Why Tim McGraw Was Mad at Little Big Town

“Damn You,” He Told Jimi Westbrook

All the best stories seem to come from being backstage at awards shows.

When Little Big Town‘s Jimi Westbrook saw Tim McGraw at the ACM Awards, things got real, really fast.

“I was strolling off, and Tim McGraw is standing there, and he was like, ‘Damn you. I wanted that song,'” Westbrook told Billboard.

“That song” was Little Big Town’s latest single “Happy People.”

Little Big Town got first dibs on the song originally written by Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters, but Westbrook knew that McGraw has had his fair share of McKenna love. She wrote his hit ballad “Humble and Kind.”

“And I said, ‘You got the last one, buddy. We’re even,'” he recalled telling McGraw.

What Westbrook loves about the song, he said, is that it is simple, yet profound. And very timely.

“People’s lives are hectic, and it seems that social media has made it so easy to tear people down with anonymity. People feel free to hurt and drag people down to make themselves feel better for whatever reason, and I’m just tired of that.

“Treat people how you want to be treated,” he said.

And if the band’s message hits home, and the new song wins big at the next round of awards shows, Westbrook will be happy. But he admitted that the trophies aren’t the true end game.

“That stuff’s great, but that’s not why you do these things,” he said.

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