Exclusive: Chris Young Recalls What It Was Like To Perform With Garth Brooks: "The Experience Was Amazing"
Country music legend Garth Brooks is on the final leg of his nationwide tour, and when he made a stop at Nashville's Nissan Stadium in early April, he challenged Chris Young to bring the heat. Brooks' return to Music City held great weight, as he was forced to postpone his Nashville set last summer due to severe weather conditions.
The multi-platinum artist worked tirelessly with concert organizers and safety personnel to persevere forward with the show. After requiring ticket-holders to take shelter for over an hour, Brooks made the conscious decision to reschedule the concert.
To make up for lost time, the "Friends In Low Places" singer tackled his back-to-back shows on April 15 and 16 with high hopes. The Saturday concert also served as a Grand Ole Opry pop-up, which included guest appearances from Brooks' wife, Trisha Yearwood and songstress Emmylou Harris.
"Nashville knows its country music. So, when you play a concert here, you're required to be your best," shared Brooks during a press conference ahead of his two-night run. "You never get a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Throughout the highly anticipated affair, Brooks delivered smash hits such as – "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "The Thunder Rolls," "The Dance," and more. Young caught the lively audience off guard when he began singing Brooks' 1992 classic, "Papa Loved Mama."
The honky tonk track penned by Kim Williams and Brooks serves as the fourth single from his "Ropin' the Wind" record. The narrative is told from the perspective of a trucker's son, who reveals the hardships his parents encounter on a daily basis.
The love-infused melody takes a sudden turn for the worst, when the father finds his wife being unfaithful. Upon release, "Papa Loved Mama" scored No.3 on the Billboard Country Songs chart, and the record ranked No.1 on the Top Country Albums chart.
Following the act, Young exclusively spoke to CMT about the opportunity to perform alongside the icon.
"The experience was amazing," the vocalist said with a beaming smile. "Just being on stage with Garth in the first place is awesome."
The award-winning artist continued to mention that delivering the fan favorite was an honor, but revealed that concert-goers were not expecting his surprise appearance.
"It was funny, because I knew he was coming out to sing with me…. But the crowd had no idea," Young explained. "It's his crowd. So, I started the song, and everybody kind of gave me like a little side eye. They're like, 'what the hell is this guy doing?' and then when Garth ran on stage…they just lost their mind. It was just a really special moment."
The multi-platinum artist acknowledged that he would eventually love to hear Brooks cover one of his chart-topping tracks. Young pointed out that he's not picky, and Brooks could choose any song from his extensive catalog.
"Oh God, whatever he wants! If he ever wants to do that. PLEASE anytime," he uttered while laughing.
While Young tried to wrap his head around the special evening, he took to social media to share highlights and to clarify that the duet was a "career moment."
As several notable names in the industry, such as Ernest, Michael Ray, Drew Dixon, Gavin DeGraw, and more congratulated the Tennessee native – Young thanked Brooks for bringing him out and for being a supportive companion.
"Never knew I would actually have "Friends In Low Places" @garthbrooks," shared Young alongside a snapshot of the two sharing a warm embrace. "Great to have 'Famous Friends' like you!!! Thanks for coming out to celebrate the best family on the planet @opry! Love,g." he replied in the comments.
Although a friendship is blossoming between the two hitmakers, Brooks will not appear on Young's forthcoming record, "Famous Friends (Deluxe Edition)." The 20-song collection is set to drop on June 3 and will include his latest release, "Everybody Needs a Song" with Old Dominion. The highly anticipated project will also feature Mitchell Tenpenny, Jimmie Allen, Cassadee Pope, and two new solo songs.