Parker McCollum has some serious words of praise for Miranda Lambert.

The rising country star teamed up with a few heavy hitters — including Lambert — to write for his upcoming debut album, Gold Chain Cowboy. The "Mama's Broken Heart" hitmaker has a credit on a track called "Falling Apart," co-written with Jon Randall and Randy Rogers. Both McCollum and Lambert hail from Texas originally, and he says he's been a longtime fan of the superstar's work.

He opened for Lambert on her 2020 Wildcard Tour, for a handful of dates before the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That made him even more of a fan of hers, due to some of the interactions they had. Now, she's a friend.

"I call her the Dolly Parton of my generation," McCollum gushes of Lambert to Taste of Country Nights. "I think she's a phenomenal talent. And then getting to know her, she's such a normal, regular person when you're around her. You'd never know she's a superstar."

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There had been talks for years of the two writing together, and that dream became reality when McCollum was working on his full-length album. He came into the writers' room with a song idea that Lambert loved, which lead to the creation of "Falling Apart."

"She really liked it, and we chased it, and it was cool," McCollum notes of the process.

In addition to the multi-Grammy winner, McCollum also had the opportunity to write with Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line and Rhett Akins for this project. Kelley is a co-writer on the album's closing track, "Never Loved You at All," while Akins helped the newcomer pen "To Be Loved by You."

"Brian's a super sweet guy. We had a really good time. We were feeling really good when we wrote that song," McCollum recalls, adding that Akins, too, is a "great guy" with whom he has written a lot with over the years. Akins, he says, is known as much in writing circles for his ability to chew a bag of tobacco in the span of two hours as he is his hit songwriting capabilities.

"That's worth coming to see just in itself," McCollum quips. Gold Chain Cowboy is set for release on July 30.

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