CHELY WRITES WITH THORNTON

Chely Wright and actor Billy Bob Thornton are pairing up to write songs together.

Surprised? Don't be -- Thornton was a professional drummer and singer before he became famous for his acting and directing work, and he also recorded a country album in Nashville earlier this year called Private Radio.

Due to both of their busy schedules, the writing sessions have been taking place via long-distance and there is no word yet as to when we will hear a finished product.

The two seem to have hit it off nicely, however -- Chely was Thornton's guest at the Atlanta premiere of "Bandits," starring Billy Bob and Bruce Willis.

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Other performers include Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin and Jason Isbell.