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Rooted in Country: Hailey Whitters on The Chicks' 'Wide Open Spaces'

Iowa native Hailey Whitters was raised on '90s country. With songs like "Ten Year Town" and "Janice at the Hotel Bar," the singer-songwriter is making the kind of heartfelt country music songwriters like Gretchen Peters and Matraca Berg wrote for Martina McBride, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood and more.

Whitters, who released her new album Living the Dream (a deluxe edition of her 2020 album The Dream) on Feb. 26, said she first fell in love with songwriting while listening to a song about new beginnings -- The Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces."

"I remember hearing it for the first time in my moms car waiting outside the post office," Whitters tells Wide Open Country. "It unveiled this whole new world of country music to me, and it's the first song that turned me onto songwriting. It's been a constant soundtrack in my life, from that first time as a young girl, to riding around with my friends in my high school truck, to nudging me along on that first drive 9 hour to Nashville to chase country music. It's always made me feel like no matter where I was comin' from, I could take on anything this world had to offer."

Read More: Hailey Whitters, Little Big Town Share New Song 'Fillin' My Cup'

Since moving to Nashville, Whitters has penned songs for Alan Jackson, Little Big Town and more and collaborated with her childhood heroes, such as Trisha Yearwood, who's featured on Whitters' "How Far Can It Go?"

Living the Dream is available for purchase here.

'The Dream' Track List

"Ten Year Town"
"The Days"
"Red Wine & Blue"
"Dream, Girl"
"Loose Strings"
"Heartland"
"Janice at the Hotel Bar"
"Happy People"
"The Devil Always Made Me Think Twice"
"All the Cool Girls"
"The Faker"
"Living the Dream"

'Living the Dream' Track List

"Fillin' My Cup" (featuring Little Big Town)
"Glad to Be Here" (featuring Brent Cobb)
"How to Break a Heart" (featuring Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey)
"How Far Can it Go?" (featuring Trisha Yearwood)
"The Ride" (featuring Jordan Davis)

Now Watch: 'Me & Bobby McGee': The Story Behind the Song

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