Parker McCollum's single "To Be Loved By You" began with a comment about his now-fiancée, Hallie Ray Light, and a stream-of-consciousness songwriting session on his tour bus, and ended in a writers' room with songwriter extraordinaire Rhett Akins. The final lyrics, the singer says, are as they came out those days; in fact, Akins cautioned McCollum against messing with what they'd written.

Below, McCollum shares the story behind "To Be Loved By You" — from his debut major-label album, Gold Chain Cowboy — with The Boot, in his own words.

The first verse and chorus, I wrote by myself before I took it to Rhett Akins ... I sat down and hit record on my iPhone and sang [it], just one take, exactly how it came out — just making s--t up ...

[When I started the song], I was actually headed to bus call. We were going on the road ... My merch guy was riding with me in my truck; we were driving to the bus. My girlfriend — who's now my fiancée; she was my girlfriend at the time — we were kind of going through it a little bit. I remember saying out loud, "What does a man have to do to be loved by that girl?"

And he was just kind of like, "Man, you oughta write that down." And I never write anything down. We were about to be at the bus, so I got on the bus, got in the back lounge with a little guitar and just started playing and singing lines and a chorus, and just making stuff up, and exactly that first verse and chorus, how I sang it the very first time out of my mouth is — I never changed anything about it.

And so I just kind of left it at that verse and chorus. And I was writing with Rhett a couple weeks later and didn't want to be co-writing that day, was not really feeling it. And I was just like, "Man, I got this thing I hadn't finished. I'd like to finish it," and we finished that second verse.

I remember him saying that day, when we got done, he's like, "Just don't mess with it. Just leave it as is. Don't touch it." So it's crazy to see that it's climbing the charts now as a single.

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