The last few months have been a whirlwind for country music sensation Thomas Rhett. After scoring his 19th career No.1 with “Slow Down Summer” (May 31), he sent his feel-good anthem “Half Of Me” featuring Riley Green to Country Radio.
As the playful single dominates airwaves nationwide, the country crooner sat down with Big Machine Label Group to dish on the writing process behind “Half Of Me.” The up-tempo track lives on Rhett’s recently released sixth studio album, “Where We Started.”
Within “Half Of Me,” Rhett and Green deliver a narrative about a man who would rather sip on a cold beer, than check boxes off a long-running to-do list. While the two hitmakers rattle off responsibilities in their deep southern twang – electrifying guitar riffs, finger snaps, and light percussion drive the ear-worthy drinking song.
“‘Half of Me’ was I think the quickest song that I’ve ever written,” he shared. “I remember being on the road with my dad, Josh Thompson and Will Bundy. And it was right after we had written the song called ‘To the Guys that Date My Girls,’ and we were debating, do we wanna go get lunch?”
While toying with the decision, Rhett mentioned that he casually asked Thompson if he wanted to hit the gym. Thompson’s quick response, placed Rhett’s creative wheels in motion and inspired the lyrics to “Half of Me.”
“I remember Josh walkin’ off the bus. I was like, ‘Man, I might get a quick workout in if you want to work out with me.’ And Josh was like, ‘Man, half of me wants to drink a cold beer, and so does the other half,’” the megastar recalled. “I remember it was like, ‘We have to go write that right now.’ So, we went on the bus, and we literally sat there for 35 minutes, and this song just fell out,” he added.
The group penned the track while out on the road in Cincinnati, Ohio. The hitmaker shared with New Country 96.3 that adding Green’s distinctive sound on the track was a no-brainer.
“The first time I heard this song, I just kept seeing Riley Green being a part of this song, and I’ve gotten to know Riley pretty good over the last couple years. We’ve become good hunting buddies and just a good friend to know,” he explained to the outlet. “And he drove up from Alabama and put his vocal on this song, and we had a good time cracking up about vocals, and I think he nailed this thing in like three takes.”
When Green received the phone call from Rhett, he said he immediately jumped on the opportunity.
“When Thomas called me about doing ‘Half Of Me’ I remember the first time I heard the song, I thought it was an awesome summer song, a beer drinkin’ song. I was kind of sold from the first moment,” Green pointed out. “Thomas Rhett always puts out great songs, and I was excited when he asked me to sing on this one. It’s going to be a fun beer-drinking song for the summer.”
“Half of Me” is not the first track that they joined forces on, as Rhett had a hand in penning “That Was Us.” The love song featuring breakout star Jessi Alexander is included in Green’s 2021 collection, “Behind The Bar.” The country heartthrobs performed “Half of Me” on live television during the 2022 CMT Music Awards.