6 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Forever Country’
"Forever Country" producer Shane McAnally says the one thing everyone wants to know is if all 30 artists sang the full mashup. As a whole, they didn't, but one act did. In fact, they sang it four times, four different ways so McAnally could be sure he had all parts covered.
McAnally says he didn't really have a great plan when he began the project over a year ago. He was a bit overwhelmed, so at first he had artists like Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan sing most of the song. Later, names like George Strait would only have a small portion of song left to sing, although the King of Country was the project's most important "get."
"He doesn't do a lot of things, he's very choosy," McAnally shared during a media session centered around his most recent No. 1 hit, Dierks Bentley's "Different for Girls." "I think when George said 'yes,' we pretty much had our pick at that point."
Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson were the centerpieces of "Forever Country," with Parton encompassing everything they were looking to represent. One artist they wanted but could not get? Merle Haggard was on the top of their list when they began, but he died before he could cut his parts.
Fans may be bummed to learn there will be no "Forever Country" performance at the 2016 CMA Awards (it would take too much rehearsal time), but the song will be a part of the show in some fashion. So, you probably won't get to hear those sweet Luke and Miranda harmonies live — you weren't originally meant to hear them at all, actually. Lambert improvised over Bryan early in the song, and everyone loved it, so they kept it!
Finally, it was Little Big Town who performed the whole song in its entirety, multiple times. McAnally used them as glue to add harmonies and fill any holes. The group came in late during the recording process, most of which occurred during the 2016 CMA Music Festival in June. Watch the video above for more fun facts about "Forever Country," and then enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video.
Behind the Scenes of "Forever Country"
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