Lindy Boone Has Been in the Music Business All Her Life but Never Wrote a Song – Until Now (Exclusive)

Her new single, "Wordlayer," builds off a word that came to her when her son Ryan suffered a traumatic brain injury

It’s been over 20 years since Lindy Boone received the most devastating news of her life.

“It was unimaginable,” says Boone, 68, during a recent interview with PEOPLE. “It is the kind of thing that you can only absorb a little at a time. I went into shock basically.”

Ryan Corbin, Boone's charismatic son and the grandson of the legendary Pat Boone, suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2001 after falling three stories through a skylight onto a cement floor. And from that point on, nothing was ever the same for him and his family.

“With a brain injury, there's a waiting period,” Boone remembers. “It’s like you are walking in a fog. But every now and then, there'd be some hopeful news and that would keep you going. ‘Oh, he can swallow. That's a good sign.’ Just the littlest things are the things you hang on to. But it stays very murky for a long time."

<p>Courtesy Lindy Boone</p> Lindy Boone

Courtesy Lindy Boone

Lindy Boone

That murkiness became a bit clearer when the Boone family was told that Corbin was going to live, but he was going to have to face some intense challenges for the rest of his life. And it was in those moments of uncertainty for the family that one word materialized in the soul of Boone.

And that word was "wordlayer."

“I guess that word just came to be because I had seen the value of speaking words and the energy that is part of the words that go out,” says Boone, who even used the word as her first Twitter handle. “It just seemed to me that it was like laying bricks. It’s like building a foundation with your words."

Related: Pat Boone Explains Why Elton John Thought He 'Was Going to Sue' Him over 'Crocodile Rock'

The word "wordlayer" stayed mostly tucked within the conscience of Boone until Mother's Day of 2020, when she was given the chance to write a song with a Nashville musician as part of a present given to her by her daughter.

"I've been in the music business my whole life, but I had never been motivated to write a song," she says. "But then, I was reminded of the word ‘wordlayer.’ I thought that would make a cool song title."

And while the song has been living and breathing since 2020, it was just this past January that Boone decided to go into the studio with her sisters Cherry, Debby and Laury Boone to record it.

<p>Courtesy Lindy Boone</p> The Boone sisters with dad Pat as children

Courtesy Lindy Boone

The Boone sisters with dad Pat as children

And now, it’s her latest single.

"People are recognizing the truth in the message," says Boone of "Wordlayer," which she recorded in collaboration with Anne Buckle. "People need to realize that words do hurt, and they can also heal. We have the power to determine whether our words are going to be part of the answer or part of the problem. So, we shouldn't be flippant about that. We should be very intentional when we choose our words."

<p>Logen Christopher/Kate Jones</p> Lindy Boone's Wordlayer

Logen Christopher/Kate Jones

Lindy Boone's Wordlayer

It's these words that are also helping to raise money for Ryan’s Reach, the non-profit organization established by the Boone family in 2003 with the mission "to support survivors of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and the families and caregivers of the survivors."

"He's well-taken care of," Boone says of her son Ryan today. "He has caregivers that do all the day to day things with and for him, but he is cognizant. He wakes up, he knows who he is and where he is, he's that alert and he's verbal, but his memory is very short. So, his life is very much in the present. He is aware that there is such a thing as a past and a future, but this moment is all he can relate to."

Related: Pat Boone Is Line Dancing at 89! Check Him Out in the Music Video for Country Single 'Grits' (Exclusive)

<p>Courtesy Lindy Boone</p> Pat Boone with two of his daughters

Courtesy Lindy Boone

Pat Boone with two of his daughters

It is this moment that Boone finds herself enjoying with her beloved father Pat, who will turn 90 years old in June.

"He is the Energizer Bunny," says Boone with a laugh. "He just keeps going and going, and he just sees possibilities in everything. He wants to spread himself as thin as he can so he can be a part of every good thing that he hears about. He's always taken great care of his body, his health, and of course, he's also very deeply spiritual person, so he balances that all and he's got things to do. He can't slow down. I keep encouraging him to slow the pace a little bit, but I don't think he's listening to me!"

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