Justin Bieber picked up his first Grammy Award on Monday night, taking home the trophy for Best Dance Recording for “Where Are Ü Now,” his collaboration with producers Skrillex and Diplo (collectively known as Jack Ü). During the telecast, the pop star played a heavy rock arrangement of the tune that followed a pretty, solo acoustic performance of the Number One “Love Yourself” from his album Purpose.
A week before the Grammy telecast, Thomas Rhett tried out his own acoustic version of “Love Yourself” for syndicated morning show host Elvis Duran. Written by Bieber with Ed Sheeran and Benjamin Levin, the song’s melodic guitar voicings sound not unlike those on Rhett’s Number One “Die a Happy Man,” but the two songs couldn’t be farther apart in spirit. Where Rhett’s hit swears unflagging, for-better-or-worse devotion to his wife, Bieber’s is a deceptively brutal kiss off to an ex. Seated on a stool in front of the show’s step and repeat, Rhett sings the song with knowing zeal and adding just a touch of twang. With only an acoustic guitar player backing him up, Rhett is forced to use his voice to interpret the song’s trumpet solo.
Rhett’s follow-up single to “Die a Happy Man” is the decidedly sexier “T-Shirt,” which appears on the ACM-nominated album Tangled Up.
“I wanted to cut ‘T-Shirt’ on my first record and put it out as like a second or third single off my first record,” Rhett tells Rolling Stone Country. “So now that I actually have a chance to put it out after a song that had such great success, now is definitely the time for me to start putting out songs that I truly want to put out.”
Currently Rhett is on the road supporting Jason Aldean’s We Were Here tour.