For Thomas Rhett, the COVID-19 pandemic afforded him the opportunity to slow down and get back in touch with the things he loves, but simply hasn't had the time for thanks to his country music career. The title track of his 2021 album Country Again, Side A channels the emotions that came with that time: "Man, it feels good to be country again," he sings in the chorus.

Rhett co-wrote "Country Again" With Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley, but only after keeping the song's title in a list of ideas for quite some time. The larger idea didn't immediately jump out to the artist, he explained to media members ahead of the release of Country Again, Side A.

Below, Rhett shares the story behind "Country Again" in his own words.

I think the word "country" can mean a million things. For me, the word "country" means "simple" -- that would be my favorite synonym for the word. And I think that "Country Again" is that in a nutshell.

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With the year that we had in 2020, I think a lot of us were forced to not do we do for a living and forced to slow down and really forced to recognize, like, what are your blessings in life? And what are you grateful for? And for me, that was my family, and for me, that was the outdoors -- that was getting outside again, going fishing again, going hunting again, going out West and hiking with my family -- like, those are the things that I used to love to do so much, and then life just kind of got in the way.

I think a lot of us have just been grinding without realizing how hard we're actually working, and hard work is great, but I do think, every now and then, you can slow down and just smell the roses for a second. And that's what last year was for me, which is kind of where the inspiration for "Country Again" kind of came from.

I had that idea in my phone for so long and had no idea how to write it. It just looked weird on paper -- like, I was like, what do you even say to this? And I brought it up to Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell, who are two people that I write with a ton, and I'll never forget Ashley saying those first two lines: "I quit huntin' with my daddy / I guess I didn't make the time."

I can say the same thing for a lot of things in my life, and 2020 was the year that I got to go back and make the time for all those things. Hopefully that mindset just kind of transitions into when life gets back to normal as well: We can take a lot of the stuff we learned and transport it into the future and hopefully live a more balanced life.

So that's kind of where the inspiration of that song came from, and I'm just really proud of how that turned out, because I think that song can relate to a lot of people.

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