Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood recently teamed up for their new duet, "If I Didn't Love You," and Aldean opened up about the story behind the song in an interview with iHeartCountry. "It's a song about getting over a relationship and sort of knowing what you need to do in your head, but it's really kind of hard to do that in the heart," he said. "It's one of those love song, breakup song kind of things."
The Georgia native noted that he's "usually not a guy into doing real sappy-type love songs — and I don't think this duet is that either. It's more of a kind of breaking up and getting over it kind of song... To me, that's a kind of love song." Aldean confirmed that "If I Didn't Love You" was written as a duet, explaining that he had wanted to include a duet on his new album and "had a couple songs that I wasn't really in love with, and so a couple of guys in my band actually went in right before we went to finish tracking the album and wanted to try and write a duet."
"If I Didn't Love You" was written by Aldean's longtime friend and collaborator Michael Knox, his bandmates Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy and John Morgan and Lydia Vaughan, and Aldean shared that he thought the song was "great" when he first heard it.
"We still didn't have a duet partner, and so I just thought the song was great so we went ahead and cut it," he recalled. "We had a shortlist of people to send it to and Carrie was sort of at the top of that list, so we just reached out to her." Aldean noted that "a lot of times, you never know what other artists have going on at the time," explaining that they may not have a window to be on collaboration.
"Luckily for us, Carrie had a window, she liked the song and had a window where we could cut it and release it," he noted. "It just kind of went from there." The singer continued, "It was a good thing because I had already cut my part and I had no duet partner to sing the song with. So when she finally joined it, came in and started putting her vocal on the song, it just kind of took it to a new level and turned it into this big, huge power ballad sort of thing. Something that we definitely needed for the record, too."
Aldean added that Underwood is "one of those artists that has a super-powerful vocal that can kind of take any song." Specifically with "If I Didn't Love You," he said that "once the chorus comes around," Underwood "takes it to a whole different place" with her "super-powerful vocal." "She's one of those people that can kind of make any song sound great," he said.