How “Peter Pan” Paved the Way for Kelsea Ballerini’s Duet with Jason Aldean

Broken Bow

This afternoon in an airplane hangar near Nashville International Airport, Kelsea Ballerini will celebrate the success of “Peter Pan.” But it turns out the Neverland-inspired tune was more than her third number-one single in a row — it was the reason she has a duet with Jason Aldean on his number-one album, They Don’t Know.  

“It was really the first time I’d had a chance to hear her, like really hear her vocals on a song,” the ACM Entertainer of the Year tells ABC Radio. “All of the sudden, it was like this little idea popped up, and I’m going, ‘Maybe this might work,’ you know? Because I’m just a fan of her voice. I think she’s a great singer, and obviously off to a great start in her career.”

But having charted a number-one duet with Kelly Clarkson back in 2010 on “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Jason knows a thing or two about recording a hit country duet.

“You know, I may go sing my part of the song and it sounds great. She can sing her part and it sounds great,” he explains, “but then you put us together, and it doesn’t always sound great. So that’s also the other part of it. So we got in the studio, and I think really the tell-tale was when she started singing with me, you know, doing the backgrounds on some things. And just hearing how well that blended together. It was just kinda like, ‘Okay!’ That’s kinda when you know when you hit a home run.” 

You can check out “First Time Again” on Jason’s latest album; it’s the fifth cut.

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