Get to Know Christian Pop Duo For King and Country Ahead of Their CMA Awards Performance With Dolly Parton

Get to Know Christian Pop Duo For King and Country Ahead of Their CMA Awards Performance With Dolly Parton

With two Grammy Awards and five GMA Dove Awards to their credit, duo For King and Country—comprised of Australian-born brothers Joel, 35, and Luke Smallbone, 33—is well known in the Christian pop community.

Country music fans were likely introduced to the duo during the recent remix of their hit song, “God Only Knows,” which features Dolly Parton. The duo’s original version of the song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart in 2019.

Joel and Luke will team with Dolly for the first live performance of “God Only Knows” at the CMA Awards on Nov. 13.

The duo sat down with NCD to talk about how the collaboration with Dolly came together, experiencing their first CMA Awards week and more.

“We’re originally from Australia, but we grew up in Nashville, so we’ve kind of grown up in this whole world of ‘the storytelling as writers,’ and that’s what we’ve really set out to do,” says Joel. “We write stories about life and love and God, and in the case of ‘God Only Knows,’ a song very much about where we find ourselves socially. We just became United States citizens not long ago. This is our first CMA Awards. We’ve been in town [since 1991], but we’ve never been invited, so we’re kids in a [candy shop] to be here.”

“Joel had watched Dolly’s Duplin’ film on Netflix, and he said, ‘I wonder if Dolly would be interested in being a part of a “God Only Knows” remix,’” says Luke. “One of the things we had always hoped was that there could be a female vocal we could feature on it. So we made the call. A week later on the phone with Dolly, she said, ‘I love the song, I’d love to sing it—if you would have me.’ That’s the terminology she was using. We told her, ‘We’d love to have you on it.’ She sings on the song, and we do a music video a couple of months later, and here we are. It’s really unbelievable. We’re thrilled to be a part of this.”

photo by NCD

Daily Dose

Chris Young Earns 3 CMA Award Nominations

Chris Young Earns 3 CMA Award Nominations

Congrats to Chris Young who is a 3-time CMA Award nominee this year.

His song “Famous Friends”, which he sings with Kane Brown, racked up nominations in the categories of Single, Musical Event, and Video of the Year.

Talking about his nominations, Chris says “I was blown away by the fact that there were three award nominations for the song. I mean, there’s so much that’s gone into it and so many people that have fallen in love with it and supported it and, you know, just having a hit with your friend in the first place is great with a song like “Famous Friends” with my buddy Kane Brown, but then to be nominated for three different CMA Awards, including Single of the Year. It’s just incredible.”

Chris, Kane and all the other nominees will learn if they’re taking home trophies, when the 55th Annual CMA Awards are handed out in Nashville on Wednesday November 10 – broadcasted live on ABC.

Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson