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Q&A: Chris Young

A smooth, nimble baritone, Chris Young has become one of country's most reliable hitmakers (and a member of the Grand Ole Opry) since winning "Nashville Star" in 2006.

Article
Donna Leahey
Photos
Courtesy
Posted
February 28, 2019

Deep and soulful describes more than just Chris Young’s vocals — it’s who he is. The Tennessee native and Texas adoptee is a man of talent and heart. Whether it’s working to help children fight cancer or fighting his way to a win on Nashville Star, Young gives it his all.

His is the vibrant voice behind hits like “The Man I Want to Be,” “Voices,” “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” “Tomorrow,” and “You.” Since being named New Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association as well as Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Solo Vocalist by the American Country Music Awards in 2010, Young has not stopped putting out heartfelt country music.

In 2017, Young was honored with induction into the Grand Ole Opry by his friend Brad Paisley.

Q. How did you get from Murfreesboro, Tenn., to Houston, to Nashville Star?
A. I was born and raised in Tennessee, but Texas is my second home. I have family there and lived in Arlington [Texas] for over a year while I played at Cowboys and toured around the state. [Nashville music supporter] Billy Block called me and encouraged me to audition for the show and the rest is history.

Q. Tell us about your win on Nashville Star.
A. Nashville Star introduced me to a national audience and led me to signing a record deal with RCA. I’m fortunate that my label and the fans I met back then continue to support me.

Q. You’re the 100th show at the Paradise Cove.
A. Paradise Cove will be one of my first full band dates of 2019 so I can’t wait to get back out on the road and to also start playing my new single, “Raised on Country” for everyone at the show. That song is custom made for a live set, and I’m excited to get crowds singing along to it.

Q. Being from Tennessee, do you consider yourself Nashville country? How would you describe your style?
A. “Raised on Country” says it all. Country music is my foundation and I grew up listening to everyone from George Strait and Marty Robbins to Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard. I’ve been lucky to get to record with Alan and Willie [Nelson] and tour with Jackson and Strait too. There was just never a question in my mind that I wanted to be a country artist growing up. It’s crazy that now I’m getting to live that dream.

Q. What’s this tour all about? What can fans expect?
A. My “Raised on Country” tour kicks off in May but we started working on the tour last September, planning all the staging and the production elements. It’s a completely new tour from what anyone’s seen from me before. I can’t wait to get to it!

Q. Do you have plans for a new album soon?
A. Absolutely. In addition to “Raised on Country,” I have been writing and recording nonstop over the past year. Look for a new album later this year.

Q. What did it mean to you to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by Brad Paisley?
A. As a kid growing up in Murfreesboro and listening to the Opry, I never imagined that I would be invited to be a member. It still feels unreal, and there’s nothing like it. The night I was inducted [Oct. 19, 2017] was probably one of the best nights of my life. To have my friend Brad Paisley be the one to welcome me, it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Q. Tell us about your philanthropy. 
A. I love St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have supported them longer than I’ve had a record deal because of the amazing things they do for kids fighting childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The work they do is so important, as is the work of the T.J. Martell Foundation and their support of cancer research. I have something special in the works with them for later this year so you’ll have to check out my socials for more information. Honestly, I’m just happy to work alongside such great organizations and help.

LOCATOR
Chris Young
Paradise Cove | River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway | Tulsa
888-748-3731
riverspirittulsa.com
March 14: 8 p.m.
Must be 21 or older to attend

March 2019 Cover