Rachel Platten credits 100-year-old neighbor with inspiring her new single

The pandemic made strange bedfellows, some of which have inspired Rachel Platten‘s latest song, “Girls.”

As People reports, Rachel first met her neighbor Gloria Mikialian, then 97, when her dog pooped on Gloria’s lawn. She didn’t have a bag with her, so she knocked on the door and asked for one. The two started chatting and bonded over music. Turns out Gloria, like Rachel, is also a piano player.

“She reminded me of my Nana, and I felt this warm connection,” Rachel tells People.

Gloria asked Rachel if she would listen to her play, so she did. She also started featuring Gloria on her TikTok account, where she became a fan favorite. “Strangers from all over were asking if they could send her things, if they could shower her with love, which was so sweet,” says Rachel.

Rachel says Gloria, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, even encouraged her to have a second child when she thought that what she wanted to do was focus on writing a new album.

“And sure enough, she was right. A flood of emotions opened up. She had so much wisdom,” Rachel says. “I had the second baby, and the second half of the record came.” One of those songs turned out to be “Girls,” which Rachel will sing Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“I would not have that song in the world if Gloria hadn’t encouraged me to have a second baby,” Rachel says, referring to daughter Sophie, who arrived in 2021. “The thing I am most proud of right now wouldn’t exist without Gloria.”

Rachel advises fans to “be brave, be vulnerable and meet a neighbor or visit an elderly home” to find their own Gloria, noting that elderly people “have so much wisdom and beauty to share with us.”

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