USA Today article
|Bon Jovi rocks a country album
When Jon Bon Jovi visited Nashville in 1991, he had what he thought at the time was an epiphany. Sitting in a restaurant near Music Row — the nerve center of the country music industry — Bon Jovi thought to himself, "I'll be the rock guy who comes down here, captures that storytelling essence and takes it to that next level and makes it rock. I'm brilliant."
Then he flipped over the menu and saw the list of performers who had preceded him to the restaurant.
"It went from Hank Williams Jr. to Madonna," he recalls. "And I said to myself, 'At least I'm not the last one.' "
Bon Jovi waited more than a dozen years before making a serious run at the country charts. Last year, his band became the first rock group to top Billboard magazine's country singles chart, teaming with Jennifer Nettles of country duo Sugarland for Who Says You Can't Go Home. Emboldened by that surprise success, the group went to Nashville to cut a new album —Lost Highway, out Tuesday — with arrangements that borrow from modern country and guests that include LeAnn Rimes and Big & Rich.
Since Bon Jovi's initial crossover success, several other performers who established their names in the rock world have made forays into country. John Mellencamp released two singles, Our Country and The Americans, to country radio. John Waite reprised his 1984 hit Missing You with Alison Krauss. Don Henley did a duet with Kenny Rogers. Sheryl Crow sang on singles with Brooks & Dunn and Vince Gill.
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