Chris Young first teased fans months ago that he had a collaboration on the way with Kane Brown, and the song has finally arrived, with Young releasing "Famous Friends" on Friday, Nov. 20 as his next single. Written by Young, Cary Barlowe and Corey Crowder, "Famous Friends" is all about celebrating people who most of the world might not know but who mean a whole lot to those in their hometowns.
"We were just kind of trying to find a different angle from the back home vibe and who I grew up with," Young told PopCulture.com of writing the song. "And it's like, it'd be really cool if you're like, 'I got famous friends that you might never heard of, but when I go back home, they're famous in this hometown.' I love that angle on that idea of a song. So the fact that we got it written, thought it was cool, sent it and then like, 'Hey Kane, do you want to be on this?' And he thought it was cool. And it all came together as well as it did. I'm just, I'm thrilled people are going to get to hear it."
The song names several "famous friends" including a sheriff named Jason, a preacher named Randy and a teacher named Megan, all of whom Young says are real people. "Not all of them know that they're in the song, that they get name-checked," he revealed. "I think I've only told two of them so far, so that'll be fun when I get those text messages."
Young and Brown previously toured together and duetted on Brown's song "Setting the Night on Fire," so their new collaboration was a natural fit. "When I got the first mix back and hearing our voices line up, I was like, 'Okay, this is really, really cool,'" Young recalled, adding that he "always thought this was going to be something special." "And I hope people have the same reaction when they hear it on the radio."
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Along with "Famous Friends," the 35-year-old has been posting clips of unreleased songs on Instagram, something he noted is a "double-edged sword." "It's funny because I want to continue showing people what I'm working on and then people are like, 'Yeah, this is awesome,'" he said. "And then it's also people like, 'If you keep teasing them with this much music and not releasing it, I'm going to unfollow you.'"
While at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Tennessee native has "been staying busy as I've ever been with songwriting."
"That's something that you can pour yourself into when other stuff gets moved around in your schedule, changes like that," he explained. "Being creative is kind of first and foremost for me. And it's also been really cool to be able to see so many different songs from other friends of mine, because I'm not the only person teasing music and I'm not the only guy that's like somebody sends me something going, 'Hey, check this out.' So hearing new music from friends has been awesome as well. And I think that's something that's going to be really, really exciting is for all the new music that is going to come out of this."