Keith Urban stands in a field of flowers, a majestic mountainscape behind him. Luke Bryan strums his guitar across some train tracks from Miranda Lambert, while Willie Nelson picks his six string under the Eiffel Tower. Kacey Musgraves is perched in the middle of a downtown Nashville street, flanked by honky tonks, while Charley Pride, Trisha Yearwood and Dierks Bentley walk a pedestrian bridge just a few blocks away. And Little Big Town walk, appropriately, down a country road. These are just a few of dozens of different scenes in the new “Forever Country” video, making its grand debut tonight.
The collaboration — a medley/mashup of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” — was recorded in celebration of the 50th annual CMA Awards, which broadcast live from Nashville November 2nd. Thirty celebrated country stars trade lines on the three tunes — which were all, not coincidentally, originally recorded by former CMA Entertainer of the Year winners. [See the full list of participating artists — all CMA winners, as well — below.]
“All the people involved are people that we love, and that we loved 10 years ago, 20 years ago and today,” says Tim McGraw of the song’s lineup of legends and legends-in-the-making.
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“There’s every era of country music in this song and in the video,” echoes Trisha Yearwood. “I’m just trying not to be giddy the whole time. I’m supposed to be emoting and I’m really just going, ‘This is so cool!'”
“Forever Country” has already topped several charts since its release last week. It was produced by decorated songwriter Shane McAnally, with its magical video directed by Joseph Kahn. McAnally is a co-writer on such future classics as Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow,” Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” (just to name a few in a long, long list of hits). Kahn, who used the magic of a green screen to create all the picturesque scenes in the Nashville-shot video, has been behind the lens of music videos by the likes of Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Eminem and Katy Perry. He shares a Grammy with Taylor Swift for her “Bad Blood” video.
“Forever Country” artist list: Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood.
Dolly Parton discussed her next TV movie, her upcoming tour and her 50 year marriage to Carl Dean. Watch here.