WATCH: James “Bear” Bailey Shares Duet with Tim McGraw on TikTok

Making it big in the music industry is difficult, but just getting started on that journey can be even more…


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 24, 2021


8:15 pm

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Bair Bailey, Tim McGraw; Photo via TikTok

Making it big in the music industry is difficult, but just getting started on that journey can be even more grueling. Some artists try for years to get their name out into the world and receive some recognition for their talent, but for others, all it takes is one video to get the ball rolling. 

When visiting his local gas station in Houma, Louisiana, James “Bear” Bailey began taking requests from Melissa McGee, also known as “Mama” to the locals, and singing them to her at the checkout counter. In the midst of Bailey posting more singing videos with McGee, he decided to challenged himself in a new way.

A new trend finds artists sharing singing videos on TikTok asking viewers to duet them in their own video. Tim McGraw was among those who participated in this challenge. He posted a video of him singing the second single off of his fifth album and left a few verses out to allow others to sing along with him. His caption read, “Sing ‘Something Like That’ w/ me! Can’t wait to hear your amazing voices.” For this trend, the lyrics for the viewers to sing are highlighted in blue, red is McGraw’s section to sing, and then finally the lyrics highlighted in green are for both the viewer and McGraw to sing together.

@bearbailey1##duet with @timmcgraw Something Like That ##cover ##fypシ ##foryoupage this man is a Legend! ##countrymusic♬ Something Like That Tim McGraw – Tim McGraw

Bailey took this opportunity to jump on the trend and he hit it out of the park. From his car, he recorded himself singing along with McGraw just two days after the original video was posted, and it was as if they were singing in the same room together.

“Mr. Tim McGraw, love all your stuff man,” Bailey said in the beginning of this duet on TikTok, before jumping right into the song. 

After seeing great success and gaining more than 480,000 viewers on the video, the most important person of all took a liking to it. McGraw commented with a fist emoji, giving Bailey his approval of the cover/virtual duet.

Other country artists such as Mickey Guyton, Keith Urban and Dan + Shay have also become fans of Bailey and started sharing their support online. Guyton retweeted Bailey’s gas-station performance of K-CI & Jojo’s “All My Life,” and left the caption, “I Can’t.”  Dan + Shay also showed their great enthusiasm for Bailey’s talent and commented on another video saying, “killed it, Man!”

Bailey has already surpassed two million followers on his TikTok account, where he continues to turn heads in the local Super Serve gas station with his powerful voice and passionate personality. 

“They found out I could sing, you know, just from living around here, and so on the days that I would go in there to get a snack or whatever, they’d say, ‘Hey, Bear, you’ve got to sing, you’ve got to sing for me,” Bailey previously told HuffPost

This experience has allowed Bailey’s dream to slowly turn into a reality for him. 

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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.