World News – CA – Chase Rice and Florida Georgia Line Drop Collab That’s ‘Pretty Spot On’ around 2020

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Chase Rice partners with Florida Georgia Line on Drinkin ‘Beer. I am talking to god. Amen. « – 10 years after writing the hit country song » Cruise  »

Ten years ago, Chase Rice and Florida Georgia Line came together to write one of country music’s greatest hits, « Cruise. « Ultimately, it was the song that put Florida Georgia Line on the map and put Rice on a path of songwriting and definition as a solo country artist.

« ‘Cruise’ divided us in terms of friendship and cooperation, » says 35-year-old Rice PEOPLE exclusively of his longstanding relationship with the country music duo. « Not bad, but it was just a natural breakup. They went up very quickly and I was stuck right where I thought, « Well, what the hell am I doing? » But it was honestly for the best for me because I could really find out what I wanted to say and who I wanted to be as an artist. « 

But before Rice, Tyler Hubbard, and Brian Kelley ever wrote the lyrics, « Baby you song, you make me roll down my windows and cross, » the three were close friends. Rice grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he and Kelley played baseball and Little League soccer together.

Rice moved to North Carolina when he was eleven, and although their families stayed close together, he and Kelley lost touch. It wasn’t until they were both in college (Rice at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Kelley at Belmont University) that they met again on a family outing in the mountains.

« Brian brought his guitar and at the time I didn’t even know how to play, but we sat in the living room and just played songs back and forth, » says the singer of « Eyes on You ». « The best thing about this trip was that we got closer. « 

RELATED: Chase Rice Drops’ surprise album, inspired by a breakup: « All songs are about a girl »

After college, Rice worked as a member of the NASCAR pit crew in Charlotte, and Kelley stayed in Nashville to pursue his music career. However, after Rice was suspended from the sport for martial arts, he visited Kelley and Hubbard to draw on his life.

« I fell in love with Nashville and the next time I visited them they actually had an open space in their house, » says Rice. « We’d all just sit around and think about moving to Nashville, and then I just did. I moved in with [Kelley and Hubbard] and we started writing songs together. « 

Now, after a decade, the three are teaming up again on a new song, « Drinkin ‘Beer ». I am talking to god. Amen. « 

« The subject of this is coming together and doing something great, and then doing our business, » says Rice. « Then we’ll get back together and do it all over again. We had a really crazy story of making music together. When [Kelley] texted me and suggested we make this a goodbye, I said, “Hell, yeah. It’s long overdue. ‘ »

The song is a laid back track that tells the story of sitting around the campfire with friends sharing drinks and laughter, but also having deep conversations about religion and God.

« Killing the time, living life with some friends from home when the crazy man in the world has gone crazy, sitting here drinking beer, talking to God, amen, » Rice sings in the chorus des Songs.

Rice says he wrote the song with Florida Georgia Line producer Corey Crowder last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted life worldwide.

« It was a harbinger of what we’d be doing all year long, and it’s honestly spot on for the path we went this year, » says Rice. « I’ve made a lot of friends, and a lot of them happened to me around the fire on my farm or with a friend. Of course I always drank beer. I’ve drank a lot of beer this year and had a lot of long, good conversations with friends, so 2020 isn’t all bad. « 

RELATED VIDEO: Nelly calls herself the « Black Tom Brady » on New Song with Florida Georgia Line

2020 was a year of lessons for Rice. In June, singer « Carolina Can » received criticism for holding a personal concert in Tennessee amid the pandemic, with videos showing fans disregarding social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks.

After the backlash, the « Lonely If You Are » singer apologized for the concert in a video on Instagram. « My greatest thing is all of you. You are the reason why I am allowed to write songs. You are the reason why I get to travel the country, why I get to do live shows and sing these songs to you and you sing them back. You are everything to me, so your safety is a huge priority. « 

However, Rice is the first to admit that he has made « many » mistakes in his life, and he uses his music to make amends through his relationship with God, as mentioned in « Drinkin ‘Beer ». I am talking to god. Amen. « 

« I believe that Jesus was real and the Son of God, and the coolest part – what I love most about him – is that as a human he was hanging out with his s heads down here on earth. He’s hanging out with the worst of us, « says Rice. « I feel like one of those who would have shaken my head but he would still be around because he knows my heart and he knows I really don’t try, even if I screw it up all the time. « 

He continues, « I try to have a relationship with God and with Jesus, and that’s why it penetrates my music so much. I feel like I am making progress and I say progress because I have no end goal for my life and how I want my relationship to be with people or God. I’m just trying to enjoy life and take every day as it comes and make the most of it because all we are really given is the day we wake up. But this year I’ve had the opportunity to have really insightful conversations with people I never thought I’d talk to. It’s been a very reflective year for a lot of people and I think it’s the perfect time to release this song. « 

RELATED: Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard says he made the most of his time quarantined with COVID

Rice has been playing acoustic car concerts since June, with fans listening from their truck beds and cars.

« What I want to do is not ideal, » Rice tells PEOPLE. « I don’t want to play in front of windshields or truck beds. But people are ready for live music even if they haven’t heard it like that before. That was proven because they came out like crazy. You cannot ask people to lock themselves in their homes. That won’t happen anymore so I’ll go out there and make live music and we’ll have fun with it. « 

So Rice will play a three-part concert series from his farm in Tennessee. The first night was an acoustic show like the one he had played for the past 5 months. The second was a broken band acoustic show, but the concert on Monday evening will be a full band show with 50-60 people in person. The concert will also be streamed online and merch will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the concert will benefit his crew members and bandmates who have been affected by the pandemic.

This show marks the first time Rice and Florida Georgia Line have performed « Drinkin ‘Beer ». I am talking to god. Amen. « live, and the song will be available for streaming after the show.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic changes rapidly, PEOPLE is committed to providing the latest data in our reporting. Some of the information in this story may have changed since it was published. For the latest information on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from WHO and local health authorities. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise funds for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe. Org fundraisers to support frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations that help communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Chase Rice, Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley, Cruise, Tyler Hubbard, Country Music

World News – CA – Chase Rice and Florida Georgia Line Drop Collab That’s’ Pretty Spot On ‘Around 2020
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