5 Must-Hear Vince Gill Guest Appearances with Other Artists

Vince Gill is famous for singing tender country ballads and his proficient guitar playing, each performed with continuous skill and grace.

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But he’s also spent much of his career recording upper-tenor vocal harmonies on recordings for other artists. Though far from exhaustive, the list below is a sampler of Gill’s guest appearances. Some songs are well-known, while others may have flown under your radar.

Here are Vince Gill’s five must-hear guest appearances with other artists.

5. “It’s Not Over (If I’m Not Over You)” by Mark Chesnutt, Vince Gill, and Alison Krauss

Mark Chesnutt included this traditional country ballad on his 1992 album Longnecks & Short Stories and later on Thank God for Believers (1997). Listen to “It’s Not Over” with headphones, and you’ll hear Vince Gill singing in your left ear while Alison Krauss harmonizes to the right. Larry Kingston and Mark Wright wrote the song, and a contemporary review in Billboard praised Chesnutt’s “heartbroken hillbilly delivery.” Gill has many talents; however, his humility might be one of his most remarkable traits. He’s equally comfortable working as a background vocalist or backing musician, even though he’s often the most talented person in the room.  

4. “God Gave Me Horses” by Leigh Nash and Vince Gill

Sixpence None the Richer’s Leigh Nash is best known for “Kiss Me,” but she also released a solo EP of duets in 2021, The Tide, Vol. 1. Her duet with Gill, “God Gave Me Horses,” ends The Tide with a heartbreaking story of addiction and redemption. Some have faith in the numinous, while others see (or feel) God in nature’s laws. It’s not necessary to be a believer to be moved by this plaintive ballad; you just need to be breathing. Gill’s vocal is more supportive than a traditional duet, though he burns a guitar solo that sounds like both wild horses and a prisoner stepping out into the open air for a few hours.

3. “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton and Vince Gill

Dolly Parton rerecorded a new version of “I Will Always Love You” for her album Something Special (1995). The ballad has been a hit for Parton multiple times and eventually reached the pop world with Whitney Houston’s 1992 version—recorded for the film The Bodyguard. Parton and Gill’s rendition brings the song back to its country roots. It was written as a farewell to her mentor, Porter Wagoner, who hosted the most syndicated country music show in the 1960s and ’70s. After seven years on the show, Parton wanted to move on, but Wagoner wanted her to stay. She wrote “I Will Always Love You” to explain things, and he began to cry when she played it for him. Said Wagoner, “Well, hell. If you feel that strong about it, just go on—providing I get to produce that record because that’s the best song you ever wrote.”

2. “Dear Hate” by Maren Morris and Vince Gill

Maren Morris wrote “Dear Hate” two days after the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Morris and Gill address hate as a character originating in the Garden of Eden. “Dear Hate” follows history’s tragic events, from the violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Morris had already performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas before 59 people were killed in a mass shooting at the concert, prompting her to release the song. Morris and Gill are two of the best singers in country music, and “Dear Hate” offers hope for a despairing world.  

1. “If You Ever Leave Me” by Barbra Streisand and Vince Gill

“If You Ever Leave Me” is a Barbra Streisand and Vince Gill duet written by Richard Marx and produced by Marx and David Foster. The earnest ballad showcases two of the world’s best voices, who effortlessly move through Marx and Foster’s key changes. Streisand included the song on her album A Love Like Ours (1999) and again on Duets in 2002. The song reaches its easy-listening apogee when Gill sings, Hold me till the angels sing, and Streisand answers, Tell me every little thing. Listen to the chords in the bridge: The last line moves from G minor to C before the song modulates to another key for the chorus, beginning with G (major). “If You Ever Leave Me” is sophisticated songwriting matched perfectly with Streisand and Gill’s extraordinary voices.  

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