Chris Young‘s new duet with Kane Brown, “Famous Friends,” is especially meaningful because of how real it is. In fact, in a recent interview with Taste of Country Nights, Young shares that every single person mentioned in the lyrics of the song is a real person that he knows.
“My buddy Jason, he’s the sheriff / He’ll flash his lights and let me go / My boy Randy, he’s a preacher / My girl Megan, she’s been Teacher of the Year, I swear / For five years in a row …” the second verse of the song explains. Jason, Randy and Megan all really exist, back in Young’s hometown.
“These are actual people. Every single name that you hear is an actual person,” he says. “Other than the fact that at the very beginning of the song, I say, ‘My buddy Brandon …’ and no one calls him Brandon. Everybody calls him Bubba; that’s his nickname. A lot of people don’t even know his name is Brandon. So he knows that’s him in the song, but outside of that, I don’t know how many people are actually gonna know who that is.”
The song is so personal to Young’s hometown (and hometown friendships) that its lyrics even shout out Rutherford County, the county that houses Murfreesboro, Tenn., where the singer grew up. So when he enlisted Brown to join him on “Famous Friends,” Young knew he had to find a way to personalize the lyrics to his duet partner, too.
“I was like, ‘Dude, you know what would be really cool, would be if I do Rutherford County, which is where I grew up, and you put the name of your county in [the chorus that follows your verse],'” Young remembers suggesting, “‘and then we put Davidson at the end, because that’s Nashville, and that’s where we are now.'”
So in the second chorus, the two singers swapped out Rutherford County for Hamilton County, the region of Georgia from which Brown hails.
“It ended up being a really cool thing, because now it changes throughout the song,” Young points out, adding that his long-standing friendship with Brown is another layer of the song that makes it extra special. The two have previously toured together, and before Brown found his own place in the spotlight, he was a big fan of Young’s; in fact, his first-ever concert was a Young show.
“That still is such a cool thing to me,” the “Losing Sleep” star marvels. “… It’s wild for me to think about. And it’s also really awesome. It’s so cool to see the success he’s having, and now we get to have a song where we get to have all of that together, at the same time.”
“Famous Friends” is set to be included on Young’s next full-length project, reportedly titled Raised on Country. Details have yet to be announced.
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