Chris Young enjoyed another bump up the country music hierarchy this year thanks to his duet with Cassadee Pope, “Think of You,” which is up for a CMA award for Musical Event of the Year. And with a Christmas album hitting the shelves, Young says he continues to accomplish things he has long had on his list.
“A duet is just something different and challenging that I wanted to try,” Young says. “I knew I wanted this song to be a duet from the beginning, and when I heard Cassadee sing for the first time, I knew she was the right person for the project. We have had a great time performing the song out on tour together, and she has become a really great friend.”
They also have the commonality of having gained attention via singing competitions. Young got his big break by winning the Nashville Star televised singing competition in 2006. Pope won The Voice in December 2012.
Meanwhile, Young released “It Must Be Christmas” a couple of weeks ago. Guests include Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, and Boys II Men.
“Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, and it was hard to narrow down songs for this record,” says Young, age 31. “I’m excited to share my own versions of the standards I sang as a kid every year at Christmas, plus I had the opportunity to write a couple of original songs to celebrate the season.”
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Young, a classic country baritone, has built a solid base of hits, including "Getting You Home (The Little Black Dress Song)," "Tomorrow," "The Man I Want to Be," and "Voices."
Young, who hails from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was a popular opening act on big tours for years, working with such singers as Paisley, Dierks Bentley, and George Strait.
Young has South Florida ties going back to his senior year in high school, when he attended National YoungArts Week in Miami. The annual event attracts students from across the country and specializes in literature, visual arts, design, and performing arts. Young, who credits the experience with “expanding my world,” was invited back as a guest speaker in 2015.
Chris Young, Cassadee Pope, and Dustin Lynch. 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale; 1-800-745-3000; ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost between $40 and $80 plus fees.