5 Country Re-Releases by Pop Singers: John Legend, Lady Gaga and More (Video)
Who else is going country the second time around? THR rounds up a handful of hits that have successfully been re-recorded for the country genre.
It might've been unexpected for R&B/soul man John Legend to perform at last Wednesday's CMT Music Awards, but his country rendition of "All of Me" with Jennifer Nettles was a harmonious surprise onstage -- and now, on iTunes.
The duet, arranged and produced by "Wanted" chart-topper Hunter Hayes and recorded just hours before the awards show, hit iTunes earlier this week. Hayes and his band also play on the country version of the recorded song.
Legend's re-release of the hit Love in the Future single -- and his most successful to date, in terms of sales and charts -- follows a recent trend of performers trying out their track in the country genre, usually after watching it become a hit with Top 40 audiences. The Hollywood Reporter rounds up 5 favorite country-fied songs with plucking and riffing that arguably tops its pop originals:
John Legend, "All of Me"
The R&B/soul singer, whose songs cross over into adult pop, introduced country listeners to his hottest single to date, thanks to tight harmonies with Jennifer Nettles. Watch the CMT Music Awards performance below:
Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
The singer included a "Country Road Version" of the lead single of her 2011 album, Born This Way, complete with a few extra lines: "If I wanna make it country, baby, it’s okay/ ‘Cause I was born, I was born, I was born this way/ From London, Paris, Japan back to USA/ I was born on the road, I was born to be brave." Hear the alternate version below:
Kelly Clarkson, "Mr. Know It All"
The pop-rock singer who has one foot in the country world released another version of the Stronger lead single in 2012, recorded in Nashville and produced by Dann Huff. Hear the country version below:
Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
During her Unplugged special, Miley Cyrus added a touch of twang to her lead Bangerz single, with the help of guest performer Madonna. Both wearing cowboy hats, the two mashed together "Don't Tell Me" and "We Can't Stop." Watch the duet below:
Taylor Swift, "Red"
While the country-pop artist often "country-fies" her tracks, a particular standout is a live version of "Red," a slowed rendition that she performed at the 2013 CMA Awards alongside Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer and Eric Darken. Watch the performance below: