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    04/24/14 05:39:30 AM

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Story Behind CMA Song of the Year

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The man who inspired the CMA Song of the Year, "I Drive Your Truck," didn't even know the song was about him until it became a hit.

Paul Monti's son, Jared, was killed in battle in Afghanistan in 2006. To try to deal with the loss, Monti drives his son's truck.

In 2011 during a radio interview, Monti said he drives his son's truck around to keep him close. Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington heard that and immediately wrote it down.

From that note, Harrington and two other songwriters wrote, "I Drive Your Truck" and then country artist, Lee Brice, recorded it a short time later.

Not long after the song reached No. 1, one of Paul Monti's friends, who also lost a son in battle, sent him the song. Monti contacted the songwriters and found out his story was the inspiration for it.

Monti says it is a "very special peaceful feeling" when he drives Jared's truck.

When he learned about the CMA Song of the Year Award, he said it was uplifting and that it gave military families something to hold on to.


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