The lyrics to Tim McGraw's tune 'Halo' were crafted several years ago by hit songwriters Jedd Hughes and Luke Laird (who is one of the five tunesmiths up for the 2012 ACM Songwriter of the Year award). Once McGraw picked up the song, it became a staple in his shows throughout 2011, where he used the tune as the concert opener night after night.

"I haven't written with Jedd in a while, but we used to do night writes, where he would come over at night during the week, after dinner," Laird tells Taste of Country. "We wrote four or five songs that way. I really like him. The stuff we wrote wasn't necessarily commercial. We always thought no one would cut them, but we thought they were good songs.

"I remember when we were writing 'Halo,' neither of us had an idea or a title," continues Laird. "We just were mumbling lines ... what sounds good, and came up with the chorus."

"Baby, I'll let go when you say so / Try to let your heart fly free / I'll crawl out of my cradle / Down in to my black hole / And you just lay low / Under your halo," they wrote in the lyrics to the chorus.

"So we wrote from there, filling in the blanks, and created this song," recalls Laird.

"Let's just cut it down the middle / Let it bleed and bleed out / I'll clean up the mess, baby / You stand there and shout / Cry, cry / Baby, I can't hold us together / Paint me in a corner / Cover me with rage / I'll take it like a circus lion / Silent in my cage / Cry, cry / Baby, I can't change the weather," they wrote in the opening verses.

"Not long after, Beyonce released her song 'Halo,'" adds Laird with a smile. "We thought, oh no ... people will think we copied her and nobody will record ours -- not that there haven't been other songs with the same title before. But her song was huge. When we heard that Tim wanted to cut it, we were like, wow! We didn't expect it. But Tim will always take chances on songs."

"Tim is such a superstar," says Laird, who is also a co-writer on several chart-topping hits for many of today's hottest stars, including Eric Church, Rodney Atkins and Carrie Underwood. "When I tell my family that I have a Tim McGraw cut, they know who that is ... they think I'm pretty cool when I tell them that kind of stuff [laughs]!"

Watch Tim McGraw Perform 'Halo' Live