The 254

Trannie Anderson

By Kevin Tankersley

Writing hit music for the stars

One day in October of 2020, Trannie Anderson, Dallas Wilson and Lainey Wilson got together at Dallas’ studio to write a song. They spent just a couple of hours working together, and the result of that songwriting session was “Heart Like a Truck”, recorded by Lainey and released in May 2022.

As of mid-October, the song has been streamed on Spotify more than 108 million times, and the official video on YouTube has racked up more than 45 million views.

In addition to being a commercial success, the song has also been a critical triumph as well. It’s been nominated Single of the Year — that award goes to the singer of the winning song— and Song of the Year, an award dedicated to songwriters. Those awards will be announced on the CMA Awards broadcast, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. on KXXV-Channel 25. Also, Lainey Wilson is up for Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, and her album “Bell Bottom Country”, which contains “Heart Like a Truck”, is up for Album of the Year.

In September, the song was named Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

“We knew it was good,” Anderson said of the song at the end of that writing session in 2020. “We didn’t know how good. For all of us, it’s like you’re writing five or six songs a week, they just start piling up and you don’t know sometimes what the really, really special one is until you live with it for a minute. And I think when [Lainey] started playing it for other people, she just knew it was a song for her.”

Anderson graduated from Midway High School in 2011 and from Baylor University in May 2015 — her parents, Bill and Kyle Stevens, live in McGregor. She moved to Nashville a month later. She worked in retail for a while, and then became a dog sitter to the stars.

“I was the dog sitter for Dan + Shay, and Brett Eldredge and Hunter Hayes,” she said. “I felt like I kind of got my foot in the door in a funny way, because some of these artists, I was living in their homes and taking care of their best friends. So, they really got to know me and trust me, and started asking about my music eventually.”

After about a year-and-a-half in Nashville, Anderson fulfilled a goal she’s had since she was a child when signed a deal with Sony Music Publishing, “the biggest publishing company in the world,” she said. She’s paid a monthly salary to write songs, and she co-owns, with Sony, the songs that she writes.

In addition to Lainey Wilson and her former dog-sitting clients Dan + Shay, Anderson’s songs have been recorded by Meghan Trainor, Reba McEntire, and a whole host of other artists; and have been featured in commercials for T-Mobile, Dodge Ram, Wrangler, Tractor Supply and others.

Award-Winning Music

The talk of a Grammy win for Trannie Anderson might be a bit premature. Even though “Heart Like a Truck”, which Anderson co-wrote, has won numerous awards already, it looks like Lainey Wilson’s song “Watermelon Moonshine”, from the album “Bell Bottom Country”, which also contained “Heart Like a Truck”, is receiving a Grammy push from her record company, BBR.

“‘Heart Like a Truck’ has been pushed for all the other awards,” Anderson said. “I just don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

But Anderson isn’t worried.

“I’d love to get a Grammy nom, but [Lainey] and I work so closely together, and I’m going to be a big part of her next record, I might just have to wait a year to get a chance at that nomination,” she said.