While the music video for “Forever Country” officially debuted Tuesday night (Sept. 20) on Dancing With the Stars, the song itself was already climbing the charts on international radio and TV stations. Proving how powerful 50 years of country music can be.
The new track is a medley of country classics — John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” — that somehow fit together seamlessly with more than 30 different voices taking turns on the lyrics.
“You want songs that everybody knows, and to me, just picking songs that represent 50 years was a big weight,” Carrie Underwood told The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville about the song created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards.
“I think it elevates the CMA’s,” she said. “This year is like, ‘Oh, this one is special.’ I think that was what it was all about.”
In addition to Nelson, Parton and Underwood, the lengthy video credited to Artists of Then, Now and Forever features Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Alabama, Kacey Musgraves, Darius Rucker, Martina McBride, Ronnie Milsap, Reba McEntire, Charley Pride, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Brett Eldredge and Trisha Yearwood.
The video was directed by Joseph Kahn, and the song was produced by Shane McAnally.
“It is a love song to country music, and that’s how everybody approached it that came in,” McAnally said. “Sometimes you just can’t put your finger on why something works so well. You don’t want to mess with it. God intervened, and those three songs worked perfectly.”