The year was 1994. Hillary Lindsey moved from her home of Washington, Georgia to Nashville. What would she have said if someone had told her on that first day that she would wind up as one of the most successful songwriters in town, penning at least 85 songs that would be cut by some of music's most successful artists – such as Sara Evans, Martina McBride, and Carrie Underwood?
"I would have said 'I hope you're right, but I think you might be crazy,'" she told Billboard. "I went to Belmont, and I wanted to be an artist. That's really why I came to town and went there. I studied music business instead of music because I had intentions of signing a contract. I thought if I understood the business side, I wouldn't be taken advantage of once I got to that place. I signed a publishing deal in 1997, and a recording deal later. But, the artist thing – I was only signed for three months, and never turned in a song or anything. It was all just a typical story of the A&R guy that signed me, calling me up and asked 'Are you sitting down?' I said 'No,' and he said 'Well, you better.' He had just boxed up his office and quit, and they had dropped me along with two of his other newest acts that he had recently signed. I was writing songs at that point, but I was writing them for me, obviously. I didn't know you could write as a songwriter for a profession. I assumed that most of the songs on the radio, the people singing them wrote them. So, after the record deal, I didn't know what I was going to do, so I went through kind of a down period. Then, I got sick of being sick and tired, and started writing songs. People started recording them, and that was my path. I would have never guessed that when I moved here."
Though Lindsey's career took a different turn than she expected, she is more than happy with where she is today. This week, the writer has just re-signed with BMG Chrysalis Nashville, and she says she is excited about the partnership. "I'm so happy to be with them again," she said. "They are a great group of people there, and the writers are awesome. I'm looking forward to being with them.
BMG is equally excited about the partnership, as well. "We are thrilled at having her," says Laurent Hubert, President, Creative & Marketing, BMG Chrysalis North America. We first started our relationship with her back in October 2010, and for us to have the privilege to extend the relationship with such a writer is fantastic. She is so versatile and prolific, and one of the best writers inside and outside of Nashville."
With hits to her credit such as Evans' "A Little Bit Stronger" and McBride's "This One's For The Girls" as well as a trio of cuts from Lady Antebellum's upcoming disc "Golden," to say that Lindsey has a hot hand would be an understatement. Along the way, she has developed a synergy with Underwood – with over twenty cuts from the singer. What makes their relationship work so well?
"I think we're both women, and there's a lot of male writers in town – so I think that was a plus for me," she says. "It was easier for her to connect with me. I think gravitated toward my style of singing and writing from that first record. Then, on the second, when she started writing on her own, it was a blessing that she asked me and Luke Laird to come in and write with her. We just clicked. The chemistry was really good between us. Thank God that she is still calling me. I hope she does for the next one."