In November of 2017, Mac McAnally had not one, but four heart attacks in one day. In January of 2019, Drake White was diagnosed with a debilitating brain condition that led to multiple surgeries. Now, in 2020, the two men are coming together for one important reason: They have a message they must share.

The music video for "Once in a Lifetime" brings McAnally and White together virtually, for a reminder that no matter what life hands you, you must remember that every day is a gift. It's a fact they both know firsthand.

"I have always tried to appreciate and count my blessings everyday but it gets more urgent when you have some brushes with mortality," McAnally, a 10-time CMA Musician of the Year, tells ToC. "So last fall, when I ran into Drake at a restaurant and mentioned 'every day is a once-in-a-lifetime,' and we just knew we had to write that song."

So, they did.

"Drake and I have a lot in common, but honestly, it's hard not to hit it off with him," says McAnally, a longtime member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. "Usually, when I hit it off with someone as a friend, songs come from it. And the way Drake has handled everything he has gone through is a great example for anyone going through something in their life, no matter what it is."

Soon after they put the words to "Once in a Lifetime" down on the page, the entire world changed around them. All of a sudden, the song took on a whole new meaning.

"I’m blessed to be here and be affiliated with music, which can really take the worst of times and turn it into something positive," McAnally says. "My heart goes out to people that can’t work and for the folks working on the front lines. I mean, I have all of this built up and hopefully I can run all of that through a guitar neck. And when it comes right down to it, all music has some joy in it."

So for now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and racial tensions boil, McAnally says he hopes that the music video for "Once in a Lifetime" gives people a reason to smile during these uncertain times.

However, the acclaimed songwriter has a secret: He has never actually seen the video. "I’m not ever going to watch anything with me in it all the way through," he jokes.

McAnally's Once in a Lifetime album is set for release on July 31.

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