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Trisha Yearwood (Feat. Kelly Clarkson), ‘PrizeFighter’

RCA Nashville

Trisha Yearwood’s ‘PrizeFighter’ is her first single in six years, and admittedly she had some catching up to do as far as recording and promoting new music in a digital world. Empowering songs that feature two of the top country vocalists of all time always win — that’s something she learned decades ago.

‘PrizeFighter’ is an event as much as it is a song or message to the downtrodden. Kelly Clarkson joins Yearwood on this one, harmonizing and adding backup vocals before being narrowly featured toward the end. For fans of pure country vocalists, this is the bacon sundae of country songs.

When you see them shake their heads / That’s when you start seeing red / From your head down to your toes / You find your glory, strength and hope,” Yearwood sings during the second verse. Jessi Alexander, Sarah Buxton and Ross Copperman penned the inspirational ballad.

Come on, come on comeback kid / Show ‘em how you never quit / You’re gonna rise from the pain / And like a hurricane …”

The chorus is the strength of the song, partly because that’s when Yearwood and Clarkson’s collaboration truly begins to shine. ‘PrizeFighter’ is a song that will mean different things to people in different difficult situations. Those with problems as fleeting as a bad day at work to those facing more difficult life situations — domestic violence, maybe? — will find a line in the song to pick them up. “Look at you smiling with a shiner, standing higher, prize fighter,” she sings. Is that a figurative or very real shiner? It could be both.

When you hit the ground / You find your wings / You go one more round / When that bell rings / You say you’re done but here you come / You’re a hammer hitting, spitting fire / Prize fighter.”

During a recent interview, Yearwood acknowledged taking steps to ensure her first single since the President Bush administration was sonically similar to others on the radio. There’s no greater death knell than a track that instantly sounds old, especially for a female vocalist pushing 50. Whether she’s succeeded at that will ultimately be decided by not her fans, but the casual radio listener and radio programmers.

Why Fans Will Love It: ‘PrizeFighter’ is inspiring, but beyond that, the two women turn in great vocal performances.

Key Lyrics: “When you’re sweating from the fear / You’re looking it in the eye / Turn the sound of defeat into your battle cry / Stakes are down, you’re out of luck / Look at you smiling with a shiner / Standing higher / Prize fighter.” 

Did You Know?: Remember that duets album Yearwood and Garth Brooks have been talking about forever? It’s coming. The singer says it’s part of her short-term plan now that the two are touring together and both signed to the same label.

See Trisha Yearwood and More as Kids

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