Elle King Recalls Crying When She Played Her Son Lucky the New Song He Inspired: 'That's for Him'
Matthew Berinato Elle King
Elle King's life as a mom has inspired new music.
The "Ex's & Oh's" singer released her third album, Come Get Your Wife, on Friday — and one of the record's highlights was inspired by her 16-month-old son, Lucky Levi.
The lyrics of "Lucky" chronicle the sometimes tumultuous life King led before finding happiness with fiancé Dan Tooker, a tattoo artist, and becoming a mom after suffering two pregnancy losses.
"I've been a runner / I've been a fighter / I've been the fuse / Hell, I've been the lighter / Taken every wrong turn down the bridges I burned / It's a bad reputation, but it's damn well earned / Gotta thank God that this ol' life ain't fair / There's only one way to explain how I got here / I got lucky," King sings on the poignant track.
RELATED: Elle King Says Being Mom to Son Lucky Has Made Her 'Gentler': Motherhood 'Will F---ing Humble You'
"He knows the 'Lucky' song because the day that I wrote it, I went back [home], and I literally quietly cried while I played it for him on the phone," King, 33, tells PEOPLE of her son. "He was in the studio when we recorded it, and he knows that's his song. He also knows his name, but he knows that that's for him. He recognizes my voice, and it's beautiful to see. He'll go up and put his hand on the speaker."
While this is King's third LP, it's her first full country album. But the move is more a detour than a full-on departure for the Grammy-nominated singer.
Elle King/Instagram Elle King and son Lucky
She found success with the Dierks Bentley duet "Different for Girls" in 2016, which went on to win the CMA award for musical event of the year; she won the 2020 music event of the year ACM award for singing on Miranda Lambert's "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" cover with Caylee Hammack, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris and Tenille Townes; and last year, she and Lambert won video of the year for "Drunk (and I Don't Wanna Go Home)" at the ACMs.
"The Elle King EP, Love Stuff and Shake The Spirit, they all had country songs on them, each one of them," King says of her past projects. "So it's not that crazy. And I also didn't know that being in country gave me so much more freedom. I thought that being stuck in one [genre] would define me; I didn't realize that I would get so much more... room."
King, who now lives in the Nashville area, has always lived between genres, and she feels right at home making country music.
"I have the first pressing of the vinyl, and I put it on the other day — I hadn't actually even listened to it yet — and I was listening to it, just thinking, 'This just sounds like an Elle King album,'" King says. "It happens to be more of a cohesive thing. But I feel like everything, all my different influences, helped me create my version of country and what country sounds like to me, which is everything that I am and everything that I like: poppy, bluesy, southern, soulful, rock and roll — it all kind of just sums it up."