Rita Wilson Enlists Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw + More for ’70s Cover Album, ‘Now & Forever: Duets’
Rita Wilson is going back to the 1970s for her forthcoming project, and she's bringing a few country artists with her. The actor and singer has announced that her Now & Forever: Duets album is set for release on Sept. 27. The project features duet versions of a collection of hit songs from the 1970s, and five country singers will serve as her duet partners on the album.
Now & Forever: Duets will find Wilson performing with Keith Urban on Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," Willie Nelson on Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away," Tim McGraw on Bread's "If," Jimmie Allen on the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" and Vince Gill on "Without You." The album also features acclaimed artists from across other genres, including Smokey Robinson, Jackson Browne, Leslie Odom Jr., Elvis Costello and Josh Groban.
“I wanted to honor where I came from with songs from the Seventies," Wilson says of the album, according to Billboard. "It was really about showing enormous appreciation for the songwriting of that period — how these songs are still relevant even though they’re 50 years old. This album is really a continuation of sharing who I am musically, and what it is that I want to say.”
Wilson shared an album preview video this week, showing footage from the recording sessions and teasing clips from the album tracks. Wilson says the collaboration process "felt like being in church."
"It was humbling, and it's so beautiful, and that's why we do what we do," she says.
She also expanded on her decision to make an album featuring the music of the 1970s.
"Songs that came from the '70s, they're almost like my American songbook," she says.
"I think I grew up in one of the best eras for music ever because we had such a unique variety and so many different people expressing themselves in so many different ways," she continues. "I wanted to just get in there and explore that with some great duet partners."
Wilson previously shared her duet with Groban: a heartfelt version of "Songbird," which Fleetwood Mac originally recorded in 1977. The full album will be available on Sept. 27.
Rita Wilson, Now & Forever: Duets, tracklist:
1. “Crazy Love” with Keith Urban
2. “Where Is The Love?” with Smokey Robinson
3. “Slip Slidin' Away” with Willie Nelson
4. “Let It Be Me” with Jackson Browne
5. “Massachusetts” with Leslie Odom Jr.
6. “Fire” with Elvis Costello
7. “If” with Tim McGraw
8. “I'll Be There” with Jimmie Allen
9. “Without You” with Vince Gill
10. “Songbird” with Josh Groban