(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
There's no scientific formula for writing a country song. If there was, I imagine we'd all be doing it. But for Chris Young, there is his way, which seems to be working out just fine. And he gave American Songwriter magazine this advice for potential songwriters: "If you're wanting to become a songwriter, start writing as early and as often as possible." But he admits he didn't get a very early start. "While I might have written some lyrics down, the first song I ever wrote and finished was when I was 13. From there, my songwriting grew over time," he says. (He did, though, spend time as a kid looking at CD liner notes to see who wrote what songs.) One of his favorite songs he didn't write is Kenny Chesney's "The Good Stuff," because he loves how it unfolds. "The melody and how the story is crafted, it all goes places you wouldn't expect," Young says. And one of the favorite lines from a song he did write? The lyric -- "Like a hymn in a cathedral hall, watchin' April snowflakes fall" -- from "She's Got This Thing About Her." I'd like to add that the line that comes right before is my favorite of his: "She's the love I've known eternally, that always feels brand new to me."