Kane Brown recently released his debut EP, Chapter 1, on March 18, but the project -- and Brown's music career in general -- may not have ever happened if it weren't for Lauren Alaina. The two artists met in middle school, and without Alaina's encouragement, Brown says that he may never have started singing.

“I’m shy offstage, but back then, I was real shy anywhere,” Brown tells Taste of Country. “And we were in choir together, and she just told me, ‘You need to sing. I feel like you can sing.’ So I did, and it got me here, so I credit her.”

Brown and Alaina were in the same choir class at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia. Alaina remembers talking to Brown about his potential at the time.

“He was really shy, and he wouldn’t sing in chorus class, and I said, ‘Come on, Kane, I think you could be a good singer,’ and then he started singing, and now look at him,” she recalls. “The world can thank me!”

This summer, Brown will be hitting the road with Florida Georgia Line, on FGL's Dig Your Roots Tour, which also features Cole Swindell and the Cadillac Three.

“They’re just great guys,” Brown says of the duo. “I hope I can carry off their stage performance, learn from them as a performer … and just learning from them, everything they do.”

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