Talent Recap

Shane McAnally: 10 Facts About the ‘Songland’ Mentor and Country Hitmaker


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Songland is bringing to light to a side of the music industry most people have never seen before. But Shane McAnally is all too familiar with it! The songwriter and mentor on the show has an astonishing 40 country #1 hits and an impressive resume to back it up.

Let’s take a look at 10 facts about the man behind the music, Shane McAnally.


1. Shane is (unsurprisingly) from Texas.

Shane McAnally was born on October 12, 1974. He is from the small town of Mineral Wells, Texas, outside of Fort Worth.

2. He appeared on Star Search as a kid.

Shane began performing in Texas when he was 12. At 14, he appeared on Star Search, singing Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch.” That experience prompted him to move to Branson, Missouri, the next year, then Nashville at age 19.


3. Shane had a solo music career.

Before he was well-known for his songwriting, Shane McAnally had a solo music career. In 1999, he recorded his first album with Curb Records. His first single, “Say Anything,” peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The follow-up single, “Are Your Eyes Still Blue,” became his first top 40 single shortly after. The song peaked at #31.

4. He moved to LA in the early 2000’s.

Shane moved to LA in the early 2000’s to pursue his music career. While there, he composed six songs for an independent film. He also came out as gay during his time living in LA.

5. Shane moved back to Nashville in 2007.

When Shane returned to Nashville in 2007, his songwriting career took off. The next year, Lee Ann Womack released one of his songs, “Last Call.” That single put his name on the map. From that point on, he began songwriting and producing for artists such as Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Scotty McCreery, Kelly Clarkson, Sam Hunt, and basically every country artist you can think of.


6. “Mama’s Broken Heart” was written about his mom.

When talking about the inspiration behind Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Shane revealed that it’s about his own mom! Growing up in the South, the focus was on looking good and appearing happy. People were encouraged to not let their emotions show and to hide their negative feelings from everyone else. His song challenges that idea and basically says that times have changed now.

7. Shane has won three Grammys and had 40 #1 country hits.

There’s no doubt Shane McAnally is an accomplished songwriter. The awards speak for themselves! Shane has won Best Country Song Grammys for “Merry Go Round” and “Space Cowboy” and Best Country Album awards for “Same Trailer Different Park.” All these awards came from his work with Kacey Musgraves. But aside from that, he also has 40 #1 hit country songs in his discography. That’s an impressive number!


8. He has been named “Songwriter of the Year” multiple times by different organizations.

Shane has been named Songwriter of the Year by basically every country organization in existence. He won the title from the Academy of Country Music in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019; the AIMP Nashville Awards in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019; and Billboard named him the Hot Country Songwriter of the Year in 2015. His track record is unprecedented.

9. Shane is the co-president of Monument Records.

Shane joined Jason Owen in early 2015 to relaunch Monument Records. Monument was the label of big stars in the 1970’s and 1980’s like Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Billy Grammer, and Ray Orbison. Little Big Town and Dixie Chicks were also signed to it in the late 1990’s. He and Jason serve as co-presidents of the iconic record label’s revival.


10. Shane was married by the Nashville mayor.

In September 2012, Shane married his partner, Michael Baum. They had a daughter and son in December 2012. In January of 2017, the couple was legally married by Nashville mayor Megan Barry.

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