30 Songs You Didn’t Know Brandy Clark Wrote
Since the early 2000s, Brandy Clark has been writing and recording country music that is infectious, heartfelt and witty. From a young age, she found inspiration from country legends like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. At just nine years old, she began playing the guitar and writing songs of her own. She made her way to Nashville as a teenager to study at Belmont University, but Music City had much bigger plans in mind for Clark.
Her first hit as a songwriter came in 2011 when "Mama's Broken Heart," a tune she co-wrote with Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves, became a smash hit for Miranda Lambert. The following year, Clark released her own self-titled EP which included the punchy single "Stripes." The song was well-received by critics and country fans alike, and led her to record her own debut album 12 Stories. Released in 2013, the record featured Vince Gill and Kacey Musgraves on background vocals, and showcased her immeasurable talents as both a writer and artist in her own right.
Her two most recent albums, 2016's Big Day in a Small Town and 2020's Your Life is a Record, were produced by Jay Joyce and earned widespread critical acclaim. If you aren't familiar with her music as a solo artist, you may be surprised to learn Clark might be the writer behind some of your favorite country hits.
Read on to learn about 30 songs that were penned by Brandy Clark and recorded by other country artists.
"Take Me To Texas"Recorded by George Strait
One of many co-writes with Shane McAnally, "Take Me to Texas" was recorded by George Strait for his surprise 2015 album Cold Beer Conversation. The anthemic tune was also featured as the theme for The History Channel's mini-series Texas Rising, which was released the same year.
"Dear Miss Loretta"Recorded by Carly Pearce ft. Patty Loveless
One of the standout tracks on Carly Pearce's celebrated 2021 album 29: Written In Stone, the aching "Dear Miss Loretta" was co-written by Clark, Pearce and McAnally. The tune, which has become a fan favorite, features one of Pearce's longtime musical heroes, Patty Loveless.
"Ten Year Town"Recorded by Hailey Whitters
Clark teamed up with Hailey Whitters to help her pen "Ten Year Town," an autobiographical tune that captures the frustration and drive that Whitters felt during her long journey to success in the music industry.
"Better Dig Two"Recorded by The Band Perry
Released in 2012, "Better Dig Two" catapulted The Band Perry into a new level of success in country music. The song, which Clark co-wrote with McAnally and Old Dominion's Trevor Rosen, made it to No. 1 on the country charts.
"Songs About Trucks"Recorded by Wade Bowen
Released by Texas country artist Wade Bowen in 2013, "Songs About Trucks" is another Clark and McAnally co-write that pushes back against the bro-country party anthems of the time, with Bowen searching for a sad song to help ease his pain.
"Liar Liar"Recorded by Aubrie Sellers
Written by Clark, Sellers and Jessie Jo Dillon, "Liar Liar" is an edgy, guitar-driven banger that finds alt-country talent Aubrie Sellers calling out a two-timing ex.
"Drunk Americans"Recorded by Toby Keith
Released in 2014 as the lead single from Toby Keith's album 35 MPH Town, "Drunk Americans" cheekily asks for unity through the refreshing welcome of a cold beer.
"Follow Your Arrow"Recorded by Kacey Musgraves
This award-winning breakthrough hit for Kacey Musgraves is just one of the many co-writes Clark penned during the Texas native's early career. Aside from this 2014 anthem, Clark is also credited as a writer on "Late to the Party," "Biscuits," "It Is What It Is," "Dandelion," "This Town," "Miserable," and the heartbreaking holiday tune "Christmas Makes Me Cry."
"We’ll Come Back Around"Recorded by Craig Morgan
Featured on Craig Morgan's 2014 collection The Journey: Livin' Hits, "We’ll Come Back Around" is about the battles you may face during the course of a relationship, and the road that always leads you back to one another.
"Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain"Recorded by Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire's 2019 record Stronger Than the Truth included the heartbreaking cut "Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain." A co-write from Clark, Mark Narmore and Shelley Skidmore, the track name drops some of country's biggest legends to reiterate the pain that the narrator is trying to get through.
"Homecoming Queen"Recorded by Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow recorded "Homecoming Queen" for her 2013 country-centric record Feels Like Home. Written by Clark, McAnally and Luke Laird, the song takes a wistful look back at her younger years and the unexpected challenges that adulthood can bring.
"Unlove You"Recorded by Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles co-wrote "Unlove You" with Clark for her second solo album Playing With Fire, which was released in 2016. The emotional ballad quickly connected with fans and became a Top 25 hit for Nettles.
"Crazy Women"Recorded by LeAnn Rimes
A commentary on how men can sometimes drive women to the edge of sanity, "Crazy Women" was recorded by LeAnn Rimes for her 2010 album Lady & Gentlemen. Clark, who co-wrote with McAnally and Jessie Jo Dillon, recorded her own version of the tune for her own debut album 12 Stories in 2013.
