When Hardy suggested the song idea "The Worst Country Song of All Time" to Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Phelps and Will Weatherly during a songwriters' retreat in Texas, none of them took it seriously. They laughed about it and laughed it off ...

... and then, they found themselves joking their way into a song.

Upon its completion, Gilbert asked Hardy to sing the song with him "if we get a wild hair and decide we're actually going to cut this." They'd written a piece of the song with Toby Keith in mind, too, but that was "a pipe dream" — and yet, Keith said yes.

Below, Gilbert, Hardy and Keith share the story behind "The Worst Country Song of All TIme."

Brantley Gilbert: We took a big group of songwriters to Texas to do a writing retreat and work on this new record. In one of the sessions, we sat down — it was me, Hardy, Hunter Phelps and Will Weatherly.

Hardy threw the idea out and said, "Man, I’ve had this idea for "The Worst Country Song of All Time."" You know, it was a big joke — we laughed about it, kind of laughed it off, and before we knew it, we were writing it ...

Hardy: I had that title in my notes, and I walked in, and we threw out a few ideas, and I said, "Look, I've got this stupid idea, but what if we wrote "The Worst Country Song of All Time" and make everything about it just the most repulsive-to-a-country-music-fan stuff ever?"

And it was the most fun we've ever had. We thought it would be funny to address, like, "and the verse is ..." you know, and "the chorus is." There were so many ideas that didn’t make the song ...

It was truly one of the most fun writing sessions I’ve ever had. It was just a pleasure, and I’m so happy that Brantley had me on it, and I’m excited to see what it does.

Toby Keith: Brantley called me — he toured with us back in the day. He called and asked me if I'd like to be involved in it, and since I’ve been involved in some of the best country songs of all time, I thought it’s fitting that I should be involved in one of the worst.

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