Before becoming a CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year and one-half of one of country music's royal couples, Miranda Lambert was one of countless aspiring singers hoping to catch a break on the reality series 'Nashville Star.'

The competition was not only responsible for catapulting the perky young blonde into country music superstardom, but was also the uniting force behind her successful songwriting partnership with fellow contestant Travis Howard, who tells The Boot about teaming up with Lambert and Ashley Monroe to write 'Heart Like Mine.'

"Miranda and I started writing together almost immediately when we met in 2003 on the set of 'Nashville Star,'" Howard recalls. "We fought like the Hatfields and McCoys, but we were both just drawn to each other's interests and writing style."

The dynamic creative union eventually produced three songs on Lambert's debut album, 'Kerosene,' and six cuts on the singer's sophomore effort, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,' including the feisty title track and the Top 15 single 'Famous in a Small Town.'

"By the time we wrote 'Heart Like Mine,' Miranda and I had a pretty worked-out writing style," Howard explains. "Ashley and I hadn't actually worked together, but we had met when I was singing on some demos for her in Los Angeles."

The songwriter vividly recalls the day he and his co-writers sat down to write the single from Lambert's 'Revolution' album.

"The Lamberts used to do a family river float every summer in South Texas, and I always went," Howard says. "One afternoon, between drinking and floating, [Lambert and Monroe] came out of a cabin and said, 'Hey, we started this song, but we can't find a good way through the chorus.'"

The ladies approached him with the first line of the chorus and gave their male co-writer the daunting challenge of finishing the song. Howard recalls Lambert saying, "Great, we each wrote a verse, so the last one and the bridge are on you."

"Writing with Miranda is either easy as pie or impossible," Howard quips. "This song was joyous."

The songwriter also got emotional while writing one particular line.

"I actually teared up as I was writing the line, 'He'll meet me with long-stemmed glasses / Let's make a toast to me coming home,'" he admits.

The end result was Lambert's second No. 1 single as an artist and Howard and Lambert's first chart-topper together.

"Miranda and Ashley are both forces of nature as writers," says Monroe. "I believe that they're changing the sound of country music and preserving its integrity at the same time. I'm lucky to count them as my friends and even luckier to get to work with them."

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