Why country act Little Big Town kept the details behind their Taylor Swift-written hit song a secret

When you have a hit song written by country’s biggest star in the world, you’d think you would want to go big with that story, but Little Big Town chose to keep the details of their Swift-penned song under the radar — until now.

On Wednesday’s episode of Superfan featuring Little Big Town, the country group told the story behind how they ended up recording a Taylor Swift-written song, and why they initially kept the details a secret.

The CBS show is billed as the ultimate fan-based competition, where contestants try to prove that they know the most about their favorite acts while also getting the chance to engage with the artists at the same time. The winner earns social-media bragging rights as the biggest fan along with an impressive music-based prize package. This debut season has already featured LL Cool J, Shania Twain and Gloria Estefan.

The platinum-selling and Grammy-winning Little Big Town was up this week, and during one round the fans had to try and guess the name of a Little Big Town song based on a very short snippet being played. One of those songs was “Better Man,” the seventh track from their 2016 album, The Breaker.

When the record was initially released, the band had been referring to the song’s writer as “a young girl in Nashville that wrote it by herself,” until finally coming clean during a Facebook Live Q A at The Mother Church a couple of months later.

“She sent us this song, and it was one that was really special to her and she thought of us because of the harmonies,” vocalist Karen Fairchild said during the Q A.

And on Wednesday, Superfan host Nate Burleson had the group reveal who wrote the song and then asked why they kept it under wraps.

“Part of the reason we wanted to keep it a little bit of a secret was because we wanted it to have its own merit,” member Phillip Sweet said.

“And she did, too,” added Fairchild.

The song ended up being an instant number-one hit for Little Big Town, earning them multiple award nominations in the process. Swift later performed her own version of the song on her re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), released in November of 2021.

But it turns out the connection almost didn’t happen between Swift and the group, and it’s a good reminder to always stay up to date with your inboxes.

“She has Phillip’s email,” member Kimberly Schlapman said of Swift. “So she emailed the song to Phillip, but he usually doesn’t check his emails. So thank goodness he did.”

And not only are Little Big Town fellow artists and collaborators with Swift, it turns out they may also be actual Swifties as well. Because later, during a round where the fans had to write down the answer they thought Little Big Town would have written down, Swift’s name came up again.

The question was, “which Taylor Swift song do you guys like to harmonize to?” And the answer, which two of the three fans guessed correctly, was “You Belong With Me,” the third single from Swift’s 2008 album, Fearless. And as contestant Carolyn put it, the song “lends itself to harmonies,” making it the perfect choice.

The big winner of the night was a contestant named Abby, who won VIP tour tickets, a drink with the band after the show and signed memorabilia including a fedora from the video for “Pontoon.”

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