It’s been a long stretch of months off the road for artists and fans alike, and Kane Brown is celebrating the return of live music with a special partnership: He’s joining forces with Pepsi’s “Summer Better With Pepsi” sweepstakes to give a way an unforgettable live music experience to one lucky fan.
The winner and 20 of their friends will be Brown’s guests at one of the shows on his Blessed & Free Tour, which launches in October, but that’s not all: They’ll also get to meet the country superstar, and have access to a personally curated food spread featuring Brown’s own custom Hot Royale chicken sandwich, which was recently featured in Guy Fieri’s Restaurant Reboot.
Below, Brown talks to Country Now about why he’s so excited to partner with Pepsi for this sweepstakes event, and details some of the unforgettable live moments he’s looking forward to out on the road this fall. There are some new songs he hasn’t ever gotten to play live yet, for example, and others — like “Worldwide Beautiful,” which won him his first ACM trophy in 2021 — that have taken on a whole new level of fan recognition since the onset of pandemic shutdowns.
Read on to check in with Brown as he prepares to return to the road:
Your partnership with Pepsi is especially meaningful after the year we’ve had, where no one could get out to see live music and enjoy themselves as much as they wanted to. What have you missed most about summer and live music, both as a touring artist and as a fan?
I miss being out there and feeling the energy of the live crowd. It’s the most amazing feeling to hear your fans sing your songs back to you and since we haven’t toured in so long there are some songs we haven’t gotten to perform live yet, so I really can’t wait to see how the crowd reacts to them. I’m also so excited to be partnering with Pepsi on the “Summer Better With Pepsi” sweepstakes which gives my fans a chance to win tickets to a show and hang out backstage, giving me a chance to interact with fans which I love. For anyone who wants to participate, you can visit SummerBetterWithPepsi.com.
Can you share the inspiration behind your Hot Royale chicken sandwich, specifically, the addition of the beignet bun? Why is supporting local restaurants something that is important to you?
I think Nashville has really come into its own food-wise and I love being able to support places that are based here. I don’t know if there was any specific inspiration other than it seemed like it would taste amazing, especially with a Pepsi, and it did. It was cool to be able to do this for Pepsi’s Off The Hook segment on Guy’s Restaurant Reboot and just know that we were able to be a part of helping drive support for the local restaurant industry after a tough year.
Some songs have evolved quite a bit since pandemic shutdowns — “Worldwide Beautiful” won your first-ever ACM, for example. How does it feel different performing that song now, given the recognition and fan response you’ve seen it achieve this year?
I think the message is still important and as relevant as it was when we first put it out. I think there is something different about being to perform it live so that it in real time is also people that are all different coming together for a concert and all different people singing the same lyrics with the same message. It unites us in a way, for a moment.
Your Blessed & Free Tour is launching this fall. How did you come up with the name of the tour? Also, can you tell me how the idea came about to include stops at all 29 NBA Arenas?
I am a huge fan of basketball and played in high school. It’s a dream come true to play all the arenas in one tour and someone told me I’m the first country artist to do them all in one tour which is such a cool feeling. The name of the tour is based off a song I’m excited to put out this year called Blessed& Free, it’s a collaboration with H.E.R. who is amazing, and I think the title also has a double meaning of everyone just being very ready and grateful that we’re able to get out there and do normal things like concerts again.
How did you select Jordan Davis and Chase Rice as supporting acts? Also, obviously, you’re a mentor to Restless Road, and they’re signed to your label. What have you learned about mentorship from your work with them, and what are you most excited about for them in the near future?
I love being able to give people chances and Restless Road —those guys are some of the hardest working guys and they deserve it. Jordan [Davis] and Chase [Rice] are great to be out on the road with and I’m excited to be able to take them out this year.
How is your family, particularly Kingsley, adjusting to post-pandemic life, with you gone more often? Will she and Katelyn be joining you on the road for any of the shows this summer or fall?
Yes, it will definitely be a family thing out on the road this year, she’s got her bus routine down and crib on the bus and everything ready to go. I’m excited to have them out on the road with me. Our whole crew is really a family too and it’s great to have everyone out again.