More than any other genre, country music has a family vibe to it. That might explain why there are so many beautiful duets between huge country music stars. One of the most lovely collaborations you’ll hear was recorded in 2017.
The song was recorded for Reba’s album Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, and it is one of the most haunting and spiritual songs you will ever hear. Don’t believe me? Check out the live performance below, recorded in Nashville, the home of country music.
It shows country stars Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood and pop star Kelly Clarkson singing a beautiful rendition of the gospel song Softly and Tenderly. All three singers have gorgeous voices that are mellow and husky. Alone each is beautiful but together they blend together like the most sublime cocktail, and every sip is heaven.
All three singers sound fabulous on their own, but when they sing together the magic happens. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear they were an established group rather than three individual singers. They hit each note perfectly, each of their voices complimenting the others. Beyond their technical ability, though, is also the passion with which they sing. They are all invested 100% in their performance, infusing it with warmth, love and faith.
The attitude of all three stars is also exceptional. Some duets are wonderful but you feel it’s a little competitive, that each singer is trying to outdo the other. In this song, all three women pitch their level to match their companions, no one trying to drown out the others. It’s one of the most lovely, heartfelt songs you’ll ever hear.
Softly and Tenderly was written in 1880 by Will L. Thompson when he was a member of the evangelist DL Moody’s congregation. The message preached by Moody struck a deep chord with Thompson. He was a songwriter and had already written the popular songs My Home on the Old Ohio and Gathering Shells from the Seashore.
He decided the best way to express his faith was by composing gospel music. It seems that out of all the songs he wrote Softly and Tenderly became his masterpiece. As Thompson sat beside Moody, who was on his deathbed, Moody confessed that he would rather have written the song than anything he had achieved in his life.
Since it was written it has become a very popular gospel song in churches throughout America. It has also been recorded numerous times by some of the biggest names in music, including Rosemary Clooney, Amy Grant and Carrie Underwood. The Reba, Trisha, Kelly version is in a class of its own, though.
Once you’ve enjoyed it, check out another song from the same show. This time Reba sings Swing Low Sweet Chariot and encourages the audience to sing along. Whether from church, school or rugby, you’re sure to know it too.