“We wanted to stick pretty close to the original version and Gwen just nails the vocal,” Shelton says
As the Judds approach their 40th anniversary, country music artists are saluting the influence of the mother-daughter duo by performing some of their classic records for the forthcoming album A Tribute to the Judds, set for release on Oct. 27. More than two dozen artists appear on the record, including Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who have shared their rendition of “Love Is Alive,” a single from the Judds’ 1984 debut album Why Not Me. Listen to a snippet here. (The full track will be released at midnight.)
“The Judds are one of the greatest country acts of our lifetime. 80’s country music is my favorite decade, and I’ve been singing Judd songs for as long as I can remember,” Shelton shared in a statement. “‘Love Is Alive’ was on their first album, and we wanted to stick pretty close to the original version and Gwen just nails the vocal. We’re thrilled to be part of this tribute album.”
Stefani added: “I have always admired the Judds and I am so thrilled to be part of this album. ‘Love Is Alive’ is an iconic track and performing the song with Blake is a perfect way to honor their timeless discography.”
The shift in vocal texture on the record shines a new light on the country classic. Stefani and Shelton’s version of “Love Is Alive” was helmed by the song’s original producer Brent Maher, who raved: “All I can say about Gwen’s vocal is, it’s perfect, and Blake’s harmony parts are wonderful.”
Dolly Parton, Lainey Wilson, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Jelly Roll, K. Michelle, and Ashley McBryde are among the others appearing on the tribute record. The Judds were made up of mother Naomi, who died last year at 76, and daughter Wynonna.