How Bart Millard’s Awkward Dad Moment Became New MercyMe Hit

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Marti Pieper

MercyMe’s inhale (exhale) may be the band’s most collaborative work yet, featuring disco queen Gloria Gaynor on “Brand New” and Rascal Flatts lead vocalist Gary LeVox on “A Little Love” along with other out-of-band writers. But there’s no question which collaborative effort has most captured the heart of lead singer Bart Millard: “On Our Way,” co-written by his son Sam Wesley, 19, who also sings on this track (watch the official lyric video for “On the Way” here).

“We’ve got a few cool features on the album, but that one really means the most to me,” Millard tells host Dr. Steve Greene on a popular episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. He also shares the story of how the song came about—including the awkward dad moment that helped put the song on the album.

“My son was writing with some friends of his … they actually got some publisher that was out there looking for songs for American Idol where they pay a couple hundred dollars, flat rate and no royalties or anything; it feels like a little bit of a scam,” Millard says. “But they heard about the opportunity; they wanted to try to do it.

“And he played me the chorus, and I said, ‘Buddy, this is really good. I don’t know if you should be giving this to the publisher,” Millard explains. “You should hold onto it for another opportunity.”

“And so I was playing it for the band and the label, just bragging on my son, and the label said, ‘Man, you should consider this for the album. It’s really good,'” he says.

And then came the awkward dad moment, Millard says. He had to go back to his son and tell him, “Hey, Daddy likes your song; now Daddy wants your song.”

“So we ended up recording it, and Sam just kind of sang the back half of the demo because I was sick that day,” Millard says. “He wasn’t meant to sing on it, but everyone said, ‘Man, we should leave him on there.’ It was a huge proud moment for me for sure.”

inhale exhale
For more stories behind the songs on MercyMe’s new hit album, inhale (exhale), listen to the entire episode of Greenelines here, and be sure to subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one. Find inhale (exhale) wherever fine music is sold. {eoa}

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