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Story Behind the Song: Michael Ray, ‘Think a Little Less’

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Thomas Rhett, Barry Dean, Jon Nite and Jimmy Robbins co-wrote “Think a Little Less,” which Michael Ray included on his eponymous freshman album. The song, Ray’s second No. 1 hit, was originally thought to be a song for Rhett — but when Rhett decided not to cut it, he was thrilled to let Ray do so instead.

Below, Ray, along with Robbins and Dean, share the story behind the hit single.

Jimmy Robbins: Barry and I were actually on the road with Thomas at the time … [We were in] Columbus, [Ohio], and Thomas was sleeping in. I wrote “It Goes Like This” for him, and that was on the radio at the time, and so we went out to write. He slept in, and so Barry and I had a little dude date. We drove around Columbus and went to a museum.

Barry Dean: After all the things that we wrote — [and] it went No. 1 four years [later] to the week. Four years to the week that it was written, it went No. 1. That’s an amazing thing.

Robbins: It’s very fun to see a song, and the life of the song, and to know that a good song can win over time. It was very, very cool for me.

Michael Ray: Travis Gordon from Universal played it for us. The first time I heard it and I heard TR singing it, I thought, “He’s obviously going to cut the song.” It was one of the songs you heard and you were like, “This is a hit,” from the demo.

I was like, “Man, I would love to cut the song, but obviously, TR …“ [Gordon] goes, “No, TR’s done cutting,” and I was like, “Then, yes, I want it right now.”

I’ve said this a lot lately, but it’s been the song that I don’t have to introduce anymore. People hear the front riff, and then you see it live … I was just able to, thankfully, be very lucky to be the guy they let take their creation and take it out to the world.

Being able to have a song like that, it’s kind of like — my first concert was Garth Brooks, and when he played the first lick to “Friends in Low Places” — he doesn’t even say anything. He just goes [mimics the opening chords of “Friends in Low Places”], but he does it and the whole place erupts; you don’t even have to say anything. I’m like, “I want one of those.” And for me, “Think a Little Less” is that for me. We play it, and as soon as my guitar player hits it …

It’s changed my whole life; it’s changed our shows.

NEXT: Michael Ray Talks Setlists, Touring and New Music

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