CMT ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR SINGING BACK-UP?: Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire

mandrelltrib03-x600Today’s three song selections are by three CMT Entertainer Of The Year award winners, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, and Reba McEntire. What makes these three songs so special is the backing vocals on each song is by another CMT Entertainer of the Year award winner. This is the equivalent of Prince backing Michael Jackson, Jagger singing backup vocals for Lennon.

“I CAN’T GO THERE”   KENNY CHESNEY

kenny-chesney-tim-mcgrawIn 2003, Chesney was a rising superstar whose domination of the country music world was imminent. For his No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems CD, five singles were released that became Top 10 country singles. But two album tracks, a cover of Springsteen’s One Step Up and a heartbreaking ballad, I Can’t Go There, stood out as the two most memorable songs on the CD. For the latter, a remixed version featured Kenny’s friend and tour mate, Tim McGraw on backing vocals. The lyrics will blow you away. It’s one of those songs that cuts deep with painful, honest emotions. The video version is an acoustic Chesney performance but the CD mix prominently included McGraw.

“MY HOME’S IN ALABAMA” JASON ALDEAN

aldean owenYou can’t speak about the rise of modern country music without giving MAJOR credit to Alabama. They were the band of the 80’s that mixed Southern rock with country music that struck a chord with music fans everywhere. The song that broke the band was the title track to their My Home’s In Alabama album in 1980. Georgia boy, Jason Aldean, released a cover of the iconic hit as a Walmart exclusive B-Side on his third CD. Who better to sing backing vocals than Randy Owen of Alabama?

 

“I WAS COUNTRY WHEN COUNTRY WASN’T COOL”    REBA McENTIRE

This song would qualify twice for today’s theme of having two CMT Entertainer of the Year winners on the same track. In 1980, Barbara Mandrell had the Possum, George Jones, join her for the chorus. A tribute to Barbara Mandrell featured a who’s who of country all-stars including Leann Rimes, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, and Reba McEntire. Singing the George Jones lines this time was Kenny Chesney! The original version is incredible but it’s a fun change of pace hearing Reba’s old school vocals with Kenny’s new country style.

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