Bryan Adams started writing "Shine a Light" when both of his parents were in the hospital and he thought he was going to lose both of them. "I was just trying to write something that was a tribute to them," he told the BBC, "and I thought of the idea of shining light everywhere you go."
The Canadian rocker struggled to finish the song until a chance meeting with Ed Sheeran backstage at a gig in Dublin in 2018. They kept in touch and one day he sent him the "Shine a Light" chorus and asked him if he was interested in assisting him in completing it. Sheeran agreed to help and they wrote the song together by email.
Adams said the finished song is optimistic and uplifting and doesn't necessarily have to be about his parents. "It's saying everywhere you go, shine a light - because we are all little lights in our own way."
When "Nothin' On You" reached #1 on the Hot 100, B.o.B became the first American act whose name is a palindrome to top the chart. The other two who did so prior to the Atlanta rapper were both Scandinavian groups - ABBA and A-Ha.