Kip Moore Shares the Story Behind “Cigarette”

Co-Wrote New Frankie Ballard Single with Chris Stapleton and Jaren Johnston

Any pro songwriter knows that inspiration can come from anywhere at any time.

One just has to pay attention.

The day Frankie Ballard’s new single “Cigarette” was written, Kip Moore happened to be paying close attention to a stranger’s last drag.

At the time, Moore was in the middle of a songwriting session with Chris Stapleton and the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston, trying out a new sad country song. Then Moore excused himself for a smoke break.

“That’s one of my habits when I write music,” Moore admits. “I stepped outside and saw a fairly attractive girl put out a cigarette right beside me. I saw the lipstick around the butt, and I just started singing that chorus in my head.”

After that, the co-write went in a new direction. “I sang some of the chorus immediately, and they both loved it,” he recalls. “I was kind of playing the guitar riff. Then Jaren spruced it up, and it just took off. Chris jumped on the melody, and it just became a really cool collaboration that day. We all had a blast writing that song.”

For his part, Moore says he’s happy “Cigarette” landed on Ballard’s recently-released El Rio album.

“I’m a fan of what Frankie does. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there’s a little bit of regret on my part for not cutting the song on the Wild Ones record. I had a lot of songs to choose from on my plate. I think I had written so many new songs that those kind of took precedence over that song. But I’ve always loved it. I’m glad to see an artist like Frankie do it justice.”

That’s good because Ballard says he was a little concerned.

“I love that song,” Ballard said in a previous interview. “We’re all good friends, and we’ve all been writing songs and trying to make something coming out of Nashville. I’m proud to be the person that got to record this song and put it on an album. I just hope that I did it justice. I know I wrenched on it as hard and as long as I could to get it where it is.”

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.