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Thomas Rhett Explains Why He Chose Jordin Sparks for ‘Playing With Fire’

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“Playing With Fire” is a big ballad on Thomas Rhett‘s new Tangled Up album. The singer agrees that it’s comparable to Jason Aldean‘s “Don’t You Wanna Stay (2010),” which means Jordin Sparks is his Kelly Clarkson.

Sparks, a pop singer, has shown interest in country music, before but the collaboration took root when Big Machine Label Group president Scott Borchetta met with reps from her record label. Knowing his artist Thomas Rhett was looking for a vocal powerhouse to cut this song with, he put the two in touch.

“Literally 24 hours later she responded back and had booked a flight to Nashville,” Rhett shares in this video, exclusive to Taste of Country. “She came in and was just an immediate glow to the room.”

“She got in the studio and she just knocked the song out in like three passes.”

Rhett helped Rhett Akins and Ashley Gorley write “Playing With Fire,” and they wrote it as a duet. He said they didn’t necessarily have someone in mind when they finished it, but they were dreaming big. His goal is to match Aldean and Clarkson’s impact. The song would make a compelling single should he choose to go that route after “Die a Happy Man,” or sometime later in 2016.

Tangled Up is Rhett’s second studio album, featuring the No. 1 hit “Crash and Burn” and 12 other, often funky country cuts. Previously the rising star told Taste of Country about “Die a Happy Man” and how his wife had a heavy influence on this album. That story is in the video below.

Who’s Country’s Sexiest Male? Find Out:

Thomas Rhett’s Wife: The Ultimate Influence

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Next: Everything You Need to Know About 'Tangled Up'

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