Chris Young is currently enjoying a return to road life, performing a generous handful of festival and fairgrounds dates this summer before he launches his Famous Friends Tour with opening acts Mitchell Tenpenny and Callista Clark in late October.

On tour, he'll bring his just-out Famous Friends album to a live setting — and while he can't wait to perform the songs for fans onstage, Young explains that his project likely benefited from the time he spent of the road and in Nashville during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

"I've got my studio here off Music Row that's not too far from my house. I could go sit there and just write as much as I wanted to and be able to record and mix stuff," the singer explains to Taste of Country Nights. "So that was the one thing that I had the outlet to do. It's just all coming to light now that we're getting to tour again."

That even applied to the collaborations on the album, like his duets with Tenpenny, Lauren Alaina and Kane Brown. "The only thing we need access to in Nashville is decent studio space and the mic set-up that somebody likes to use. So that was the one thing that we all ready had to do," Young adds. "I'm saying 'we' — just all of my friends that I talked with that are producers and writers and artists."

Now that Famous Friends is finished and out in the world, the country star is free to sit back and watch as the rest of his country music pals release the music they've been working on during quarantine. He's got high hopes for the results, the singer adds.

"It's that double-edged sword of, like, 'Would I wanna go through the past year ever again? No,'" Young points out. "But we hopefully are gonna get a whole bunch of great music from everybody out of that."

5 Hottest Country Tours of Summer 2021

There’s a lot to consider when making a list of the hottest tours of summer 2021, including star power, opening acts, venues and set lists. Add to that concerns and cautions as the country begins to emerge from a pandemic and that no one has seen live music in 14 months. It’s quite likely you’re craving live music like a drug that’s just out of reach ... or you’re scared shirtless to surround yourself with 10,000 fans indoors. 

All the emotions about reengaging with the live country music community are valid. While at first it seemed September would be start-up month, several tours on this Hot List begin in July and August at outdoor venues across America. The No. 3 tour and No. 1 tour on our list are mostly indoors, but both are banking on increased safety that comes from a majority of the population having the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Once those lights go down, all of these worries will be carried away by the buzz in the air (and maybe, from your cup). Find five total professionals on this list of Hot Summer Tours, each bringing a total stage show, plus several in-demand opening acts with a proven track record of live entertainment at the highest level. There’s no fat on any of these country tours — if you stick to the tailgate through an opener’s set, you’ll truly be missing something special. 

As always, let us know who you can’t wait to see on tour in 2021 via Twitter or email

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