23 Heartwarming Country Music Friendships

Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins, Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty

(Top Left) Gary Gershoff / Contributor / Getty Images / (Top Right) Erika Goldring / FilmMagic / Getty Images / (Bottom Left) Richard E. Aaron / Redferns / Getty Images / (Bottom Right) R. Diamond / Contributor / Getty Images

The Power Of Long-Lasting Friendships In Country Music

It’s heartwarming to see how many friendships have formed between artists in the country music scene. From the genre’s beginning, singers have stepped up to support each other through their musical journeys.

Something magical happens whenever these country-singing pals share the stage or record a duet. Their strong bonds result in some unforgettable collaborations.

Sadly, some of these artists have since passed away. But the friends they left behind will ensure their legacy lives on.

See Our List Of 23 Heartwarming Friendships In Country Music

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn


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Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn were a country music dream team. They released ten albums together from 1971-1981.

The duo’s songs such as “After the Fire Is Gone,” “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” and “Lead Me On” are considered to be some of the greatest country duets of all time. They received the CMA’s Vocal Duo of the Year award four years in a row, from 1972-1975.

Conway passed away on June 5, 1993, at the age of 59. While remembering Conway in 2020, Loretta said, “He was like a brother to me and I couldn’t have asked for a better singing partner.”

Loretta continued to honor her beloved friend until she died 29 years later, on October 4, 2022.

Toby Keith & Willie Nelson

Country Music Friendships - Toby Keith & Willie Nelson
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Good friends Toby Keith and Willie Nelson worked together several times over the years.

The 2003 single “Beer for My Horses” was the pair’s most popular collaboration. It reached the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart and #22 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. The song was also the #2 country hit for the entire year of 2003.

“Beer for My Horses” was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in 2023.

Toby passed away on February 5, 2024 following a years-long battle with stomach cancer. Willie remembered his friend in a short, but sweet tribute he shared on social media.

I’ve had a lot of fun singing with Toby. He’s one of us…’ Rest in peace, Toby,” Willie said.

Hank Williams Jr. & Waylon Jennings

Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings were the closest of friends. Beyond that, Waylon served as a mentor to Hank, who was 12 years younger than him.

Waylon fittingly appeared in Hank’s music video for “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight.” The clip also featured Little Jimmy Dickens, Mel Tillis, Kris Kristofferson, and Porter Wagoner, among other stars.

Though Hank and Waylon’s most notable collaboration was their 1983 duet “The Conversation.” The song has Waylon asking Hank questions about his iconic parents, Hank Williams Sr. and Audrey Williams. “The Conversation” reached the 15th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Waylon passed away on February 13, 2002. Hank continues to honor him often.

Billy Ray Cyrus & Dolly Parton


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Billy Ray Cyrus and Dolly Parton are so close, that he asked her to be his daughter’s godmother!

The two country singers became friends after going on tour together in 1992. The following year, Dolly asked Billy Ray to play her love interest in her music video for “Romeo.” The video also starred Tanya Tucker, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Kathy Mattea.

When Billy Ray’s daughter, Destiny Hope, was born in November 1992, he asked Dolly if she’d be the girl’s godmother. She agreed.

Destiny grew up to become the singer everyone now knows as Miley Cyrus. She and Dolly remain close to this day, as do Dolly and Billy Ray.

Miranda Lambert & Kenny Chesney

Miranda Lambert was still a rising star when she joined Kenny Chesney on his 2009 tour. They became fast friends and remained close as Miranda’s own career took off.

“I don’t talk to her every day; we don’t call each other at Christmas,” Kenny once told EW. “But when we see each other, it’s like we never left.”

Miranda and Kenny reunited to tour together again in 2016. While they’ve never recorded a duet of their own, they tend to sing “You and Tequila” whenever they share a stage.

Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley

Country Music Friendships - Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood
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This has to be one of our favorite country music friendships!

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley released their romantic duet “Remind Me” in 2011. The song reached #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart and #17 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. It was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in 2013.

The duo also co-hosted the CMA Awards for 11 years, from 2008-2018. They were known for their funny skits and creative parody songs.

Brad attended the ceremony when Carrie received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. Then, the pair reunited for an outstanding Opry show in 2020, and performed multiple duets, including “Whiskey Lullaby.”

Carrie and Brad are still good friends and support each other whenever possible.

Dottie West & Patsy Cline

Dottie West was one of Patsy Cline’s dearest friends. She was also one of the last people to see Patsy before her tragic death in a plane crash on March 5, 1963.

Dottie once recalled watching Patsy sing for the final time, and how beautiful she looked that day.

“I walked out and watched the shows, and I will never forget that gorgeous white chiffon dress she wore. I thought, ‘My God! She sings like an angel, and she looks like one.’ She was just beautiful.”

Patsy was buried at the Shenandoah Memorial Park in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. Loretta Lynn and Dottie had a bell tower placed at the park in Patsy’s honor. It plays hymns every day at the hour of her death.

Dottie died 28 years later due to injuries sustained in a car accident.

Reba McEntire & Kelly Clarkson

Beyond being best friends, Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson are family, in a way!

