In 1997, Buddy Jewell was taking his 4-year-old daughter, Lacey, to day care when she spoke the words that struck a chord in her dad's heart. Lacey's sweet, innocent comment inspired "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)," the tune that helped propel Buddy to first place in TV's Nashville Star talent contest. "During our conversation," Buddy recalls, "Lacey says, 'Daddy, I don't think I want to go to heaven.' I wondered where that came from, so just jokingly I told her that she might want to reconsider because that other place didn't have air conditioning."

But Lacey came back with a question. "She asked, 'Daddy, if I go to heaven, will God let me pour out the rain?' It was something that the songwriter in me didn't immediately think what a great hook that was," says Buddy with a warm smile. "But the dad in me went, Wow!"

About a year later, Buddy remembered those words and sat down to write a tune dedicated to his daughter. He completed it in late 1999.

Buddy tried pitching the song to other artists but found no takers. "I started playing it out live and I saw how people reacted to it," says Buddy. "It was then that I thought I'd written a pretty good song."

Trace Adkins thought so, too, and put the song on hold in May of 2002 for his next album. But nearly a year later, Trace's record label reconsidered. That turned out to be perfect timing for Buddy.

"I was in the middle of tryouts for Nashville Star," Buddy explains. "Because Trace had taken the song off hold, I was able to use it in the competition. That was kind of a miracle in itself."

A bigger miracle would soon follow. Buddy won the Nashville Star competition by popular vote among fans and viewers of the show. His prizes included a recording contract along with an album produced by Clint Black.

And the first single out of the box was the very song that captivated the Nashville Star audience, "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)." The label wasted no time getting it out, releasing the tune just two days after Buddy's victory. It eventually peaked in the Top 5.

"People ask me what Lacey's getting out of the song, and I always say the same thing," smiles Buddy. "Her college education!"