Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum revealed something about “Jesus Take the Wheel” that Carrie Underwood fans may find surprising: she heard the song first, and she nearly recorded it.

There’s no loss of love for the song or the singer of this Top Country Songs of the Century hit, however. Scott explains that she had a development deal with another record label at the time (think pre-Lady A), and among the CDs stacked for her to go through was this Hillary Lindsay co-written demo.

“It was one of my favorites, and then that was all right in the time she was on American Idol ... She was a country artist on American Idol, which was amazing, and that song really spoke to her,” Scott explains. “She goes on to take it and it’s a huge hit and the message of the song is so beautiful.”

“It’s neat to have watched the journey — the journey of that song — because they all have their own," she adds.

“Jesus Take the Wheel” was not Underwood’s Idol coronation song, but it was her first big hit on country radio. Country music has gone through tremendous transitions in the last decade, and Underwood has been at the forefront of that change. Her win, this song and the CMA’s sojourn to New York City in 2005 opened the format to new fans, and nothing has been the same since.

About this list: Taste of Country’s Top Country Songs of the Century were decided by a panel of country music experts and fans using sales and chart data, a song’s social and musical impact and lyrical integrity. Select artists were also surveyed. You’ll hear from several throughout the list.

Hillary Scott Talks About "Jesus Take the Wheel"