Chris Young retires hat, readies album and tour

Fri Jul 8, 2011 8:36am EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Chris Young is shedding his signature black cowboy hat so audiences can see the singer behind a string of country music hits.

"The biggest reason I decided to stop wearing it during my concerts is so people can see my face. I thought I'd try it for one show, and found that I enjoy going without it," the 26-year-old Grammy-nominated singer said.

"The response has been really positive."

Later this week, Young hits the road with headliner Jason Aldean, one of country's hottest young stars, for the "My Kinda Party Tour" that continues through October.

And on July 12 Young releases his third album, "Neon," that features the fastest-rising single of his career, "Tomorrow," which has been downloaded more than 500,000 times.

"I enjoy pushing myself vocally, and some of the new songs have me doing that," Young told Reuters in an interview.

"They are vocally powerful, and it's been fun to put them in a set. Of course we're doing the single ('Tomorrow'), along with 'You,' 'I Can Take It From There' and 'Save Water, Drink Beer.'"

The vocals on his new album were more challenging than on his previous efforts, Young said.   Continued...