Lindsay James Supported Husband Ricky Hague While He Played MLB — but a Country Career Awaited Her
Road trips have always been a way of life for Lindsay James. Every summer, James and her siblings would jump into the family van and travel from Houston to Los Angeles to see family. Sometimes, they would stay closer to home for camping trips. And as the wife of former MLB player Ricky Hague, James spent years traveling the country to his baseball games to watch him follow his dreams.
But now, it's time she follows a few of hers.
Indeed, much of James' life has been spent in the backseat watching the world go by her window. But following Hague's retirement from baseball in 2016, James made the decision to stop putting her dreams on the backburner. And with the release of her road trip-worthy single "Behind," James is quickly proving that her dreams may be just beginning.
"I have never felt like this," says James about the song that serves as her first new release since her 2020 single "Island of Heaven" and debut EP Pick Me. "It's not that I've never felt happy before about the music I've released, but with this song, I've never felt more like myself."
In the music video exclusively premiering on PEOPLE, James took this feeling and traveled with a close-knit group of friends to Savannah, Georgia, where the goal was relatively simple.
"We just wanted to go and have a really great time," says James with a laugh. "We wanted the video to have this feeling of, as long as you have enough money to fill your gas tank, you can take a step away from reality. Sometimes you got to let things be and step away from them and think about the positive. It's so easy to focus on the negative sometimes. I have to intentionally remind myself to have a sunny state of mind."
Music has long helped in that process for James, who has been surrounded by it for her entire life. Her uncle serving as a drummer for a band and her family was very involved in the church. Yet things turned up a notch when James, now 33, was given a guitar by her dad when she was just a teen. He went on to teach her a few chords. But from there, she was on her own.
"I learned by ear," remembers James, who played music live for the first time during her junior high talent show. "I would be in my room for hours after school and just playing Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat. I also loved Mariah Carey because of her melodies. I would just sit and want to learn every single one of them."
But life often goes in new directions, and soon James found herself in love with Hague, who she first met in sixth grade at a church camp.
"I never saw him again until we were 20 years old, and he was playing baseball at Rice University," she says of her husband, who would go on to play professional baseball in the major leagues for seven years with the Nationals. "I already had music in full force in my head. I knew it was what I wanted to do. When we started dating, he would listen to me sing in the car and he would just be like, 'Oh my gosh, you sound better than people on the radio.' He was the one that kind of was the catalyst of building that confidence to make all of this a reality for me. But once he got drafted, I supported him in his dreams to play baseball."
Nevertheless, James kept her toes in the music industry, constantly looking for ways to connect with people who could help her dreams come true once the time was right.
"My husband's last game was August 21st of 2016 and the very next day, we already had a U-Haul packed," she says with a slight laugh. "We actually pulled our Jeep behind the U-Haul and drove the U-Haul to Nashville. I knew like four people here. But I was really dead set on moving to Nashville and planting these little, tiny seeds. And then, throughout the years, I'd let those seeds get sunlight and water, and I would end up building a brand and build connections with people."
And just when all of this started happening, so did a pandemic that put a stop to just about everything.
"I was not only going through everything that the pandemic brought, but I was also going through other personal things with some friendships and business relationships," she remembers. "I would call my dad and he would tell me to focus on the good and to leave the bad behind me."
And it was this advice that served as the lyrical backbone of "Behind."
"I want to write something lighthearted, where people that are going through something difficult would realize that while you can't run from your problems, you can keep looking forward and pushing past it," says James of the song she co-wrote back in April alongside Jared Scott, Luke Preston and Sam Martinez. "Growing as a songwriter and being able to collaborate with my co-writers to bring this idea to life the way it was brought to life for me just makes me so happy."
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