One day after Carrie Underwood confirmed that she would be joining Jason Aldean on their upcoming duet, “If I Didn’t Love You,” the duo released the song for fans to hear on Friday, July 23. Written by Aldean’s longtime friend and collaborator Michael Knox, his bandmates Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy and John Morgan and Lydia Vaughan, “If I Didn’t Love You” describes the feelings you experience after a breakup when you still care for the other person.
The song is the lead single from Aldean’s upcoming 10th studio album. “We were pretty close to finishing up this album, but this song came in and we knew we had to record it,” he said in a statement. “I went ahead and put my vocals down while we asked Carrie in the meantime. Luckily she loved the song and it was kind of like a rocket from there. She did her thing like only Carrie can…and I don’t know how, but she made it sound even better than what we expected. It’s a really special song to start this album.”
Aldean has previously worked with a number of female vocalists including Kelly Clarkson, who collaborated with him on their 2010 hit “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” “I remember with ‘Don’t You Want to Stay?’ Kelly was actually my first choice for that song and I’ve just always been a fan of her voice,” Aldean told Kelleigh Bannen on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country. “And then when you get on stage or in the studio and start trading vocals with them, it’s like, man, you realize really quick that who the better singer in the room is, you know what I mean? Those guys are amazing singers and really powerful and just a lot of range.”
“It’s really cool for me to get to work with people like that and sort of find my spot in the song to make my voice work with theirs and it’s been great,” he continued. “I mean, obviously Kelly, the song we did with her got us a Grammy nomination and just was a really big song for us, single of the year at CMA’s. Hopefully, we can replicate that with [‘If I Didn’t Love You’].”
Along with Clarkson, Aldean has sung with Miranda Lambert (“Drowns the Whiskey”), Kelsea Ballerini (“First Time Again”) and more. Underwood has had hit collaborations with several artists including Brad Paisley (“Remind Me”) and Keith Urban (“The Fighter”).