“We have more in common than meets the eye,” Rhett told me when we caught up recently. “And when we played together, the wall between us was broken down. The love for good music shines through in that special.”
One of the coolest parts of making the show, according to Rhett, was when they were rehearsing.
“When I got to hear Nick sing ‘Die a Happy Man’ for the first time — and he took my song and made it super soulful and R&B — that was very cool,” he recalled. “For me, the most nervous/exciting part was singing his song ‘Jealous’ because it’s the highest song I’ve ever had to sing in my entire life.”
And it sounds like Jonas has a bit of country influence, too, which was news to Rhett.
“We were sitting on the bus, playing a lot of his songs, and I was like, ‘Dang, dude. I feel like some of these songs are written from a country perspective.’ Nick’s dad was a country singer, so he actually grew up rooted in the emotion and storytelling of country music,” he said.
According to a story in Good Housekeeping, Jonas’ dad Kevin Jonas Sr. was a worship director who always kept music in his heart.
“Kevin worked very diligently to learn the music industry from a songwriting perspective. He’d fly to Nashville — just walking the street, walking into different places,” his wife had told the magazine in 2009.
“Nick is such a good person,” Rhett added, “and what made that Crossroads so organic is that we’re both lovers of great songs and great melodies. And we are both suckers for sad songs.”
CMT Crossroads: Nick Jonas and Thomas Rhett premieres Friday (June 24) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Enjoy a performance from the new episode: