Chris Young and Kane Brown brought their chart-topping hit, “Famous Friends” to the CMA Awards stage on Wednesday evening, delivering a fun-filled performance of the song.
The country superstars and longtime friends put a “cool twist” on their No.1 collaboration, which appears on Young’s album of the same name. The song was co-written by Young alongside Cary Barlowe and Corey Crowder.
Young and Brown delivered a memorable performance of the song in front of hilarious yearbook photos of fellow country artists such as Blake Shelton, Ashley McBryde, Eric Church, Lady A, Darius Rucker, among others.
“Blake Shelton – Most likely to make the mullet famous,” one of the yearbook photo captions read. While another said, “Eric Church – Most likely to wear sunglasses in the dark.”
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“This ‘Famous Friends’ performance is really just a microcosm of me and him being on stage together, having a good time,” Young shared ahead of their performance. “So it’s us getting on stage having a good time, and we’ve got kind of a cool twist on it obviously for the awards with the content that’s going on behind us.”
The pair were both nominated for three CMA Awards at tonight’s award ceremony, including Music Video Of The Year, Musical Event Of The Year, and Single Of The Year for “Famous Friends.”
The duet came as a “full circle” moment for Brown as he previously admitted that Young is the artist who “really helped” him find his “voice” and is ultimately who “got him into singing.”
Since the song was written, Young said there was no one else he’d rather have on the track than his own famous friend, Kane Brown.
“He was the first person that popped in my head,” Young revealed in an interview with WIN 98.5.
“I was like, ‘I want to do this, I want to add somebody else to this, and it’d be really cool if it was me and Kane,’ because I’ve guested on his stuff before, but I’ve never had him guest on something of mine.” Young continued to explain.
Young added, “the biggest thing for me, as far as why I asked Kane, is because we are friends, and it extends further than just the ‘Hey, you’re friends, because you’re both in music together.’ He really liked my music, and he had been writing with some mutual friends of ours, and they kind of put us together in the writing room. So I met him a long time ago, actually, I think before he was on Sony.”
Young continued to share that it “was really cool” to get to know Brown and to have “that basis of a friendship, especially for a moment like this, where it kind of comes full circle.”
The duet was released in late November 2020, and finds both Brown and Young trading vocals while dropping the names of some of their “famous friends” and the three counties that mean a lot to them including Rutherford County in Young’s hometown of Murfreesboro, TN, Kane’s hometown of Hamilton County (on the Tennessee and Georgia border) and Davidson County which is Nashville where both of the singers currently live.
The 55th Annual CMA Awards featured performances from Luke Combs, Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.
Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations by Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde, Mickey Guyton, Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND and HARDY.
Country singers Trace Adkins, Ingrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Deana Carter, Russell Dickerson, Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Lady A, Scotty McCreery, Darius Rucker, Lainey Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood were on hand to present during the ceremony.
Lauren Daigle, Faith Fennidy, Freddie Freeman, Amy Grant, Dulé Hill, Elle King, Zachary Levi, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Susan Sarandon, Saycon Sengbloh and Kurt Warner also made special appearances throughout the broadcast.
Hosted by Luke Bryan, the 2021 CMA Awards broadcasted live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8/7c on ABC.