Scotty McCreery‘s “Damn Strait” is officially a No. 1 hit! The song, from McCreery’s latest Same Truck album, marks the North Carolina native’s fifth consecutive chart-topping single. For McCreery, the accolade is even sweeter because it honors his own musical hero, George Strait .
“My first country music concert was George Strait, and along with my love for Elvis [Presley], he inspired me to become a country music singer myself,” McCreery reveals to Billboard. “When I did American Idol, George called me and requested I sing his hit, ‘Check Yes or No,’ and I still sing it from time to time in concert. Now, having my fifth straight No. 1, on a song that pays tribute to George, while at the same time being a classic country heartbreaker such as he might have sung, is such a full-circle moment that means the world to me. Trent Tomlins and Jim Collins wrote a clever song that reaches beyond name-dropping Strait hits to tell a meaningful story.”
McCreery knew as soon as he heard “Damn Strait” that he wanted to record it for himself.
“I was actually down at the beach,” the singer recalls to CMT. “I was there by myself cleaning up after a hurricane. I took a break and I got an email from my label, and they’re like, ‘Hey, check out this song.’ We’re in the middle of making a record, and you’re getting songs sent to you every day. A lot of good ones, a lot of great ones, but rarely one that stops you in your tracks. And this song did that for me. I kind of had a mini freak-out moment. I sent it to my friends, I sent it to my wife, I sent it to my family, and they all had the same reaction.”
“Damn Strait” is one of only two songs on Same Truck that McCreery didn’t write, but it felt as personal to him as if he had penned the lyrics himself, which is why he included it on the record.
“I was writing songs left and right,” McCreery tells Everything Nash. “We had the songs put on there, but for me, when I heard a song ‘Damn Strait,’ I immediately raised my hand and said, ‘Me, me, me.’ It’s such a cool song. It’s so cleverly written. And obviously, I’m a massive George Strait fan. It just sounded so much like me.”
McCreery also chose to shoot the “Damn Strait” video at Gruene Hall in NeBraunfels, Texas, where Strait got his own start in country music.
“The label is always happy to do it right there in Nashville and keep costs down.,” McCreery tells The Houston Chronicle. “But for this particular song, there’s no other place to shoot this video. It just felt right. And you could kind of feel the aura of George there.”
Find “Damn Strait” and all of McCreery’s music at ScottyMcCreery.com.