Exclusive: Collin Raye Explains Why He Recorded '25 Years, 25 Hits'

Collin Raye's latest album, 25 Years, 25 Hits is out on Tuesday, May 15. The 28-track record, which includes three bonus tracks, became Raye's way to provide fans with an improved version of some of the songs released in the early part of his career.

"I sing better today, at least up here, in my head," Raye tells PopCulture.com. "I know how to sing better today than I did when we cut a lot of those early records, especially up until '95. It took me a couple of years to figure it out. I always knew I could beat 'Love, Me.' I could beat 'That's My Story.' I could beat 'In This Life,' because I learned how to sing better than I did when we cut those things."

The 57-year-old, who calls 25 Years, 25 Hits a "labor of love," is still open to making another album if the situation is right.

"In a heartbeat I would, because that's what I do. I don't know what else to do other than make music," says Raye. "We've worked a while on this one, but I love having those pet projects that I always wanted to do back in the day, and I couldn't do, because of the treadmill we were on. I did a tribute to Glen Campbell four years ago. That's something I'd always wanted to do. Well, I did it. I've done a hymns record. I'd like to do a tribute to Hank Williams, because nobody sings Hank Wiliams songs anymore."

Raye is also busy on the road, headlining his own shows, along with performing with two fellow '90s country music icons.

"Aaron and Sammy Kershaw and myself are out on this tour called Roots & Boots. It's something they've been doing for a few years, and they added me on a couple of years back. It's a lot of fun," says Raye. "It's half music and half cutting up, picking on each other. We're all on stage together at the same time. People have really loved it. What it's been to me is a tremendous reminder of how big '90s country is becoming again. People are hungry for that. From Garth [Brooks] on down, everybody remembers what a great era it was."

More than the music, Raye believes the fans come for their on-stage antics.

"There's a camaraderie in that show too, and that's what I think sells it the best," Raye continues. "As far as music, I sing maybe eight songs as opposed to 22, like in a normal Collin Raye show, but we just sing our biggest ones, and sing along with each other, and maybe trade lines on each other's songs. It is in such demand. It seems like every day we're adding new Roots & Boots dates, or I'm having to turn them down because we just don't have time."

More than anything else, the Arkansas native just wants to continue to make and perform music he loves, and hope it connects with his loyal fans in the process.

"Whatever I do, I'm just worried about the music," Raye insists. "If it turns out good, if I'm happy with it. If I'm proud of it, then I don't really care what else happens. Of course, you want it to be heard, but as far as how many you sell, it doesn't matter anymore."


A list of al of Raye's upcoming shows can be found on his website.

Photo Credit: Instagram/collinrayeofficial