Chart-Topping Nashville Songwriter Matt McGinn Arrested On Felony And Misdemeanor Charges

McGinn has written songs recorded by Kane Brown, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, and many others.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 30, 2023


8:37 pm

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Matt McGinn; Promo Photo

Chart-topping songwriter Matthew McGinn, also known as Matt McGinn, was arrested on two felony charges as well as one misdemeanor charge on Saturday, October 28 in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a court document obtained by Country Now via  

Who Has Matt McGinn Written Songs For?

McGinn, who has written songs recorded by Kane Brown, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Dustin Lynch, and many others, was booked on the following charges: kidnapping (felony), attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (felony) and a violation of an order of protection (misdemeanor). According to Scoop Nashville, the songwriter was released on a $12,500 bond. 

Taken Into Custody On October 28

The 35-year-old was taken into custody just one day after his girlfriend, Carly Strickland, filed an order of protection against him after an incident that reportedly occurred on Thursday, October 26. According to the filing, Strickland claims that McGinn was at his house when they got into an argument. 

“He got escalated and began to throw my objects down the stairs, push me down to the ground, and then push me up against a wall,” Strickland reports in the protective order. “He demanded that I could not leave. He started to threaten my dog”  by saying ‘I will strangle this m********** and “I will kill this b**** to hurt you.” 

According to Scoop Nashville, a recording of McGinn was obtained. In the recording, McGinn can allegedly be heard saying he was going to kill Strickland and slit her dog’s throat if she attempted to exit his home.

Strickland says she asked him to “get away” from her, however, he “would not take no for an answer.” 

His Girlfriend Detailed The Incident

She continued, “He then began to threaten me by saying ‘I want you to die,’ ‘I will kill you first,’ and ‘listen to me m**********.’ He was punching items around me and, at one point, even took off his shirt and wrapped it around my body. He asserted that I would be ‘allowed to leave’ when he was ‘done with [me].’ I was terrified. I fled to my car to try and leave, but his car was parked at the top of the driveway, leaving me unable to exit.” 

Matt McGinn; Photo Courtesy SESAC
Matt McGinn; Photo Courtesy SESAC

According to the order of protection, this led to Strickland calling the police, which prompted McGinn to allow her to leave. Strickland later filed a police report (#23-642198) with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Her restraining order concluded by sharing that McGinn is “an unpredictable individual who gets escalated without warning.” In the order of protection, Strickland also stated that this was not the first time he’s “been violent” with her. 

“In February of (2023), another police report was filed after he pulled in front of my car, forced himself in, and threw a water bottle around,” Strickland continued. ”I kindly ask the court to order Matthew McGinn to stay away from me, my home, and my workplace, and to not contact me indirectly or directly. All the statements above are true and occurred in Davidson County.”

Matt McGinn; Photo Courtey SESAC
Matt McGinn; Photo Courtey SESAC

He Will Soon Appear In Court

Matt McGinn is currently out on bond. He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 to settle the case with Judge Marcus Floyd, according to the Criminal Court Clerk

Matt McGinn was named SESAC Songwriter of the Year in 2020. At the 2018 SESAC Country Awards, he was awarded with Song of the Year for “Heaven” (recorded by Kane Brown) and also Songwriter of the Year.

In September of 2023, McGinn signed a publishing deal with Boom Music Group in partnership with Cinq Music Group, according to Music Row.

McGinn has written songs recorded by Tim McGraw (“7500 OBO”), Kane Brown (“Bury Me In Georgia,” “Like I Love Country Music,” “Cool Again,” “What Ifs,” “Worship You,” “Homesick,” “One Thing Right” and “Heaven”), Staind (“Lowest In Me”), Dustin Lynch (“Party Mode”), Blake Shelton (“Body Language”) and many others.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.