Little Big Town returned to the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, where the Grammy-winning group spotlighted their latest single, “Girl Crush.” With the quartet’s Karen Fairchild delivering a sultry lead vocal, the performance was light on instrumentation but heavy on passion, which is already making the song one of the most buzzed-about of the year.
After the performance, Fairchild told DeGeneres that Little Big Town often play the host’s celebrity-guessing game, “Heads Up,” on their bus. But when it came to “Girl Crush,” which was written about a woman who’s envious of another woman because she has all the things she wants, mainly a particular guy, Fairchild says there was little guessing involved.
“I knew as soon as I heard the hook of the first chorus that we had to have this song,” Fairchild told Rolling Stone Country. “I’d never heard a jealousy song written like this. It’s definitely one of the best songs I’ve ever heard and to get to sing it every night is a gift.”
Penned by Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey (collectively known as the Love Junkies), “Girl Crush” is nearing the Top Thirty in country radio airplay. But based on the initial reaction her co-writers had to McKenna’s suggestion of the “Girl Crush” title, it’s a wonder the song made it out of the writing room, let alone to the Ellen stage. When McKenna first tested the title on Rose, “She gave me this look like she just hated it,” McKenna told Rolling Stone Country. Undeterred, the singer-songwriter continued to push the idea. “She said, ‘Lori, shut it down. We’re not writing a song called ‘Girl Crush.'” She didn’t even explain, she just hated it.” McKenna then decided to hit up Lindsey with the title, but Rose remained unconvinced — until Lindsey picked up on the idea and played the first chord and sang the entire first verse.
“After she sang it, Liz said, ‘Oh my god, I love this idea! I get it now, I love it!'” McKenna recalls with a laugh. “So we wrote it pretty quickly. And because Liz hated it so much at first, we thought nobody was going to like the song but us, so we weren’t careful. It’s good for your songwriting soul to write a song that’s just for you and isn’t commercial.”
The second single from the quartet’s Pain Killer album, “Girl Crush” is the follow-up to “Day Drinking,” which hit Number One on the MediaBase country chart.