Dan + Shay took to social media on Tuesday (Jan. 10) to commemorate the fifth anniversary of their fan-favorite track, “Tequila” with an intimate acoustic performance.
As bandmates Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney sat in the studio surrounded by just their illuminating vocals and charming guitar strums, they reminded listeners of the power this song holds at its core.
Contrary to what might be assumed from the song title, this song follows the opposite approach to a typical upbeat, party anthem. Instead, it relishes on the effect that this particular drink can have on someone who connects it to a painful memory of their past relationship. Whiskey, red wine, champagne, scotch, all go down just fine, but when tequila is present, the character’s mind is flooded by the one person who’s no longer around.
“It’s one of my favorite vocals Shay’s ever recorded. It’s super emotional, and we played it for everybody, especially our wives. They were like, ‘that’s gotta be the single.’ So you trust them, they’re always right,” Dan previously told iHeartCountry ahead of the song’s release.
“I feel like a lot of people aren’t expecting a song called ‘Tequila’ from Dan + Shay and, you know, a lot of people probably heard that and was like, ‘I can’t wait to hear what this is about,’” Shay shared. “It was really cool to be able to kind of twist that in typical Dan + Shay fashion, to hear a title like ‘Tequila’ and to write, you know, a heartbreak song.”
“When I taste Tequila, baby I still see ya / Cutting up the floor in a sorority t-shirt / The same one you wore when we were / Sky high in Colorado, your lips pressed against the bottle / Swearing on a bible, baby, I’d never leave ya / I remember how bad I need ya, when I taste Tequila / When I taste Tequila,” they sing in the chorus
Co-written by Smyers alongside Jordan Reynolds and Nicolle Galyon, “Tequila” was first released on January 10, 2018, and serves as the lead single off the duo’s third, self-titled studio album.
“When we first got into the studio, Jordan Reynolds had this piano vocal originally that was just, it was gorgeous,” Shay told the outlet. “I just couldn’t wait to see what Dan did with production on it. We went, you know, the piano vibe, but it builds really, really hard and the production’s just incredible. And you nailed it. You did a really good job,” he added, gushing about Dan’s production skills.
Just days after it was originally unveiled, the song made its way to the top of the country charts, eventually hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts. It was also named the second most-streamed country song of 2018.
In addition, “Tequila” earned Dan + Shay several major music awards including their first Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance as well as both Single and Song of the Year at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards.
According to the RIAA, the song reached 7x Multi-Platinum status for certified units of over 7 million on January 27, 2022. As its success continues to rise, the song remains a staple in the duo’s setlist.
Last year, Dan + Shay and spent the year touring with Carly Pearce and Old Dominion on Kenny Chesney’s Here and Now Tour. The duo has yet to announce any touring dates for 2023, however, they do have appearances scheduled for several festivals starting with Country Fest in Cadott, WI on June 23.