Parker McCollum’s a happily engaged man these days, but his upcoming album, Gold Chain Cowboy, includes at least one song inspired by a more tumultuous time in his love life. 

That’s “To Be Loved by You,” Parker’s plaintive current single, a song that wonders why a relationship has to be so hard. Parker put out the song at the beginning of 2021, but he wrote it much earlier, during a rocky period of his relationship with his now fiancée, Hallie Ray Light.

“She did inspire the song,” Parker admits during a new interview with Apple Music’s Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen

“Her and I were going at it at the time, and she was in Oklahoma and I was in Texas, and I would go on the road,” Parker continues. “I said out loud, ‘What does a man have to do to be loved by you?’ Out of frustration. And my buddy Lane, who I was with, was like, ‘I think you should write that down.’”

It’s an especially personal song on a track list full of personal songs. “I lived them all, for sure,” Parker notes.

Gold Chain Cowboy arrives on Friday. The 10-track collection also features Parker’s first-ever number-one hit, “Pretty Heart.”

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