Kane Brown performed his anthemic new single, “One Mississippi,” in front of a massive arena crowd on Monday (Sept. 20) evening during the TIME100 special.
The performance comes as a celebration of Brown earning his rightful place among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2021, a list that highlights “extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights.”
Watch Brown’s “One Mississippi” performance below.
— TIME (@TIME) September 21, 2021
Co-written by Brown alongside Jesse Frasure, Levon Gray and Ernest K. Smith and produced by Dann Huff, “One Mississippi” is a “song about a relationship. I don’t know everybody’s had where you make up, and you break up, and you just keep running into each other and then something about that spark in the relationship gets y’all back together and may fall apart again, but he tried it twice at least,” according to the country hitmaker.
The track officially impacted radio late last month on Monday, August 23. “One Mississippi” quickly became the most added song at country radio, with over 112 total stations adding the track into their rotation, marking Brown’s biggest radio impact day to date.
Brown also shared a music video for the new single upon its release. Directed by the award-winning Alex Alvga, who directs most of Brown’s music videos and captures his photos as well, the music video for “One Mississippi” features Ross Butler, a popular actor from Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why, who took to his Instagram gushing over the “catchy” song and the “opportunity to continue to breaking down cultural barriers.” He also commented that his participation in the music video is a “big milestone for me, and I’m proud to make another step for inclusion wherever I can.”
Additionally, Brown was honored with a profile piece on TIME by fellow country superstar Darius Rucker, who also introduced his performance during the special.
Grammy-award winning singer, Rucker, penned a heartfelt message praising fellow country superstar Brown on the achievement.
“Kane Brown has that unquantifiable ‘it’ factor,” Rucker gushed. “He’s so laid-back and doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he also really cares about his craft and other people. And when it comes to his music, he can do that low, cool, borderline-rapping thing, and then he sings, and his vocal ability just blows you away.”
Rucker went on to praise Brown for being a pioneer in music for black artists, as he knows thousands of kids are looking up to Brown the same way that Rucker looked up to the late Charley Pride growing up. Rucker also hopes that he opened the door for black artists in the country music industry a bit further so artists like Brown, Mickey Guyton and Jimmie Allen can kick it down.
“Early on, the line I heard from so many radio programmers was, ‘My audience will never accept a Black country singer.’ Now, everybody knows that’s not true, and Kane is making it more untrue because he’s having success like nobody else. I’m sure there are kids looking up to Kane right now just like when I looked up at Charley Pride. One of the most pivotal moments of my career was when Charley shared some of the lessons he learned over the years with me,” Rucker continued. “Those moments where we learn from country’s past need to continue. Charley opened the door when there were those in the country music industry that tried to close it. I hope I pushed it open a bit further so now artists like Kane, Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen can kick it down.”
The country superstar concluded his message saying, “Kane is setting the bar so high for the next generation. I hope kids see him and now think, ‘I can do that.’”