Per the Mercury Nashville PR camp, news has emerged that Lionel Richie has handpicked country music’s Billy Currington–or at least his enticing, sometimes “come-hither” vocals–to help the established pop artist debut his “Just For You” tune to U.S. audiences.
Georgia son Currington is now a labelmate of Richie’s, and the pair will perform the song for TV audiences for the first time come April 4 on late-night talk’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC-TV and again the following day, April 5, on daytime’s The Talk on CBS. The song is included on Richie’s 13-cut album titled Tuskegee, which was released Monday, March 26, and has already reached No.1 on the iTunes and Amazon.com album charts.
“I tried finding a song that I thought fit Billy,” Richie said via his label’s PR reps. “It was the wrong song. When finally I heard his voice. I heard that growl, and I said, ‘Stop! I have another song for him.’ ‘Just For You’ is the perfect song for Billy. When you hear it, it’s unbelievable.
“That song was a massive hit in Europe that we’re now bringing to America,” he added. “I’m so happy to be able to let him present that song to America.”
As for the sultry-sounding Currington, “Working with Lionel in the studio and recording ‘Just For You’ – which is an amazing song – was so much fun and truly an honor,” he reported. “As everyone knows, Lionel is extremely talented and I can’t wait to perform live with him on these shows.”
Although Richie may be new to some country fans with his multi-genre Tuskegee project, the former member of The Commodores and hit-solo artist has accrued records sales of more than 100 million, not to mention 22 top-10 singles, five Grammys, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe and a host of other awards.
In addition to singer-songwriter Currington, other country acts who stopped by to lend support for Richie on his latest CD as duet partners are Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney and Little Big Town. He also gleaned musical support from the likes of Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett on Tuskogee.
Meanwhile, the always-better-shirtless Currington has just embarked on his inaugural headlining concert tour with help from opening acts David Nail and Kip Moore. His first two singles from his fourth and latest studio album, Enjoy Yourself–namely, “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer” and “Let Me Down Easy”–marked the fourth and fifth consecutive No. 1 singles of his career, with seven No. 1 tunes to date.
Since his debut in 2003, Currington’s sold more than 11 million units, earned multiple RIAA gold and platinum certifications, scored 10 top-10 singles, collected two Grammy Awards and multiple CMA and ACM Awards.
- Video view: To see Richie and Currington in the studio working on “Just For You,” please access the video embedded on the left side of this post.