That's Why I Pray

Album: Hillbilly Jedi (2012)
Charted: 82
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the first single released by Big & Rich following a hiatus in which Big Kenny recovered from a neck injury and John Rich released a solo debut album. The song made history when it debuted at # 24 on the Billboard Country chart as it became the highest debut by a duo in the Nielsen BDS era. It overtook Sugarland's "All I Want To Do," which opened at #27 on the tally dated June 7, 2008.
  • Songwriting credits go to Danelle Leverett, Blair Daly and Sarah Buxton.
    Texan native Danelle Leverett is one half of the country duo The JaneDear Girls, whose debut single, "Wildflower" was a hit in 2011. John Rich produced their entire debut album.
    Nashville-based songwriter Blair Daly has had hit singles on many different formats including Country, Top 40 and AC. They include Rascal Flatts' "Stand and " Uncle Kracker's "Smile."
    American Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton released her self-titled debut album in early 2010, which included the hit single "Outside My Window." She has also co-written several songs for Keith Urban, including his 2010 single, "Put You In A Song."
  • This is the only song on Hillbilly Jedi that neither Big Kenny or John Rich contributed to the writing. The duo rarely cut outside songs and Rich told The Boot why they felt compelled to record this one. "That song is what country songs are supposed to be about," he said. "You can't say it any better than that song. I wish we could've written it, but it's OK that we didn't. Two or three years ago, I bought Willie Nelson's box set, which probably had 200 songs on it. I started looking at all the credits, assuming Willie wrote everything he ever sang. But he didn't write 'You were Always On My Mind.' and actually a bunch of other stuff. Same with Johnny Cash, Waylon [Jennings] ... So it dawned on me one day that you don't have to write everything you sing to be a true artist. When you come across a song like 'That's Why I Pray,' it's so special that you need to cut it. I don't care if zoo animals wrote it! You record it because it's such a powerful, special song."

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