Brett Young is ‘Really Honored’ So Many Musical Pals Showed Up for His Christmas Special: ‘Everybody Crushed It’

Brett Young, Darius Rucker; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT
Brett Young, Darius Rucker; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT
Brett Young, Darius Rucker; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

Brett Young’s holiday special, CMT Crossroads Christmas: Brett Young & Friends, airs Wednesday night, and features a bevy of guest spots from the singer’s musical friends and collaborators. Darius Rucker, Boyz II Men and Gavin DeGraw are just a few of the acts hitting the stage with Young to ring in the holiday season.

“[The] people that signed on to come give two days of their time and be a part of the special — I just feel really honored that they would come and grace me with their time and their voices and their talent,” the singer explained during a recent press event, “to make my first special as cool as it was.”

The fact that it’s Young’s first-ever televised special is another point worth celebrating. “We got there for the first day of rehearsals, and my manager said, ‘Can you believe you already have your own special?’” he recalls.

“And I said, ‘Already?! How many people never get one? You know?’” he adds with a laugh.

Brett Young and Boyz II Men; Photo by Jason Kempkin, Getty Images for CMT
Brett Young and Boyz II Men; Photo by Jason Kempkin, Getty Images for CMT

Young’s holiday-themed CMT Crossroads is an extension of another first for the singer: His first-ever holiday album, Brett Young & Friends Sing the Christmas Classics. As its title suggests, that collection is collaborative, too, and many — but not all — of the performers on CMT Crossroads Christmas are also Young’s duet partners on the album.

“Just because of travel, we weren’t able to have all the artists that sang on the record come be on the special, but we were able to fill those spots,” he explains. “Boyz II Men aren’t on the record, but Boyz II Men were on the Christmas special. Gavin DeGraw is not on the record, but he’s on the Christmas special.”

Both those acts have joined Young for collaborations before now. DeGraw — a longtime musical hero of Young’s — joined him for a duet on his Ticket to L.A. album for “Chapters,” a song they also co-wrote. Meanwhile, Boyz II Men have stepped on the CMT Crossroads stage with Young before. The two acts joined forces for a Crossroads episode in 2019.

Now, they’re applying those previously-forged musical connections to something entirely new and festive, and Young says he’s proud of the results. “It was incredible,” he says of the experience of filming the special. “Everybody crushed it.”

CMT Crossroads Christmas: Brett Young & Friends airs Wednesday night (Dec. 8) at 8PM ET on CMT.