The country singer joined the pop star on stage where they sang a duet of "Drowning," Young's poignant single, written about the death of his friend. The stripped down performance touched the hearts of many in the audience as fans are seen wiping away tears in the clip.
“To see other people put people that they've lost into that and make that song theirs and make that something that means the world to them because they're thinking about someone that they knew, I think it is the highest compliment you can get when you write a song like that,” Young shared in a recent interview. “Being able to pull that emotion out of people on a live TV taping when it's you and a friend sitting down on piano and the two of us trading back and forth on that song to still carry that weight for people is a huge compliment. It was just a very, very magical point of that night for me.”
DeGraw added his own style to "Drowning" which Young was happy to incorporate into the performance. "He took some note choices that I never would have picked that I really, really love," Young says. "I think the emotion of that song comes across really, really well in that moment. The face that he took ['Drowning'] and made it his own, makes that version of it something special that you won't see anywhere else."
Recently, Young performed "Drowning" at the Grand Ole Opry. While singing his emotions overpowered him and he was unable to complete the song.
"When I sang it on the Opry, it's about a friend of mine that passed away," Young shared with PopCulture.com. "I've never really written anything like that before. I've been fine every single time that I've sung it, until that night. I just came apart as I got to the second verse. I was like, 'Oh man. I'm gonna cry.' And I did. And so I turned around to reset, and then everybody stood up and started clapping. We just played the rest of the song out. But it's an incredibly powerful song."
Young and DeGraw's episode of CMT Crossroads, which pairs up country singers with artists from other genres, premieres Friday, December 13th at 10:00 p.m. ET on CMT.
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