Chris Young’s “Famous Friends” is an ode to good friends in a small town, and the characters in the song were inspired by Young’s real-life friends in Tennessee. During an appearance on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country, Young recalled playing the song for his friends for the first time, revealing that one of them wasn’t a fan.
“What’s really funny is, so Corey [Crowder] and I and Cary Barlowe, write ‘Famous Friends,’ we’re on the road. All the guitar tracks, all the bass tracks are all Cary like lying into a computer, on a bus, which is just wild. But that’s what we ended up doing,” he recalled of the song, which is a duet with Kane Brown. “So we track the song, it’s done, we put it out. But the week before, I’ve played this song for a bunch of people. And some people are like, ‘That’s good,’ most people are like, ‘We love it.’ I played it for the one friend that’s like, ‘Nah, man, not it.’ And it’s like ‘Hey, I asked you for your opinion, which I did and you told me the truth, which is how I took it.’ But then I get to spin it at the end to him now, every time I see him, I’m like, ‘Hey, remember that song you hated?'”
Young didn’t specify whether that friend was one of the people he name-drops in the song, but the 36-year-old previously told PopCulture.com that all the friends featured are people he knows in real life. “We were just kind of trying to find a different angle from the back home vibe and who I grew up with,” Young said of writing the song. “And it’s like, it’d be really cool if you’re like, ‘I got famous friends that you might never heard of, but when I go back home, they’re famous in this hometown.’ I love that angle on that idea of a song.”
“Famous Friends” recently spent two weeks atop the country charts, giving Young his 12th No. 1 hit. “Finding out you have the number one song in Country Music is such a crazy feeling,” Young wrote on social media at the time, recalling that his career started with three singles that peaked at No. 37, No. 52 and No. 37 again. “If you had asked me if I ever thought I’d be celebrating my 12th number one… just wow… no words,” he continued. “@kanebrown_music so proud to share this one with you brother!” Young went on to thank “anyone reading this,” his co-writers Corey Crowder and Cary Barlowe and “all of Country Radio for sending this one to the top!!!”