Reba and Kelly have worked together many times. Their most notable collaboration is their 2007 duet “Because of You.” Kelly released the song’s original version two years prior and created a more “country” rendition with Reba.

Their duet reached the #2 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. It also received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

Kelly married Reba’s stepson, Brandon Blackstock, in 2013. That made Reba a “grandma” to Kelly’s two children, River Rose and Remington Alexander.

Reba and her husband, Narvel Blackstock, divorced in 2015. Kelly and Brandon divorced in 2022. But Kelly and Reba have remained close despite all of that!

Blake Shelton & Luke Bryan

Don’t let their many “arguments” and constant teasing confuse you. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan have been best buds for years!

While the two friends have never recorded a true duet, they’ve worked together many times. Luke was even Blake’s team advisor during Season 12 of The Voice.

On top of that, Blake and Luke co-hosted the ACM Awards for three years, from 2013-2015. They got a lot of laughs during those ceremonies!

Kelsea Ballerini & Kenny Chesney


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Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney were both born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Early in Kelsea’s career, Kenny sent her a text to congratulate her on a job well done, and let her know he was proud of his “hometown girl.”

Years later, Kelsea wrote a song titled “half of my hometown.” Kenny immediately came to mind, and she asked if he’d like to sing it with her.

Kenny agreed, and they released the duet in 2021. It reached the #1 spot on the Country Airplay chart. The song also won the Musical Event of the Year and Video of the Year awards at the 2021 CMA Awards.

Kelsea joined Kenny on tour in 2023, and they remain close friends to this day.

Jelly Roll & Brantley Gilbert


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Jelly Roll recently shared that he and Brantley Gilbert are super close friends. In fact, he told Taste of Country Nights he talks to Brantley on the phone more than anyone else except for his wife, Bunnie Xo.

Brantley previously spoke with the outlet about their friendship, and praised Jelly Roll for always being “real and authentic.”

Jelly Roll shared the love right back, saying, “God, I love that guy, man. I’ve been so blessed to have him as a friend, dude.

Loretta Lynn & Patsy Cline

This country music friendship is classic.

Patsy Cline took Loretta Lynn under her wing when the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was getting started in the business. They became fast friends.

When Patsy was killed in a plane crash in 1963, Loretta was devastated. She spent the rest of her life honoring Patsy whenever she could.

Their friendship was a central part of the Coal Miner’s Daughter movie. Loretta also recorded an entire album of Patsy’s songs, called I Remember Patsy. As mentioned earlier, she and Dottie West had a bell tower erected at Patsy’s final resting place.

On top of that, Loretta named one of her twin daughters “Patsy” as a tribute to her beloved friend.

Loretta lived for 59 years after Patsy died. But she left this world having fulfilled her mission to keep her friend’s legacy alive.

Toby Keith & Merle Haggard

Toby Keith had the utmost respect for Merle Haggard. It seems the feeling was mutual on “The Hag’s” behalf.

On February 6, 2016, Merle was struggling to get through his show in Las Vegas. Toby happened to be in attendance, and he hopped onstage to help Merle finish the concert.

“He looked really frail, and I walked him on the stage and said ‘I’ll be over here. You call me up whenever you need me,” Toby recalled. “He made it about eight songs, and he called me up and said, ‘Let’s do something.'”

Merle died exactly two months later on April 6, 2016, which was also his 79th birthday. Toby remembered him as “The greatest singer songwriter of [his] lifetime.”

Toby died on February 5, 2024, almost exactly eight years after he helped Merle through one of his last shows.

The Highwaymen

Country Music Friendships - The Highwaymen
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These country music friendships resulted in the creation of a supergroup! 

Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings were all country music superstars. While most of the artists formed friendships on their own, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash didn’t know each other that well.

As Marty Stuart explained, the push for Willie and Johnny to become closer friends and collaborators resulted in the formation of The Highwaymen with Kris and Waylon. They released their first song, “Highwayman,” in 1985, and it was a smash success.

The Highwaymen continued to tour and record together for ten years. All of its members remained close friends even after the group disolved.

Waylon Jennings died in 2002, and Johnny Cash passed away in 2003.

Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins

Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins were friends long before they released their hit song “Hillbilly Bone” in 2009. Trace is one of Blake’s musical heroes and served as a mentor to him in the early years of his career.

He was about the only guy I would listen to because I was intimidated by him. Looking back, I am so glad that he was around for me,” Blake told FOX News in 2015.

On top of recording “Hillbilly Bone,” Blake and Trace have released duets called “If I Was a Woman” and “Hell Right.” Trace also served as Blake’s team advisor during Season 14 of The Voice.

Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, & Angaleena Presley


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The country-singing pals turned their friendship into a trio!

Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley form the country music group The Pistol Annies. They made their debut in 2011, and have since released four albums together. Their latest release, Hell of a Holiday, dropped in 2021.

The ladies are known for their hit songs “Hell on Heels,” “Hush Hush,” and “Got My Name Changed Back.” 

Even when they aren’t releasing music together as The Pistol Annies, Miranda, Ashley, and Angaleena often work and write together.

