OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw Fuels Songwriter in Leighton Meester

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

In the February issue of Nylon magazine, cover girl Leighton Meester is still talking about the filming of her recently-released Country Strong movie. But this time, she is a little more honest about the influence country music had on her while she was hanging in Nashville. Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow, in fact, gave her a guitar that she is currently learning how to play. “It’s the best part of my day when I can sit down and write and it comes out in a way that’s so true for me,” she said. She also admitted that her next album will be a departure from her previous dance music. “I don’t want to release anything for the sake of making money because that’s just silliness,” she said. I wonder if McGraw gave away guitars to the whole cast, or if he just saw the potential songwriter in Meester and wanted to give her a head start.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.