Why Thomas Rhett Burned Out on This Hit

There’s a good reason why Thomas Rhett is burned out on one of his greatest hits. In 2015, Rhett released “Crash and Burn,” the lead single off his breakthrough sophomore album, Tangled Up. Co-written by Chris Stapleton and Jesse Frasure, the song marked a departure in sound for Rhett, as it utilized the presence of a horn section and R&B flavor.

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At the time, Stapleton was known as an impeccable singer and songwriter in the industry and was months away from the world figuring that out with his performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards.

“Crash and Burn” finds Rhett on the receiving end of a breakup, the upbeat and lively melody sugarcoating such searing lyrics as, It’s the sound of teardrops fallin’ down, down/A slammin’ door and a lesson learned/I let another lover crash and burn. Rhett and Stapleton had worked together before, co-writing Rhett’s debut single, “Something to Do With My Hands.”

[RELATED: 6 Songs You Didn’t Know Chris Stapleton Wrote For Other Artists]

“When I heard him sing ‘Crash and Burn,’ I was like, ‘This isn’t like the sad-country-song Chris Stapleton that I’ve been listening to for the last five years. This is crazy. What is this?'” Rhett recalled to The Boot about hearing the demo for the first time. “So I just texted Chris and said, ‘Hey, man, I heard this song you wrote called ‘Crash and Burn’ … If you ever wake up one day and decide that you don’t want anything to do with this song, please let me be the first person to have it.’ He texted me a couple months later and said, ‘Hey, man, I think I’m going to go in a different direction. ‘Crash and Burn’ is all yours.'”

“Crash and Burn” was Rhett’s fourth consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and has since become one of his signature hits. Despite it being a fan favorite, Rhett admits that he grew tired of it thanks to a pair of his superfans–eldest daughters Willa and Ada. “My kids are the sole reason why I dislike so many of my old songs. That’s all we listen to,” he said in an interview with Taste of Country Nights around 2020. “‘Crash and Burn,’ I might not even play live ever again I’ve heard it so many times during this pandemic.”

Despite being sick of the song after his kids wore it out, he didn’t make good on his promise to stop performing it. In fact, “Crash and Burn” appears in the setlist for his 2022 and 2023 tours.

Photo by John Shearer

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