His 2006 debut record opened some doors and his second album, The Man I Want to Be, certainly put him on the map… but the months leading up to his third record, Neon, were defined by “Tomorrow” getting radio play across the country, spawning all sorts of comments and reviews. The consensus? Young had not only proved himself but was on the fast track to becoming a savior for traditional country.
Fast forward a decade to 2021—the prognosis hasn’t changed much, but Young’s prowess as a performer and songwriter has only grown. Last November, he unveiled “Famous Friends,” a tune featuring one of his longtime real-life friends, Kane Brown. By the time July rolled around, the song was a No. 1 country hit. Coming ahead of his eighth studio album—also titled Famous Friends—the single was an exciting way to kick off a new era of Young’s illustrious career.
Yet, in a lot of ways, Young’s current success mirrors the success he found with “Tomorrow” all those years ago. “Famous Friends” took nearly eight months to climb to No. 1—likewise, “Tomorrow” took just under six months to accomplish the feat. Amazingly, American Songwriter got a first-hand look at this journey right as it was coming to a climax a decade ago.
On August 3, 2011, Young came into the American Songwriter offices in Nashville to deliver a heart-melting, goosebump-inducing, stripped-back performance of “Tomorrow.” Demonstrating everything from his world-class vocal chops to his knack for hard-hitting songwriting to his sheer likeability as a guy, the performance was a memorable delight of an extraordinary song. Just three days later on August 6, 2011, “Tomorrow” became Young’s fourth No. 1 hit.
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Watch Chris Young’s performance of “Tomorrow” from 10 years ago today below (and be sure to take note of Young’s intro, which becomes even cooler knowing that he was just days away from officially getting that “No. 1” certification):