Veteran actor William Shatner has inked a deal with Heartland Records Nashville. According to a press release, the 86-year-old is currently "working on a very special project that will be released later this year."
On the surface, the news seems bizarre. But considering Shatner's encounters with today's crossover stars, it shouldn't be a huge shock to country fans.
Shatner crashed the 2015 CMA Awards to sing Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" in a Star Wars stormtrooper costume. No joke. He also pals around with CMA co-host and former duet partner Brad Paisley. "The Shat" makes guest appearances in Paisley's "Celebrity" and "Online" music videos.
In addition, he once teased his chops at mimicking a Luke Bryan "bro-country" anthem, and it's as amazing as you'd hope. Although he's covered C.W. McCall's "Convoy" for a Priceline ad, Shatner's interests seem to favor modern artists. Fingers crossed that he covers "Boys 'Round Here" and "Truck Yeah."
Known in part for his dead-pan delivery of "Rock-it-Man!" and other pop standards, Shatner's seemingly tongue-in-cheek music career predates the internet-era trend of older stars being in on the joke (see Betty White) by several decades. He laughs with music fans and Trekkers while rubbing shoulders with some of his musician friends. Such harmless fun should at least be better than Pat Boone's heavy metal phase.