Which Artist Almost Recorded ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’ Instead of Jason Aldean?
Jason Aldean has a slew of hit songs under his belt buckle thanks to his six albums and 20-plus singles. Fan-favorite hits like “Big Green Tractor,” “When She Says Baby,” “Burnin’ It Down” and, of course, his duet with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” fill out his repertoire — but Aldean almost missed out on the chance to record one of those big hits.
“Don’t You Wanna Stay,” from Aldean’s 2010 album My Kinda Party, was written by Andy Gibson, Paul Jenkins and Jason Sellers … but not specifically for Aldean.
“I originally wrote it for me,” Gibson tells Buffalo, N.Y.’s Country 1065 WYRK. “… I was looking for songs and wrote this song with my buddies Jason and Paul and really wanted to write a song that said something a guy would actually say to a girl. Not like flowery poetry and all the things that none of us could ever think of … something your everyday average guy would think of. So that’s what we came up with.”
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” also wasn’t originally meant to be a duet; however, when Aldean started working with the song, he decided it would make a good one.
“The more I was listening to the thing and learning the song, I realized it set itself up to be a duet if we wanted to go that route,” Aldean explains.
The question was, who would sing with him? Aldean called his producer, who asked the singer who his duet partner of choice would be.
“I said, ‘Kelly Clarkson,’ but I didn’t think we’d be able to get her,” Aldean says. “I’ve always been a big fan of hers. I love her voice, and I love her style. Long story short, we got her a copy of the song, and she loved it.”
And when Clarkson sang “Don’t You Wanna Stay” for the first time with Aldean, he recalls, “It became obvious it was going to be great.”
His insight was correct. After the duo performed the song at the 2010 CMA Awards, radio demand led to its release as a single. It would go on to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, be certified double platinum and nab two CMA Awards nominations and even a Grammy nod.