"Come Back to Me"Recorded by Keith Urban
"Come Back to Me" was written by Clark, McAnally and Rosen, and became the ninth track on Keith Urban's 2013 record Fuse. The tune, which features an edgy, pop-leaning sound from Urban, is about asking for a second chance from the one that got away.
"You Can Come Over"Recorded by Craig Campbell
Sometimes the passion between two people creates a flame that's hard to put out. That's the focus of "You Can Come Over," a tune penned by Clark, Dillon and Mark Narmore which Craig Campbell recorded for his 2013 record Never Regret.
"A Beautiful Noise"Recorded by Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile
This powerhouse collaboration between Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile from 2020 drove home an incredibly timely message. Written by Clark, Ruby Amanfu, Linda Perry, Hailey Whitters, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey, the song was a collaborative effort created to help inspire Americans to make their voices count by voting in the 2020 presidential election.
"I Dream In Southern"Recorded by Kaleb Lee ft. Kelly Clarkson
This 2019 track from The Voice contestant Kaleb Lee was penned by Clark, McAnally and Josh Osborne. Featuring Kelly Clarkson, "I Dream In Southern" gives a nod to all the delights that the American South has to offer.
"Make You"Recorded by Lindsay Ell
"Make You" is an incredibly personal and powerful song co-written by Clark and Lindsay Ell. The track taps into the trauma of rape and how to find healing after the fact, something Ell personally experienced at the age of 13. Released on Global Forgiveness Day in 2020, Ell donated proceeds raised from "Make You" to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
"Pray to Jesus"Recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys
Produced by Dave Cobb, The Oak Ridge Boys put their own spin on "Pray to Jesus" for their 2018 album 17th Avenue Revival. "Pray to Jesus" was originally recorded by Clark for her solo album 12 Stories, but The Oak Ridge Boys' version features a rock-infused sound that brings a different feel to the story-song that feels like a narrative sister to Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go Round."
"Voodoo Doll"Recorded by Ashley McBryde
The fifth track on Ashley McBryde's celebrated 2020 record Never Will is a dark, poetic look at the mixed feelings that can bubble up after suspicions of cheating are proven to be true.
"Love Without You"Recorded by Darius Rucker ft. Sheryl Crow
This collaboration from Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow was recorded for Rucker's 2013 country record True Believers. "Love Without You" is a true Clark/McAnally cut through and through, using catchy and relatable lyrics to tackle the often complicated feelings of heartbreak.
"Bad Girl Phase"Recorded by Sunny Sweeney
Written by Clark, Dillon and Shannon Wright, "Bad Girl Phase" served as the first single from Sunny Sweeney's 2014 record Provoked. The track provides an anthem for any woman who's ready to cut loose and have a little fun, even if unfair societal expectations label it as taboo.
"In The Mean Time"Recorded by Hayes Carll
Hayes Carll wrote "In The Mean Time" with Clark for his critically acclaimed 2021 record You Get It All. Clark, who also provides vocals on the track, taps into classic country duets of the 60s and 70s. Through honest and heartbreak-tinged lyrics, the pair find themselves trying to make a marriage work while navigating through conflict.
"Shuteye"Recorded by Sam Williams
Written by Clark, Sam Williams and Jason Gantt, "Shuteye" is an aching examination of the pain of loss that can bubble up when the sun goes down.
"Burnin' Bed"Recorded by David Nail
One of the highlights from David Nail's 2014 record I'm A Fire is "Burnin' Bed," which was written by Clark, McAnally and Bob DiPiero. Once again, the songwriters take a look at the messy excitement of a connection between two lovers that can't be controlled, which is elevated by Nail's soulful vocals.
"Tryin' to Go to Church"Recorded by Ashton Shepherd
"Tryin' to Go to Church" is the eight track on Ashton Shepherd's 2011 record Where Country Grows. Shepherd co-wrote the tune with Clark and McAnally, creating a cheeky nod to honky tonkin' Saturday nights that make those early treks to Sunday morning worship services more challenging than expected.
"Get Outta My Yard"Recorded by Gretchen Wilson
Recorded by Gretchen Wilson for her 2013 record Right on Time, "Get Outta My Yard" was co-written by Clark, McAnally and Musgraves. Filled with attitude, the song finds Wilson telling off a lover who's begging for another chance.
"Christmas Cards"Recorded by Tenille Townes
Clark brings a nostalgic twist to the typical holiday them with her expertly written song "Christmas Cards," which Tenille Townes recorded for her 2021 record Songs for Christmas.
"Bad Car"Recorded by Terri Clark
Cut by Terri Clark for her 2014 album Some Songs, "Bad Car" reflects on the emotional connection we can form with a vehicle that's been there through all of the bumps and unexpected curves we go through in life.
"Last Night's Makeup"Recorded by Grits & Glamour (Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis)
"Last Night's Makeup," another clever gem from Clark, McAnally and Dillon, was released in 2013. Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, who perform as a duo under the moniker Grits & Glamour, cut the tune for their debut independent record Dos Divas.