Dwight Yoakam Glowingly Compares Sam Hunt to Ray Charles
Sam Hunt and Dwight Yoakam performed together for the ACM Presents: Superstar Duets special that aired on Friday (May 15), and perhaps no one was more excited for the performance than the two singers, who each praised the other.
“Sam’s an interesting new artist in that he’s had just a stratospheric year, and his path to the success has kind of been uniquely his own,” Yoakam tells ET of his duet partner. “It reminds me a little bit of, with the infusion of soul and southern R&B, with the things that happened surrounding the album that Ray Charles put out — the very historic album The Modern Sounds of Country Music back in the early ’60s.
"It was a reinterpretation that not only intrigued country audiences at the time," Yoakam explains of Charles' album, "but it brought a brand-new audience to the country music world.”
While Yoakam obviously has high praise and hopes for Hunt, the feeling is quite mutual. For the "Take Your Time" hitmaker, getting to sing with one of his idols was priceless.
"I didn't know that I wanted to pursue music until I was 18 or 19 years old, so when I grew up watching and listening to Dwight, it wasn’t that he was inspiring or influencing me as an artist. I was just a huge fan,” Hunt tells People. “But when I finally picked up a guitar and learned to play, "Guitars, Cadillacs" is one of the first songs I learned.”
During the Superstar Duets special, the duo performed Yoakam's 1993 hit "Fast as You," the third single from his This Time album. Other superstar pairings featured in the show included Alabama and the Eli Young Band; Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire; Darius Rucker and Sara Evans; Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore and Ashley Monroe; Luke Bryan and Ronnie Milsap; Alan Jackson and Cole Swindell; Clint Black and Joe Nichols; Eric Church and Marty Stuart; Florida Georgia Line and David Lee Murphy; Hunter Hayes and Brett Eldredge; Keith Urban and John Anderson; Lady Antebellum and Brandy Clark; Miranda Lambert and Patty Loveless; and the Band Perry and Deana Carter.
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