H.O.L.Y.

Album: Dig Your Roots (2016)
Charted: 14
  • The lead single from Dig Your Roots, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley both passed on the song the first time they heard it. "Man, this song - it's a song that came in, kinda last minute I would say. We were already halfway into recording the album," Hubbard recalled to ABC News Radio. "The song came in, me and BK gave it half a listen, probably not even to the chorus and said, 'Nah, that's not really us. We're gonna pass.'"

    However, the FGL duo couldn't get the song out of their heads. "A couple weeks later, we just were both kinda like, 'Have you been listening to that "H.O.L.Y.," that song?' Sure enough, we were both like, 'Man, we gotta cut this! This is a special song," he remembered. "We both kind of fell in love with it over those few weeks of living with it, you know, and realized the power. Sometimes a song doesn't hit you right away, you know. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to actually get deep enough into the song to realize the power of that song."
  • The title of the piano-driven reverential love song stands for "High on Loving You."

    The busbee (P!nk, Jason Adlean, Lady Antebellum), Nate Cyphert (Bridgit Mendler, Zara Larsson) and William Larsen' (Jessie J) penned tune is a heartfelt expression of both vulnerability and strength in love. The songwriters also use religious imagery to describe the deep feelings for this "angel" of a woman.
  • The music video was directed by TK McKamy (Thomas Rhett, Maddie & Tae) and filmed at The Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Melbourne, Australia. Both of the duo's wives, Brittney Cole Kelley and Hayley Hubbard, appear in the clip.
  • The track was FGL's fifth country #1. "Seth England, our manager, sent us the song, and we knew it was a big one," Tyler Hubbard told Billboard magazine. "We just weren't sure it was for us. After listening a lot, we knew it was the exact direction we wanted to go. There were three instances where our wives asked us about 'H.O.L.Y.,' and when we said we were considering it for FGL, they said we had to cut it. We feel like the song is anointed."
  • Co-writer Nate Cyphert is originally from Long Island. He had been living in Southern California for roughly a year when he came up with the song title. "I was driving through the hills and was in awe of all the mountains and all of that," he recalled to Billboard magazine. "I don't know exactly where it came from, but I just had this idea for 'high on loving you.' I was thinking of all the things that associate with love in the highest form, and I came up with 'H.O.L.Y.' ('High On Loving You') as an acronym. I walked into the session, and it was the first thing I proposed to them as an idea."
  • The song was originally pitched to some pop acts and Justin Bieber flirted with the tune, but didn't cut it. Eventually BMG Music Nashville senior director of creative Sarah Knabe got to hear it and she sent the demo on to FGL's manager, Seth England. The rest is history.

    "I had never thought of it as a song for a country artist," admitted co-writer Busbee to Billboard magazine.
  • The choice of song to lead FGL's third record couldn't be more apt. "We got our start playing guitar and singing in church, and also writing love songs," said Kelley. "Our album and tour name is Dig Your Roots, and this couldn't be more digging our roots."
  • The song has become a crowd favorite at FGL gigs. "It's a spiritual thing for a lot of people, you can tell," Hubbard told Taste of Country. "We sing and grown men look like they're worshiping in the middle of an FGL show."
  • This was named Single Record of the Year at the 2017 ACM Awards.
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