Despite it becoming one of the most popular country love songs of the 2010s, Thomas Rhett’s wife Lauren was not thrilled when he went to record “Die a Happy Man.” She's a fan of the multi-platinum, multi-award-winning No. 1 single — but of one specific version.

“I remember when we wrote ‘Die a Happy Man’ and ‘Sixteen,’ the demos that we did were straight up, just like, out-of-tune electric guitar and a drumbeat. My wife grew to love them so much, and she got really mad when we produced them,” Rhett told Taste of Country and other media at a recent roundtable in Nashville. “I remember her calling my producer and being like, ‘You can’t go cut ‘Die a Happy Man.’ It has to be that terrible demo.’ I was like, this song will never work if we put it on the radio like that [Laughs].”

Rhett's final vision of "Die a Happy Man" did work, as he racked up accolades in 2016 and 2017 for Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, Single of the Year from the CMA, Male Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards and more. However, he notes that he highly value his wife's opinion of his music, as well as that of his two young daughters, Willa Gray and Ada James.

"My wife is the first one to go, 'That’s not my favorite,' or, 'That’s one of my favorite songs you’ve ever written,'" Rhett says. "My kids are about the best A&R team that I can have, my kids and wife. Because they’re for sure gonna tell you if that song’s terrible or that song's good. Like, if Willa Gray wants to listen to a song six times in a row, maybe it should have a shot?"

"I do listen to a lot of opinions," he concludes, "and at the end of the day, I take all those decisions and put them in a pot and try to make decisions for myself."

As for if the public will ever hear that original demo of "Die a Happy Man," Rhett says with a laugh, “I hope not. I sang the vocal at 2:30 in the morning after a lot of cocktails."

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