The two have been friends since they first connected at a CMA awards after-party in 2014. That night Eldredge won his first CMA for new artist of the year, and Trainor sang “All About That Bass” with Miranda Lambert. Trainor recorded “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on Eldredge’s holiday album, Glow. Eldredge was also in the audience at Trainor’s Nashville No. 1 party for “All About That Bass.”
Before they became household names, both were staff songwriters on Music Row. Some of Eldredge’s first cuts as a rising songwriter were with Trace Adkins, Neal McCoy and Jake Owen. Trainor has No. 1 hits with Rascal Flatts (“I Like the Sound of That”) and Lauren Alaina (“Road Less Traveled”).
“Nashville was so accepting to me as a songwriter when I first got out here when I was 18 years old,” Trainor tells CMT. “I was in co-writes with Luke Laird, and I remember Keith Urban walked out, and I walked in behind him. I was thinking, ‘Man, what is going on?’ In L.A. you could barely get a session with anybody. I remember feeling accepted right away when I moved to Nashville in the songwriting world.”
For those who are interested in following in their footsteps to fame, Eldredge and Trainor want you to know that no path in music can ever be repeated. And there is a lot one can learn from rejection.
“You’re going to get hurt, and that’s OK,” Trainor says. “Everyone gets a little hurt. But you learn from those lessons. You’ve got to fall on your face in order to make it. And I would just say the biggest lesson I learned is write and write and then write more. Keep writing songs. Eventually one of them will take you [where you want to go]. All you need is one. And I had my one song and literally, it’s its own world now.”
“It’s the truth,” Eldredge adds. “I remember times when I would lay in bed at night, and I’d be like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could sleep on a bus right now instead of staring at my ceiling fan?’ Eventually, that came along. You can either get mad about getting knocked down and beat up in this town or you can channel all that anger into writing great songs. That’s what I did.”
Eldredge and Trainor’s hour-long CMT Crossroads premieres Monday (Sept. 3) at 10 p.m. ET.