Keith Urban, Jimmie Allen & More Join Rita Wilson On New Duets Album

26 August 2022 | 11:04 am | Mallory Arbour

'Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets' is due out on September 27.

Keith Urban

Keith Urban (Image: via Facebook)

More Keith Urban More Keith Urban

With her breathtaking new album Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets, Rita Wilson solidifies her place as a major force in today’s musical landscape. Her fifth studio album, Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets was co-produced by Rita and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Matt Rollings and will be released on September 27. 

The project sees Wilson return to exploring her gift as an interpretive singer, as she revisits the songs that made her fall in love with music. A collection of classic, timeless songs from the Seventies, each track has been newly and lovingly arranged as a duet showcasing Wilson’s crystalline vocals alongside some of the greatest male singers of our time spanning genres including pop, country, and rock.  

A set of true modern standards, Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets sees Wilson singing alongside giants including Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Jackson Browne, Tim McGraw, Elvis Costello, Keith Urban, Leslie Odom Jr, Josh Groban, Vince Gill and Jimmie Allen, illustrating the high regard in which she is held by her peers.

For Wilson, the album is a tribute to the songs that made her discover music, and the melodies and stories that defined a generation. “I wanted to honor where I came from with songs from the Seventies,” she says. “It was really about showing enormous appreciation for the songwriting of that period—how these songs are still relevant even though they’re fifty years old.” 

Wilson adds, “This album is really a continuation of sharing who I am musically, and what it is that I want to say.”

Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter

The project is an idea that Wilson had been considering for several years. When the pandemic shut down the world, she reached out to producer Matt Rollings, hoping that musicians spending time off the road would be longing to make music. “And that’s exactly what happened,” she says. “It all fell together incredibly smoothly.”

The first single to be unveiled from the album was Fleetwood Mac’s classic Songbird with Josh Groban. They later performed Songbird live on stage captured at New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall earlier this year.

The first person to jump on board the project was no less than Nelson, for a version of Paul Simon’s Slip Slidin’ Away. Others followed, including Robinson, with an impassioned rendition of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s Where is the Love, a blistering vocal from Costello on Bruce Springsteen’s Fire (popularized by the Pointer Sisters), and a majestic performance on Massachusetts by Odom, Jr.

The album also includes inspired interpretations of the stirring Van Morrison track Crazy Love with Urban, the moving ballad If with McGraw (originally performed by Bread), the Jackson 5’s I’ll Be There with Allen and Badfinger’s Without You with Gill (also covered by Harry Nillson).

Wilson has established herself as a prolific, authentic, and widely admired singer/songwriter who has fully immersed herself in her passion for music. She’s released four studio albums, a series of three inter-connected EP’s entitled Trilogy, and a steady flow of singles includes the moving, Everybody Cries, from the film The Outpost, which won the Hollywood Music in Media Award for ‘Outstanding Song for Independent Film’.

Wilson has performed on some of the world’s greatest stages—the Grand Ole Opry, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ryman and the Sydney Opera House to name a few. Now a festival fixture, she has appeared at Stagecoach, Tortuga and CMA Fest among many others.  

Her additional notable collaborations include the single PINK with Dolly Parton, Monica, Sara Evans, and Jordin Sparks, guest vocals on the GRAMMY-nominated Blues Traveler album covering the Gnarls Barkley hit Crazy, and her infectious, viral turn on Naughty By Nature’s Hip Hop Hooray during lockdown.

Wilson has written with some of the top songwriters in the business, including Lindy Robbins (Demi Lovato), Liz Rose (Taylor Swift, Chris Stapleton), Nathan Chapman (Keith Urban, Taylor Swift), Kara DioGuardi (Kelly Clarkson, Pink), Mozella (Miley Cyrus, Pink) and Kristian Bush of Sugarland (who she also toured with).

Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets Tracklisting:

  • “Crazy Love” with Keith Urban
  • “Where Is The Love?” with Smokey Robinson
  • “Slip Slidin' Away” with Willie Nelson
  • “Let It Be Me” with Jackson Browne
  • “Massachusetts” with Leslie Odom Jr.
  • “Fire” with Elvis Costello
  • “If” with Tim McGraw
  • “I'll Be There” with Jimmie Allen
  • “Without You” with Vince Gill
  • “Songbird” with Josh Groban