So when Carrie Underwood invited her to play guitar as part of an all-girl performance of her 2016 hit, "Dirty Laundry," of course she jumped at the chance.
"That's [a] badass moment in my life, I will say," Ell tells ET in this week's installment of Certified Country. "It was really cool to see an artist like Carrie take a stance for females and women artists."
Ell has found mentors in several of country music's elite, touring with Brad Paisley, Keith Urbanand Sugarland this year alone, but working with Underwood had a special sort of impact on the 28-year-old artist.
"She works so hard, still at this level of her career," Ell says. "Getting to talk to her and even work with her two feet away, you can just feel that energy and that passion. We were talking in rehearsals and it's all about reinventing yourself -- still working hard and, as an artist, bringing what you can to keep fans never knowing what to expect."
Currently, Ell is enjoying the success of her highest-charting single to date, "Criminal." The catchy, "dark" love song is featured on her album, The Project, which was executive produced by Sugarland'sKristian Bush. Only on Certified Country, Ell is offering an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming music video, which will be out later this month.
Ell is also gearing up to release another unexpected new project: her full-length cover version of John Mayer's Continuum. The LP was a special assignment from Bush as Ell prepared her own original music.
"He was like, 'Lindsay, what's your favorite album of all time?' I was like, 'Well, Kristian, that would be Continuum by John Mayer, I listen to it all the time,'" Ell recalls. "He was like, 'Perfect. I want you to go record the whole thing.' I was like, 'What?' He said, 'Yeah, only rules are you need to play all the instruments, you need to do it by yourself in your studio at the label and you have two weeks. Go.'"
Ell found herself working around the clock, from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily, to complete the album.
"I handed him this CD at the end of it and I was like, 'I'm blown away, Kristian. I've learned so much about the way John Mayer plays guitar, about the way I play guitar, and more importantly, how I love to hear a band recorded in the studio.' And he just laughed and he said, 'OK, well, now it's time for us to record your own music.'"
The result, Ell says, is a full-length that "felt like a science project of me really figuring out my identiy and figuring out who I am. ... That is what led to us recording, finally, an album that I feel like represents me."