Kane Brown Pays Homage To Elvis Presley With Captivating ‘Blue Christmas’ Performance At Graceland

“Thank you, Elvis. And Merry Christmas, everybody,” Brown said following his performance.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

November 30, 2023


12:23 pm

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Kane Brown; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Kane Brown brought his countrified rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” to life in a stunning performance filmed on the grounds of Presley’s historic estate as part of the musical TV special, Christmas at Graceland.

The performance opened with Brown making his way through the decked-out stables filled with beautiful horses and Christmas greenery as he delivered the opening lines. Donning a black turtleneck overlayed with an elegant, texturized sports jacket and matching dress pants, the country star paid tribute to the music icon and the song that he made famous in 1957.

Sitting just outside the blue-lit barn was Brown’s band who elevated the classic tune with the sounds of electric, acoustic, and steel guitars as well as jingle-bell-filled drumbeats. As Brown joins his band in front of the stables, he turns to look at the blank space on the barn to see original footage of Presley performing “Blue Christmas” during his famous 1968 television special.

Watch His Performance From Graceland

YouTube video

The pair of baritone vocals come together to create a stunning set of harmonies on the low-hummed chorus line, “But I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.” 

As instrumentals momentarily take over the song, even more nostalgic clips are projected onto the barn to showcase Presley’s days of riding horses around Graceland. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Brown take turns delivering the verses before closing out the song together. 

“Thank you, Elvis. And Merry Christmas, everybody,” Brown says looking into the camera. 

Kane Brown; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC
Kane Brown; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

This History Of “Blue Christmas”

“Blue Christmas” was written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and first recorded by Texas country star Doye O’Dell in 1948, as reported by Wide Open Country. After O’Dell’s version shot to the top of the charts, landing a spot at No. 1, Ernest Tubb had his own try at the somber holiday tune, bringing it even more popularity throughout the ‘50s. 

This sparked the inspiration for many other artists to record covers of the tune, including Elvis Presley who is responsible for turning it into a classic for the holiday season. Presley’s version soared to the top 15 on the charts after it dropped in 1957 as part of his self-titled Christmas album. This festive project that landed a spot at No. 1 on the charts also featured covers of “Santa Claus is Back in Town,” “Silent Night” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

When it came time to choose a song to record for this merry season, the decision was easy for Brown because he considers “Blue Christmas” to be one of his “favorite Christmas songs.”

I used to sing it all the time whenever I was first coming up in the music scene, just while I was warming up and playing around on stage. So when I got asked to do a Christmas song, of course, I’d have picked that one,” he told his label, Sony Music Nashville. 

Kane Brown; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC
Kane Brown; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Many Artists Have Covered “Blue Christmas”

The Chattanooga, TN native now joins the long list of artists who have covered the song over the years, including the Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Lady A and many more.

Brown was among the group of music’s biggest stars who came together to celebrate the legacy of Elvis Presley and ring in the holiday season with the first musical special to broadcast from Graceland.

Airing live on Wednesday, Nov. 29 on NBC, the TV special also featured performances by Alanis Morissette, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Lainey Wilson, Lana Del Rey, Post Malone, and The War And Treaty. These artists were invited into Presley’s home to offer viewers an intimate look inside the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s love for the holidays and his devotion to music. 

2024 Tour

Following this appearance, Kane Brown will embark on his In The Air Tour in 2024. Kicking off on March 28, the trek will visit U.S. stadiums and arenas through mid-September. 

Tyler Hubbard, Jon Pardi, Chris Young, Bailey Zimmerman, Cole Swindell, Parmalee, LOCASH, and RaeLynn will join Brown on select dates of the tour.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.