Everyone's heard the adage "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." The Nashville equivalent is when life brings you heartache, turn it into hits.
That's exactly what Rossville native Lauren Alaina has done with her new album, "Sitting Pretty on Top of the World," which dropped Sept. 3. This is her third full-length album following 2017's "Road Less Traveled" and last year's EP "Getting Over Him."
"I went through two life-changing breakups," the singer said during a phone interview. "'The Road Less Traveled' was about becoming a woman. This one is about being one and the heartbreak that comes with it."
"It's about a dreamer becoming an achiever. It's being broken and ending up healed. It's all of me. The early chapters. The new beginnings. The hope for the future and total appreciation for the past. Taking 'The Road Less Traveled' and ending up 'Sitting Pretty on Top of the World,'" she describes in a news release.
"Sitting Pretty's" 15 tracks, of which she co-wrote 14, range from introspective "It Was Me" to the no-strings-attached, looking-for-a-good-time single "Getting Over Him" with Jon Pardi. That single is one of two duets she previously released that is included on this album. The other is the poignant ballad "What Do You Think Of" with Lukas Graham, which climbed to No. 4 on country digital charts.
"The opportunity to work with Lukas came to me, and we were looking for someone to partner with out of Nashville. I'm a big fan of his voice. I sent him a couple of songs and he loved that one ("What Do You Think Of"). He recorded his part in Denmark."
Her collaborators on "Sitting Pretty" include award-winning Nashville songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose, aka The Love Junkies (Carrie Underwood's "Cry Pretty," Little Big Town's "Girl Crush.") Among others listed as co-writers are Emily Weisband, David Garcia, Jens Carlsson, Asia Whiteacre and Ben Johnson.
"Liz Rose was one of the first people I wrote with 10 years ago when I got to town," says the singer. "I've written with all three of them for years. They've always been really supportive."
"Sitting Pretty" also includes a duet with her friend and mentor Trisha Yearwood. Alaina says the two met backstage at an awards show and bonded over their mutual love of fast food.
"I talked about I couldn't wait to get fast food after the show because I had been living on salads (in the days leading up to the event)," Alaina recalls. That friendship led to the Rossville singer being invited to appear in an episode of Yearwood's Food Network cooking show in which the two of them cooked at Trisha's home then worked the drive-through window at a fast-food joint in Nashville.
"She said she would love to collaborate sometime, so I called her a week later and she agreed to do a duet on 'Getting Good,'" Alaina says. "Trisha also wrote the foreword for my book."
That book, " Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be," (Nelson, Thomas Inc.) is scheduled for release Nov, 23.
"Sitting Pretty" is produced by Paul DiGiovanni, except for the track "Getting Good," which was produced by David Garcia.
Fans of the country singer have also been anticipating this week for another reason: her debut as the ingenue in a Hallmark movie.
"Roadhouse Romance" premieres on Saturday, Sept. 11. Alaina plays Callie, an Army lieutenant who returns home from a tour of duty to find things have changed. Her late grandfather's barbecue joint is struggling and her boyfriend has moved on.
She is paired with veteran Hallmark Channel actor Tyler Hynes in the romcom. His character is a TV director passing through town who teaches her to look forward instead of back.
"I'm excited I get to sing two of the songs on my new album in the movie," Alaina says.
She is the second actress with local ties to be featured in the Hallmark movie roster, the first being Rachel Boston of Signal Mountain.
Email Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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