Faith Hill and Victoria Shaw (singer-songwriter)
Shaw on Hill: We started hanging out when she was the receptionist at the publishing company I was writing for. She was just adorable and delightful. We became fast friends. Her first album came out at the time we were rooming together, so she was on the road a lot, doing promotion. One night the two of us were sitting on the couch in our sweatpants, watching the CMA Awards, and she said, ‘One day, we’ll be up there.’ The following year, she won.”
Dierks Bentley, Fielding Logan (manager, Q Prime South) and Jay Williams (partner/co-head, WME Nashville offices)
Where: Green Hills
Logan on Bentley and Williams: My first job in town was at the Station Inn. Dierks was finishing up his degree, and he and his college friends were there every Tuesday night. One thing led to another, and we ended up living together. There was singing and playing a ton of bluegrass, and going down to the Inn to watch Steve Earle or Del McCoury. Jay had a bluegrass band of his own, so there was a lot of picking going on.
Chris Stapleton and Erin Enderlin (singer-songwriter)
Where: Green Hills
Enderlin on Stapleton: Me and another girl lived upstairs, and Stapleton had a bachelor apartment in the basement. I figured out real quickly that Chris and I are really socially awkward. We would walk into the kitchen at the same time and immediately apologize to each other: "Oh, I’m so sorry, I’ll just come back later!" I remember sitting in bed at night, listening to Chris playing through the air conditioner vents, thinking, "One day, people are going to be really jealous of this."
Luke Bryan and Dallas Davidson (songwriter)
Where: Nippers Corner
Davidson on Bryan: One Sunday we were sitting on the couch, and Luke looked over at me and said, "Man, I think we’ve about gotten too old to be roommates." I looked back at him and said, "Buddy, I’m glad you brought it up, because I was thinking about the same thing." He’d gotten a girlfriend, I’d gotten a girlfriend, so we were both looking at each other pretty much going, "Uh, we need to talk. …" He ended up buying that house.
Brett Eldredge, Seth England (partner, Big Loud) and Lee Krabel (senior creative director, Smacksongs)
When: 2007-08 (Eldredge), 2008-11 (England)
Krabel on Eldredge and England: We definitely benefited through our friendship. Brett had an internship at UMG Nashville, Seth was interning at Big Loud Shirt Publishing, and I was interning for a management company that repped Little Big Town at the time. We were all taking each other to big events, helping get each other’s names out there.
Neil Mason (The Cadillac Three) and Austin Jenckes (songwriter-manager)
Where: Sylvan Park
Jenckes on Mason: The first co-write I ever did in my life was with Neil. I came to Nashville on a Sunday night. That Monday morning, we wrote a song. On Wednesday, he texted me to come over to his house to write more. Six months later, I moved in. If I didn’t have any money and was struggling, he’d let me sing a couple of demos for him and just take that off the rent. Every single person that I’ve met [in Nashville] connects back to Neil. He was my first publisher and is my manager now.
This article originally appeared in the June 1 issue of Billboard.