Chris Young Shares the Story Behind His “Famous Friends”

There’s Brandon. Johnny. Jason. Randy. And Megan. Those are Chris Young’s “Famous Friends.”

In his brand new single — named for his actual friends — and those of co-writers Cary Barlowe and Corey Crowder, Young sings the praises of every one he knew that was famous in their own small-town way.

Young told me about the new song: why they wrote it the way they did and why it made sense to have Kane Brown join him on it.

“The hook of the song is basically, ’I’ve got some famous friends you’ve probably never heard of.’ It’s talking about people who are from your hometown,” Young told me, “and you might not know them here, like if I’m in some big city somewhere. But when I go back home, I’ve got some famous friends.

“It was kind of a different idea and something that I really was drawn to when we were writing the song. We were out on the bus, out on tour, and we’d written a ballad and a tempo song. And I was like, ’Man I really want to write something about the people I grew up with, with kind of a hometown vibe.’ And this was what spawned from that idea. All the names I reference are actual people, so that’s kind of cool. It’s like a bunch of little pictures of people and who they are. And it’ll be a lot of fun when they hear it.”

Once the song was written, Young said, he knew he wanted it to be a big moment. So enter Kane Brown.

Young and Brown had collaborated before, on Brown’s 2017 “Setting the Night On Fire.”

“I’d done stuff with Kane before — I’d guested on his projects, we’d written together, we’ve toured together — so I showed him this song and said, ’What do you think?’ He was like, ’I’d love to be part of that.’ And Kane just sings his butt off on it.

“I have so much new music I’ve been working on that people haven’t heard,” he added, “but I’m really, really excited that this is what’s coming out now. Because it’s so special, a lot of fun, and all about your friends from your hometown with a cool twist on it.”

The song references the counties where both Young and Brown grew up — Rutherford and Hamilton, respectively, along with Nashville’s Davidson County.

Full lyrics to “Famous Friends”:

My buddy Brandon holds a record
For single season touchdown throws
And good old Johnny he’s the life of every party
It’s like Cheers, they know him everywhere he goes
I’ve got some famous friends you’ve probably never heard of

Back in Rutherford County our crowd is second to none
You might not know ‘em here in this big city we’re in
But when I go back home I’ve got some famous friends
Yeah, I do

My buddy Jason, he’s the sheriff
He’ll flash his lights but let me go
My boy Randy, he’s a preacher
My girl Megan, she’s been Teacher of the Year
I swear for five years in a row
I’ve got some famous friends you’ve probably never heard of

Back in Hamilton County our crowd is second to none
You might not know ‘em here in this big city we’re in
But when I go back home I’ve got some famous friends
Yeah, I do

I got friends in high places on these small-town roads
‘Cause ‘round here it’s all about the people that you know
And I’ve got some famous friends you’ve probably never heard of

Back in Davidson County our crowd is second to none
You might not know ‘em here in this big city we’re in
But when I go back home I’ve got some famous friends
Yeah, I do
Yeah, I do

Might not know ‘em here in this big city we’re in
But when I go back home I got some famous friends, yeah
I’ve got some famous friends

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.

@alisonbonaguro

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