Chris Young and Kane Brown won the CMT Music Award for Collaboration of the Year for their single “Famous Friends,” and closed out the live event with a performance of the duet at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on June 9. The November 2020-released song’s March 2021 premiered video is notable because it features, quite literally, longtime real-life friends of both tandem members.
While on the red carpet at the just-completed award ceremonies, Young noted to CMT, “People saw Kane and I’s name on the single and thought, ’oh, it’s a song about how they’re both famous and friends.’ But this is a complete 180 from that idea. Instead, we highlighted our friends who were famous to us — but may not be famous to everyone else.” Of the many everyday heroes highlighted in the song, one of them had quite the entertaining response upon initially hearing it:
“I didn’t exactly get yelled at by him, but when I mention ’my buddy Jason, he’s a sheriff’ in the second verse, I do have a friend I grew up with, named Jason, who is a sheriff. He heard the song organically, without me sending it to him, first. Then, he asked, ’Why you gotta call me out, man?’ He laughed pretty hard about that.”
Also notable is Young’s forthcoming album — also entitled Famous Friends — is due to be released on Aug. 6. To PEOPLE, Young says, “It’s been so long that I’ve been talking about all the stuff that I did in the past year-and-a-half, and I think people at one point thought I was just messing with them a little bit. They were like, ’Do you actually have an album coming out?’ But it’s so exciting to have this information out there.”