Morgan Wallen, HARDY, & ERNEST


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Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and ERNEST are three of the biggest stars in country music at the moment. They also happen to be the best of friends!

The pals have written songs with and for each other. For example, HARDY co-wrote Morgan’s “Sand in My Boots” and ERNEST co-wrote Morgan’s “Wasted on You.” All three of them served as co-writers on Morgan’s #1 hit “More Than My Hometown.”

“Everybody just truly does such different things, and we all bring out the creativity in each other,” HARDY told Billboard about their friendship. “ERNEST might say something that would sound like something I would never think of, and that would spark a lyrical direction maybe they wouldn’t think of. We do what we do, and bring out the best in the rest of the triangle.”

Hank Williams Jr. & Johnny Cash

Saying that Hank Williams Jr. and Johnny Cash were simply “friends” would not be doing justice to the bond they shared. They were practically family.

It turns out that Johnny’s wife, June Carter Cash, was Hank’s godmother. June was close to Hank’s mom, Audrey. So when Audrey asked her to be her son’s godmother, she quickly agreed.

Since June was close to Hank, so was Johnny. The singers formed a deep connection and had shared interests and hobbies.

We had a wonderful, long friendship. We loved Civil War and Western history. We liked to shoot cannons off Franklin Road and knock people’s books off their shelves,” an emotional Hank recalled at a tribute concert honoring Johnny after he passed away.

Hank also revealed that Johnny and June were standing by his hospital bed when he “came around” after suffering his near-fatal fall off a mountain in 1975.

That truly says it all about the power of this country music friendship.

Luke Bryan & Jason Aldean


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Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean are longtime friends and collaborators. In addition to their musical work together, they’re also business partners.

Luke and Jason are two of the co-owners of Buck Commander, which is a subsidiary of the Duck Commander brand of Duck Dynasty fame. They also co-own a steakhouse in Nashville called E3 Chophouse.

He and I really get along great and are really great friendsLuke told HuffPost when speaking about Jason in 2012. “It’s fun to tour with a buddy and somebody that I just enjoy hanging out with. If we weren’t touring together, we’d be hunting in the off-season still and knocking around doing stuff, certainly.”

The duo has celebrated birthdays together, performed at Luke’s Crash My Playa together, and appeared in music videos together. They’re two friends who are in it for the long haul!

Jelly Roll & Lainey Wilson

As two of modern country music’s biggest stars, it only made sense for Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson to record a song together. They released their duet, “Save Me,” in May 2023, and it took off.

“Save Me” reached the #1 spot on the Country Airplay chart and #19 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. The song led Jelly Roll and Lainey to earn a Grammy nomination in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category in 2024.

On top of being duet partners, Lainey and Jelly Roll are also good friends. 

Jelly Roll told CMT he often calls Lainey to talk about his successes and his worries. Lainey always answers and is happy to be an “anchor” for him.

It is so crazy to see the Lord using him and his story,” she said. “It is just wild. I’m so thankful that [Jelly Roll] is a part of this format.”

Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood


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Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are two of the most successful female artists in country music history. Since they often go against each other for awards and accolades, you’d think there’d be a sense of competition between them.

But the opposite is the case. Miranda and Carrie have been friends for years, and make an effort to support each other whenever possible.

For example, Miranda broke the record for the most ACM Award wins in 2018. But after the show, she took the opportunity to praise Carrie:

“She’s one of the greatest singers of all time in any genre of music and can sing me under the table,” Miranda said about her friend. “I say that every time and I will continue to say that, but I’m just proud of her and I know how strong she is and how hard she’s worked.”

Carrie and Miranda released a duet, “Somethin’ Bad,” in 2014. The song reached the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

More recently, they took turns watching each other’s Vegas residencies and gushed about their experiences. We love to see it!

Kane Brown & Lauren Alaina


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This country music friendship goes WAY back!

Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina first met in middle school choir class. Years later, when they both found themselves living their country music dreams, they teamed up for a duet.

Their song “What Ifs” was released in 2017. It became the third most popular country track of the entire year. The song was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA in December 2023.

Kane and Lauren have remained close, and still get together to sing “What Ifs” from time to time.

Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers

Country Music Friendships - Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
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It seems appropriate the last duet Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers released was titled “You Can’t Make Old Friends.” It’s a song Dolly says she “can’t hardly sing since Kenny died in 2020.

Dolly and Kenny released many songs and albums together. Their most famous collaboration, of course, was their 1983 duet “Islands in the Stream.” The song reached the #1 spot on both the Hot Country Songs chart and the all-genre Hot 100 chart.

In 2005, CMT named “Islands in the Stream” the best country duet of all time.

After decades of singing together, Dolly and Kenny felt a sense of comfort whenever they shared the stage. Those feelings were obvious when they released “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”

“You can make new friends that feel like old friends, but there’s just something about the people that have spent years together,” Dolly told PEOPLE three years after Kenny passed. “You have a history, and you learn about each other, inside and out. I knew Kenny very well. We’re very similar. We’re like brother and sister really.”

All of the artists featured in this list surely feel the same way about their own friendships within the country music community…