Chris Young and Kane Brown Hilariously Reveal Country Artists’ Yearbook Photos with CMA Awards Performance

Chris Young and Kane Brown brought their chart-topping hit, “Famous Friends” to the CMA Awards stage on Wednesday evening, delivering…


Lauren Jo Black

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November 10, 2021


8:51 pm

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Kane Brown, Chris Young; Photo Courtesy CMA

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.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.