhett. The idea was eventually scrapped after Rhett said he wasn’t comfortable singing the lyrical theme.
“Heads Carolina, tails California”
Maybe she’d fall for a boy from South Georgia
She’s got the bar in the palm of her hand
And she’s a ’90s country fan like I am
Hey, I got a Chevy, she can flip a quarter
I’d drive her anywhere from here to California
When this song is over, I gotta find her
‘Cause she had me at “Heads Carolina”
2. “Round Here,” Florida Georgia Line
Written by Thomas Rhett, Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins
Florida Georgia Line earned their third consecutive No. 1 with “Round Here,” making the pair the second duo behind Brooks and Dunn to have their first three singles in the peak chart position. The song plays with the typical country talking points: whiskey, small towns and one hell of a Saturday night. Rhett has joined FGL in the past to perform the song.
Co-writer Rodney Clawson once said of the song, “A lot of these songs that we write – ‘Round Here’ being the perfect example – are about how you have to make up your own good time. We have some cool lines in that song like candles on the toolbox of the truck and stuff like that. It’s all little things from out of our past. It’s funny because Chris grew up in a little town in north Alabama that’s 1,500 miles from where I grew up, but a lot of the same stuff went on.”
The moon comes up and the sun goes down
We find a little spot on the edge of town
Twist off, sip a little, pass it around
Dance in the dust, turn the radio up
And that Fireball whiskey whispers
Temptation in my ear
It’s a feelin’ alright Saturday night
And that’s how we do it ’round here
Yeah, that’s how we do it ’round here
3. “Parking Lot Party,” Lee Brice
Written by Lee Brice, Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett and Luke Laird
“Parking Lot Party” is a vignette of all the trouble one could drum up while tailgating before a concert. The track was the fourth single from Lee Brice’s 2012 album, Hard 2 Love, and has gone on to be certified Gold by the RIAA. The production has a rock-edge to it while Brice’s raspy vocals add a layer of charm. If there’s one thing Rhett knows how to do, it’s pen a party banger that has no trouble climbing the charts.
At the parking lot party
Tailgate buzz just sipping’ on suds
Ain’t never too early
To light one up, fill up your cup
‘Cause there ain’t no party like the pre-party
And after the party is the after-party
At the parking lot party
4. “Hello Summer,” Danielle Bradbery
Written by Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Julian Bunetta, Jaren Johnston
“Hello Summer” is a love song tailor-made for warm nights in July. Written by Rhett (alongside Rhett Atkins, Julian Bunetta and Jaren Johnston), this song was released as the second single on Danielle Bradbery’s album, I Don’t Believe We’ve Met. “Goodbye Summer” peaked at 39 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, marking Bradbery’s second-highest charting single to date. Bradbery and Rhett released a duet version in 2018.
Who knew that one drink would turn into five?
Crazy how June burns into July
Trying to keep September from creeping in my head
But I knew what I was getting into the minute that I said
5. “Who Am I,” NEEDTOBREATHE
Written by Thomas Rhett, Cason Cooley, Jeremy Lutito, Jordan Reynolds, Bear Rinehart
In this song, the Christian rock group NEEDTOBREATHE are trying to see themselves through God’s eyes. Keyboardist Josh Lovelace said of the song, “‘Who Am I’ was written in a time of reflection and looking at ourselves and who we are in life. For us, speaking for us as a band, so many times we allow our past mistakes to define who we are today and I think when we look at our past through the lens of who we are as humans, we can get very defeated by things we’ve said or have been said to us, or situations we’ve been in.” “Who Am I” speaks to the wide breadths of Rhett’s songwriting abilities.
Sometimes my bad decisions
Define my false suspicions
No one should ever love me like you do
While I’m on this road you take my hand
Somehow you really love who I really am
I push you away, still you won’t let go
You grow your roses on my barren soul
Thomas Rhett (Photo: Courtesy of Green Room PR)