Well. You were probably going to hear Nelly’s version of “Die A Happy Man” at some point, so it might as well be now.
Nelly insists he has no plans on doing a country record, but he’s collaborated with or covered country artists for seemingly his whole career, from Tim McGraw to Florida Georgie Line to, now, Thomas Rhett.
In 2004, Nelly and Tim McGraw peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts with the duet “Over and Over,” and Nelly’s pop remix of FGL’s “Cruise” was just another chapter in that song’s mind-boggling, record-smashing success. So it’s not out of the realm of possibly to believe Nelly’s version of Rhett’s hit will be very successful.
Unlike his previous collaborations, this one is all Nelly. And it’s a relatively true-to-the-original pop adaptation that replaces the electric guitar line with piano and the acoustic drums with a more energetic drum track more suited for pop radio. It’s fairly reminiscent of other piano pop hits of the past year, like, you know, that song from the 435th Fast and the Furious movie (pretty sure that’s the number they’re on now).
All in all? Not terrible, if you like Rhett’s original version and are familiar with current pop radio.
Neither Rhett nor Nelly are particularly inspired vocalists, but they both suit the song well enough that fans of each will probably enjoy the other. Of course Nelly throws in a bunch of signature vocal gesticulations that are both completely unnecessary for the song and necessary for the format.
One thing’s for sure: it can’t hurt Rhett’s current chart success. He still sits atop the Hot Country Songs chart, despite being dethroned in the Country Airplay chart by none other than another unlikely collaboration, Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town.
Check out Nelly’s version of “Die A Happy Man” below.