The recent wave of country/pop crossover, once thought a phenomenon of the distant past, continues unabated. Next up: a remix of Camila Cabello’s “Never Be the Same,” now a newly-produced duet with freshly minted country star Kane Brown, set to come out Friday, Variety has learned.
Rumors of the duet caught fire Thursday when Cabello tweeted (leaning on the all-caps bar), “i. HAVE. A SURPRISE. FOR YOU. THIS WEEK” (sic)… and it really flared up after Brown quickly responded to Cabello’s tweet with a message consisting of two flame emojis.
It wasn’t immediately clear which format, if any, the remix was intended to find airplay with, since both stars currently have top 5 singles in their respective genres — Cabello, at pop, with the un-remixed verison of “Never Be the Same,” and Brown at country with the still-rising ballad “Heaven.”
If the remix does catch tinder at radio, it’ll join two other smash pop/country collaborations at the moment. At pop radio, “The Middle,” featuring a lead vocal by country’s Maren Morris, is firmly on top, with the Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line hit “Meant to Be” close behind at No. 3. In the position in-between? That’d be Cabello’s up-till-now solo track. The Rexha/FGL track is also topping the country charts; the Morris/Zedd/Grey song is not being worked at that format.
Brown is being seen as representing a new kind of country star, not least of all because of his mixed ethnicity, something that still isn’t a common sight at that format, and a background that had him dabbling in R&B before he settled into country. He currently has the top-selling album in the genre for the 11th non-consecutive week. A previous duet of his, “What Ifs,” with Lauren Alaina, was the most-streamed country track of 2017. He just picked up three Billboard Award nominations (for top country artist, album and song). He’ll be cheered on in southern California this weekend as he takes the main stage on the final day of the Stagecoach Festival.
Cabello, a former Fifth Harmony member, is on her own roll, as “Never Be the Same” directly follows one of 2017’s biggest smashes “Havana,” now certified five-times platinum. She definitely won’t be joining Brown for a duet at Stagecoach as she has a gig of her own in Boston that night, shortly before she hits the road as opening act on Taylor Swift’s stadium tour starting May 8.
Variety has reached out to a rep for Cabello for confirmation.