Chris Young held his annual Fan Club Party, now in its 13th year, on the General Jackson showboat Thursday (June 5). The CMA Fest cruise down the Cumberland offered fan club members a personal meet and greet, and full-band concert with a special surprise performance by The Doobie Brothers.
Highlights included Young’s cover of “Change The World” accompanied only by his lead guitarist. Known for his muscular baritone voice, Young was equally flawless in his upper vocal register during the song.
After The Doobie Brothers performed their 1972-hit, “Listen to the Music,” the party wrapped with Young joining them on stage to perform “China Grove.”
The partygoers were also treated to entertainment from Nashville School of the Arts students, led by Executive Principal Dr. Gregory Stewart. The Chris Young Fan Club, which has supported organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Susan G. Komen, and Stars for Stripes over the years, continued its philanthropic mission by pledging to raise $30,000 this year for Nashville School of the Arts. The money will help update the school’s auditorium. The school is the only arts magnet high school within Metro Nashville Public Schools offering its students the “rare combination of rigorous, college preparatory curriculum instructed with intensely focused instruction in the performing or visual arts.”
“Growing up and having music in schools shaped me as an artist,” says Young. “I did a lot of things that weren’t necessarily what you would expect to be on the path of someone who wanted to be a Country singer. I did a lot that was based around jazz and opera. For kids to figure out exactly what they want to do, getting the opportunity to experience many genres and many forms of art is important, so Nashville School of the Arts is something I am happy to support.”
A few hours before the boat sailed, Young’s latest single, “Who I Am With You,” from his recently released RCA Nashville album A.M., reached the top spot on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart. The song was written by Marv Green, Jason Sellers and Paul Jenkins. So before his performance, Young was honored backstage by MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson with a MusicRow No. 1 Challenge Coin celebrating the milestone.
While being presented with the MusicRow Challenge coin, Young shared, “Somebody told me a long time ago, the best way to have a hit is to try and write the words ‘I love you’ in a different way and this song is totally that. Even before it was a single, there were people that got engaged to this song at my show so I knew it resonated with the audience.”
Young added, “We’ve put more tempo on this album than any that I’ve done before, but I still love a great love song and I think everybody else does too. After releasing ‘Aw Naw’ with a tempo, party vibe, it felt right to come back with something like this. It is still a big sound with double guitars on the chorus. It’s more of a power ballad than something that is broken down and acoustic, and I think it complemented the album really well.”
When asked about The Doobie Brothers being a surprise guest at his party, Young revealed, “I got a chance to be part of the [upcoming Sony Music Nashville] project with The Doobie Brothers. They were invited to the fan club party, and to have an act that is truly a heritage act, with so many hits, offer to play was really cool!”
In an unfortunate turn of events after the party, Young returned home where he accidentally cut his left hand with a kitchen knife. He underwent two surgeries in Nashville to repair damaged tendons. He is expected to fully heal and will return to playing guitar following his recovery and rehabilitation. Although he likely won’t be able to play guitar for a while, Young is hoping to return to his tour dates as scheduled.
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