Meghan Trainor will be the latest pop star to jump on the single of a country artist according to reports. Metadata feeding through the music pipeline is pointing to country artist Brett Eldredge releasing the song “Haven’t Met You” from his 2017 self-titled record as his next single. But instead of it being the version we’ve already heard, it will be a remix with Meghan Trainor guesting on vocals.
If the reports hold form, it will be yet another country music single to attempt to use the buzz of a pop star to enhance the attention of the public, and exploit Billboard’s charting tabulations by allowing spins in the pop world to be tabulated in country. Currently Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart has been monopolized by Bebe Rexha’s “Meant To Be” with Florida Georgia Line for the last 24 weeks and counting. Other pop and country collaborations currently appearing in country radio’s Top 20 include Keith Urban with Julia Michaels on the song “Coming Home,” and Chris Lane with Tori Kelly on the song “Take Back Home Girl.”
Meghan Trainor is no stranger to country music though. The Nashville resident has written songs for Rascal Flatts, Lauren Alaina, and others, and recorded the song “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” she co-wrote with country songwriter Caitlyn Smith. Meghan Trainor may have as much country cred as Brett Eldredge at this point, since Brett’s career took a decidedly Metro-Bro and adult contemporary turn after a promising start with a more rootsy sound.
Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor also were paired together for a cover of the Christmas classic, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in 2016. The song was released as a single as well, and charted in the Top 40 of country.
The concern with so many remixes and collaborations between pop and country artists in 2018 is it works to blur the lines between the two genres, while often not offering anything subsnative or new to either. Another recent remix featured Kane Brown on Camila Cabello’s single “Never Be The Same.” Even Kane Brown admitted the remix was simply to push the song to the top of the charts, while the song wasn’t augmented aside from adding Brown’s new vocal signal. It would be safe to assume Brett Eldredge’s “Haven’t Met You” will work the same, despite being sold as a remix.
The other concern is how the continuing appearances of pop women on country singles is edging out the established women of country for precious chart and radio spots. In the case of Brett Eldredge’s “Haven’t Met You,” this is even more relevant since there is already a country artist on the track. Songwriter and performer Heather Morgan is not only a co-writer on the original song, but is credited for the female harmony vocals on “Haven’t Met You.” Atlantic Nashville felt no need to preface the song as “feat. Heather Morgan” when it was first released. Now there’s a chance her vocal contribution won’t be included at all as the song makes it to country radio, or it might be buried in the mix under Meghan.
When it comes to pop stars, Meghan Trainor is one of the few who knows her way around the country music realm, and how to navigate Nashville traffic at rush hour. A full-blown move to country from her in the future should not go unexpected. But the inclusion of yet another pop star continues the blurring of genre lines, while a woman from the country ranks could have benefited from the exposure.