ne-yo and tim mcgraw

Ne-Yo and Tim McGraw

*Ne Yo is a country singer at heart, he says. The R&B singer felt at home in Nashville at Music City when he joined Tim McGraw for a surprise performance last week.

The unlikely pair wowed the crowd at a private event on the eve of the Country Music Association Awards.

“For me, I feel like in another life I might’ve been a country artist,” Ne Yo said in an interview after the performance, explaining that he and Tim go way back.

“Faith Hill actually made me fried chicken,” Ne Yo said of his encounter with the country singers years ago. “She cooked fried chicken for me and it was fantastic. I knew I was coming out here to write, so I was expecting to go to like a studio and hear some skeletal track and then just go from there. I went to Tim and Faith’s house. It was me, Tim and a guy with a guitar in the living room as the kids ran around, and it was the greatest writing experience I’ve ever had in my life.”

It was a combo worth taking note of. They sang Tim’s “Only Human and Ne Yo’s “She Is” from his newest album, “R.E.D.”

Although the collaboration was a rare one, the pair plans to meet again one day soon.